Tuesday, October 24, 2017

British Military Service and Dyscalculia

VISITORI am joining the British Military as a potential Officer, Reserve.

At the same time I am applying for many professional roles such as
investment banking, management consultancy, law and civil service.

The roles I am applying for include numerical and other online tests
which are posing me difficulty even though I have a PhD in
biochemistry and have a self-tested IQ of 133.

I was wondering whether you were able to give any advice as to whether
I would be disallowed from entering the British Military or whether it
would be hard for me (or come with stigma) - as I believe that I do have
some sort of mild impediment and that extra time or mark adjustments
would allow me to get past the online testing stages where I can shine at the job interviews.

Also, do you have a UK counterpart that you might be able to direct me to?

DYSCALCULIA.ORGAvoid jobs requiring number facility if you are dyscalculic. 

We cannot advise you on policy of the British Military, however, we suggest a general inquiry about admission for those with disabilities. 

As far as extra time or academic adjustments, you'll need comprehensive assessment and thorough documentation of disability.

There are several dyscalculia experts and research centers in the UK. (We also can assess you for dyscalculia.) 

UK Resources:
University of Oxford Department of Experimental Psychology - Dr. Roi Cohen Kadosh - Dyscalculia Study

University College London - Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
Dr. Brian Butterworth
 (London, England)

+61 3 8344 6377
Cognitive Neuroscientist

Tony Attwood

Dyscalculia in Schools

Methods of Teaching...Dyscalculia

Number Sense (PC Games, APPS)

Institute of Education- London

Sunday, October 22, 2017

12-year-old can't do her math! How will she graduate?

VISITORI am mom to a beautiful, artistic 12 year old daughter. She was born at 28 weeks, although her size (1lb 15oz) indicated she was closer to 26 weeks. No major complications occured while we spent two months visiting our preemie baby in the NICU. Her eyes and all other body parts are perfectly formed. Our daughter has always experienced anxiety with the unknown, stress, and math. Learning disabilities became quickly apparent by 1st grade. 
Thank goodness we had a teacher that had a special education background and could guide us. She qualified under reading, reading comprehension and math. Math has always been a struggle for her. She has many holes in her math connections dating back to kindergarten. It takes us working together every night to conquer her math homework. While her teachers have been phenomenal in supporting our daughter we are afraid of what the future holds. 
We have looked over the checklist for dyscalculia and are very confident that our Read daughter is battling through this. She will be heading into 7th grade in the fall. Her teachers, resource teachers, and us have worked diligently to try to offer as much support as possible as she heads to junior high school. I never like to say one of my children can't do something BUT, I feel that making her have to take all required grade-level math is a recipe for disaster.  This is why I'm contacting you. 
Will having her formally diagnosed give her and us time flexibility as to what her fulfilment will be for graduation? I love helping her with her work but when I'm holding her hand throughout most of it, something needs to give. Most everyone I've asked about dyscalculia has not had a clue to what it is! I would love to have some guidance from someone who has "been there and done that", so to speak. Both of our daughters do attend a public school in Michigan. Thank you for taking the time and patience to help us answer these tough questions.  

DYSCALCULIA.ORG: You already have a dyscalculia diagnosis, but school called it a specific learning disability in mathematics. You need to understand what causes the math difficulties and what to do about these. She needs 20 minutes per day working with money to acquire place value understanding and understanding of counting, multiplication, subtrsaction, and division. She will be able to do these mentally with proper training. You will need to employ several strategies to work through arithmetic with dyscalculia: reasoning aloud, illustrating, using money to act out concepts, counting using visual patterns, color-coding operations, and having quick access to references to compensate for retrievel/memory difficulty (mathisfun.com). In high school, if she is unable to do the algebra required by the school district, she can get a PERSONAL CURRICULUM, which may substitute Consumer Math for the required algebra. She will get a diploma, but will need special advising and advocacy at the college level, because she'll need to address the college algebra requirements. For everyday help, start with these resources and adopt these practical strategies:
Manage It | Conquer It | Fix It | To Do | How to Learn Math | Accessing Math | Appreciating Math | Best Math Tools | College and Dyscalculia

If you'd like comprehensive testing for learning disabilities, including dyscalculia, see these instructions.

Watch a video explaining dyscalculia symptoms and global research

If you'd like a phone consultation or individualized help, text your name, location, and requests to (313) 300-1901

Friday, October 20, 2017

Special Ed Teacher Needs Help for Dyscalculic Student

VISITORI'm a special needs math teacher in Miami. I just found your website and I'm thankful I did. We have several kids at our school with dyscalculia and we've found that the earlier the come to us the more we can do for them. But I have a particularly difficult case that I was hoping you could help me with. 

I teach a 13-year old male student with severe dyscalculia. He has no concept of time (10 minutes is the same as an hour to him), no understanding of money and his numeration is extremely under developed (he can only do "before/after/between" with single-digit numbers, no understanding of place value, etc). Comprehension, both of written and oral directions, is weak and his memory (working, long-term) is well below average. Needless to say he can only recall addition facts up to "2." Facts beyond that and for any other operation don't exist.
He works comfortably on a calculator and he can work out most problems, but he doesn't understand what any of it means and he needs to be directed. And this is an intelligent kid. He knows more about the civil war and American politics than every TEACHER I know! 
What I have found that could address some of his issues are really aimed at younger children and I'm afraid he would see them as work for "babies." Plus he's supposed to be heading off to high school in a year or two and time is against us. Is there a program or a curriculum for older students with severe dyscalculia? Is there something I can do that will at the very least prepare him for life?

DYSCALCULIA.ORG:  Yes, there is hope for this smart but dyscalculic student! Read about the nature of dyscalculia and adopt these practical strategies:
Manage It | Conquer It | Fix It | To Do | How to Learn Math | Accessing Math | Appreciating Math | Best Math Tools 
Understand Place Value with Money graphic

Dyscalculia.org has developed free money lessons to use with students to teach these concepts: counting, place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, decimals, fractions, negative and positive numbers, rounding, estimation, long division, trading up, and pre-algebra. See:  Money Lessons.  Our Language of Math & Money Lessons
Watch a video explaining dyscalculia symptoms and global research.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Thank You for the Consultation!

VISITORThank you so much for your consultation!  My daughter and I were in separate rooms during the phone call so I couldn't see how she was reacting.  She was so relieved and excited when she got off the phone with you.  We both agreed that we wished you lived here.😀. You have a way of making her feel comfortable, and not stupid, but motivated at the same time. 
I ordered the Math on Call book, but have been wrestling with my computer, so we haven't been able to start anything yet.  She's at a church youth event today and has to buy her own dinner, which always makes her nervous.  She was wishing she had been able to work on something, but said she will just give the money to the waitress and hope for the best.  Thank you for encouraging her!!  I am so grateful for you.

DYSCALCULIA.ORGRead Math on Call for fun. Read math glossaries and illustrated dictionaries for fun. Get math books from the library. Illustrate, map, form an opinion, and talk about the math and the math language in what you read. Start figuring out tips, sales tax, and discounts using dimes and pennies. Carry a pouch of coins and small bills with you to figure things out.  You are going to be smarter than a math teacher pretty soon. Teach it to own it! You've got this! 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Math Limits Me - But I Can Write!

VISITORA very bright and creative older adult I just needed to be reassured that I am not yet crazy. I have lived with extremely limited mathematical ability all of my life. It affects me in many ways - it's hard to hold a job, keep from getting cheated, remember birthdays and to pay bills. I can write books, tell stories and almost anything involved in the arts including singing, but I cannot remember the words to anything and never have.

DYSCALCULIA.ORG: Try reading, "A Mind for Numbers, How to learn math and science, even if you flunked Algebra" by Dr. Barbara Oakley. Dr. Oakley flunked out of high school math and science and later in life, figured out how to learn math, and became an electrical engineer and then college professor. She shows you how she went from not being able to tell time on a face clock, to successfully tackling math.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Dyscalculia Dx Rejected by College

VISITOR:  I am working with a young man with severe dyscalculia—who is having problems getting into a 4 yr college.  His psychiatrist has diagnosed him with a mathematics disorder—but the school is not accepting it.

Is there a specific test that can be done, to help him prove he has the disability so he can get the math waiver and still graduate with a BA?     Thank you for your assistance.  
         - California Department of Rehabilitation Worker
DYSCALCULIA.ORG:  The school cannot deny that he has a disability. They can request that his documentation meet certain requirements, but once met, they cannot refuse to accept that he has a learning disability. They do not have to grant a math waiver, if math is integral to his course of study. Please see this document about Best Practices for College Math Course Waivers and Substitutions, and our waiver and substitution page.  He can also file a complaint with the OCR using this form. The school should also have an appeal and grievance policy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Special Ed Teacher Needs Math Help

VISITOR: I just found this site and I am a bit overwhelmed. I have been teaching students who have been identified as having learning disabilities for about 30 years. Some I have real questions about. I do know they are behind their peers academically. Most have “gaps” in their learning that I have tried to help them with by using different methods or just having them in smaller groups.  Math is an area that I would like to learn more about to help my students, I am currently working with third and fourth grade students who have difficulty with all basic operations especially regrouping in addition and subtraction.  Multiplication is very difficult for my fourth graders. I have tried different strategies, but I feel I need something else. Can you recommend something that I can use or something I can read?  One student has me really confused when she is doing multiplication.

Thank you, I would appreciate any help you can give me,
-Elementary Resource Teacher in South Carolina 
DYSCALCULIA.ORG: 1. Substitute constructive assessments for cumulative paper tests: student creates instructional lessons as video, animation, slides, Webs, illustrations, demonstrations. Grade with rubric.

2. Math exams & practice: single digits, simplify, use handbook, reference, examples, or take-home

3. Extended time (3x) for math learning, assignments, assessments, courses, "independent study.

4. Proof of mastery before testing, and ability to retest until > 80% mastery is achieved.

5. Allow multiple opportunities to succeed on tests, practice, quizzes, projects.

6. Preview lessons with instructor. Get detailed homework and test feedback.

7. Supervised 1:1 exams for monitoring of unconscious dyscalculic/retrieval/procedural errors.

8. Halve number of practice problems and exam items; simplify, single digits, test only practiced.

9. Mandatory calculator use to learn, practice and test (w/ audio feedback & earbud).

10. Color-code to organize; isolate digits/rows/columns; use graph paper to minimize errors.

11. Always talk through, illustrate, and demonstrate quantitative ideas for learning, practice, and tests.

12. Pass-fail grading for math classes, to prevent disability's impact on GPA.

13. Change grades in failed math courses to FAIL and recalculate GPA to mitigate impact.

14. Assistive Technology for math & writing tasks: [talking] calculator apps, programmed instruction, visualization and organization apps, drag & drop apps, digital texts, speech-to-text tools, proof reader.

15. Study the language of math (affixes, morphology, syntax, decoding & encoding.)

16. Avoid unproductive, frustrating, stressful instruction and methods; seek alternatives.

17. Earn transferrable college math credits before high school graduation: transition plan.

18. Tier 2/3 RtI/MTSS intensive remediation - 30 min x 5 days/week: place value w/ money.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Math Disability, No GED, No Degree

VISITOR:  Yes. I am 42 and I still do not have my GED. I have tried and failed. I was in Special Education classes in Junior High School. I always had a very difficult time with Arithmetic and Mathematics. I was told that I simply had a mental block. I've been trying to study for my GED again and I finally decided to search the internet for information about my extreme inability to comprehend mathematics. I found this website. I took community college courses in psychology. I scored higher on some of the exams than anyone else in the classes. I was told by my psychology professor that I could certainly acquire a Masters Degree in psychology but since there was no way I could complete the advanced mathematics classes and did not have a GED I could not continue progressing in the class. I watched the video entitled "Dyscalculia Signs & Research" and the people there with dyscalculia were doing exactly what I have always done. Counting the dots one by one. Adding on their fingers like me. Making all sorts of marks and equations on the scratch paper and counting out the numbers to do multiplication problems. I also do not have any memory for mathematics and always end up forgetting how to work through basic multiplication and division problems. I cannot visualize the numbers and the problems at all. I can't comprehend even basic fractions. I am certain that I have dyscalculia. I am here to fill out the checklists and to begin seeking ways to be tested so that the system can't railroad me anymore with mathematics that I am not competent at understanding.

DYSCALCULIA.ORG:  Psychology will require statistics.  You can get from here to there, but quite differently than others.  You will need intensive and specific accommodations and academic adjustments.  First get tested so your disability is legally documented. Then prepare for the GED.  Apply to a college that will accommodate your dyscalculia. Although all colleges should, few know what to do.  Start here: 
Here's some helpful information for beating dyscalculia:

If you need diagnostic testing, see:  Testing by Dyscalculia.org

Monday, September 19, 2016

Number Switches but Generally Good at Math...Is it dyscalculia?

VISITORAfter doing some research I think I could potentially have a form of dyscalculia. While I am not 100% sure by any means I wanted to contact someone to see what's going on with me. 

To start I have always been fairly decent at math, it does take me a little bit to process the information but I am actually able to get by and don't have too much of an issue solving complex problems (I even took a test to see if I have dyscalculia and got a 100% correct on it  in a short amount of time without even struggling).
The issue I tend to have is what I could only call a jumbling of numbers. I regularly see a number and flip the numbers around. For example; just today I ran a deposit at my bank and ran it for 257.68 I saw the transaction was out of balance and couldn't figure out why. I had to look again and saw that it was actually 258.67. 
This happens quite frequently where I see one number and then realize that I somehow rearranged the order of  some of the numbers and got a different similar set of numbers. I find if I take my time and really pay attention and concentrate on what I am looking at  with each individual number I am fine. 
As someone who is good at math I find it really frustrating to have this issue, especially when I get things wrong because I misread normal numbers. Is this a form of dyscalculia or is it something else? 

Your logic, reasoning, directional sense, sequential memory, memory for math facts and procedures,  and even your working memory must all be sufficient to perform complex quantitative tasks. Your problem seems to be isolated to digit processing. So while you eyes see fine (perception), the order of the digits is not entirely fixed. The visual impression of the numbers is somewhat weak or ambiguous, and during processing, the brain recalls them inaccurately when it comes to taking action on them, like during thinking about, reading, speaking or writing the numbers. 

Knowing that you are prone to this processing glitch, you must triple check place value by isolating numbers and thinking, "8 pennies, 6 dimes, 7 dollars, a fifty, and two hundreds...less than 300." Then look at the whole number and say it, "two hundred fifty seven and 68 cents."  Isolate the digits and compare again after you have written or entered them. In other words, because the brain receives WEAK impressions of numbers, you need to DELIBERATELY pay attention to the order of the numbers and articulate some judgement or opinion about them. Triple check, and assure accuracy.  When there is no room for error (like when something is being sent to the printer), ask someone to check your numbers for accuracy to avoid costly mistakes. And just admit it, sometimes you unconsciously make digit sequencing errors, like some other people make spelling errors. 

It is a very common characteristic of dyscalculia, which contributes greatly to inaccuracies and frustration.  You are lucky that you don't have all of the other conditions that further frustrate number processing and performance.

Dyscalculia in Finland

VISITOR:  What's going on with dyscalculia in Finland?

DYSCALCULIA.ORG: Here are some Dyscalculia References in Finland:






Dyscalculia at 48 and in college?

VISITOR:  I am close to tears, yet very excited!  I am a 48 year old woman, who can not do math. I have dealt with this my entire life, and always thought that there was something so very wrong with me! I think I may have dyscalculia. I am attending college right now working on getting my Bachelors degree in General/Special Education, and had my first math course in June, which I was unable to complete after the first 2 weeks, and had to withdraw due to complete confusion, and anxiety. I need help. I never pursued my dream of a college degree, because I knew that I could not pas the math and science. Please help me if you can I need to know what to do, and I just happened upon the website when I was doing some reading on LD and I did not even know what dyscalculia was!  Any information/direction  you can give me would be so greatly appreciated.
DYSCALCULIA.ORG: In order to get assistance with dyscalculia in college, you must be formally tested and have any learning disabilities properly documented. For complete instructions, see: 
  LD assessment by Dyscalculia.org  and College & Dyscalculia 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

No Understanding of Time or Numbers, but As & Bs in Other Subjects.

VISITOR:  I am the parent of  a 12 year old who enjoys reading, but has a lot of difficulty with retaining and recalling basic math facts. She is able to understand math concepts, such as how to find the square root of a number, but spends an extraordinary amount of time trying to recall answers to even simple math facts, such as 5x5 or 2+8. 
It is hard for her to identify and use place value, or to group like numbers. She also struggles to identify time in any form, estimate the passage of time, or make plans based on time. For instance, if she wanted to bake cookies to take to an activity 2 hours in the future, she would be unable to estimate if she had time enough to do so, even when provided with information about how long it would take to prep and bake the cookies. 
While doing math problems, she becomes frustrated or distracted, as it takes a long, long time for her to complete assignments and tests. This is not helped by the fact that she seems unable to comprehend the passage of time; she may struggle with a problem for 30 minutes without seeking help, later to discover much more time has passed than she realized and she is far, far behind her peers in her work. 
In the past, we have tried intensive work to memorize math facts, which has created anxiety and resulted in minimal retention. We have set timers to help her regulate work, but she is frequently shocked when the timer rings--to her, little to no time has passed. 
The most effective intervention has been when teachers decrease the number of problems she needs to complete on an assignment; having fewer problems tends to decrease her anxiety and increase her overall productivity. Despite her difficulties with recalling math facts and telling time, she is a hard working student who earns A's and B's.

DYSCALCULIA.ORG:  (1) Email the principal to request testing for learning disabilities, with a focus on math.  (2) In addition to testing, make sure the school gives her Tier 2 intensive remedial math instruction for 30 minutes per day using methods proven effective with weak math learners.  (3)  If the school refuses to test her, tell them you will file a complaint.  (4) Use our Money Lessons to teach place value and basic math understanding. (5) See this information take charge of dyscalculia: Manage It  | Conquer It  | Fix | To Do  |  Remediation | Accessing Math  |  Appreciating Math  | Best Math Tools.  

Friday, September 2, 2016

Computer Programming with Dyscalculia

I am looking for help in overcoming my anxiety and improving my math skills. I am a front end developer skilled in HTML and CSS. I rely on my visual / artistic skills to connect the code to the outcome. As the industry become javascript and functional programming heavy, I need to be able to keep up. I am hitting very familiar walls when I try  to learn the basic programming concepts of these, and other, languages. They rely on abstraction and the ability to remember sequences. 
My math disability symptoms: (b) Mistaken recollection of names. Poor name-face association. Substitute names beginning with same letter., (c) Inconsistent results in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Bad at financial planning and money management. Too slow at mental math to figure totals, change due, tip, tax., (d) When writing, reading and recalling numbers, these mistakes may occur:  number additions, substitutions, transpositions, omissions, and reversals., (e) Inability to grasp and remember math concepts, rules, formulas, sequence (order of operations), and basic math facts (+-x/)., (f) Poor memory (retention & retrieval) of math concepts- may be able to perform math operations one day, but draw a blank the next! May be able to do book work but then fails tests., (i) Difficulty grasping concepts of formal music education. Difficulty sight-reading music, learning fingering to play an instrument., (j) Difficulty with motor sequencing, noticeable in athletic performance, difficulty keeping up with rapidly changing physical directions like in aerobic, dance, and exercise classes. Difficulty with dance step sequences, muscle memory, sports moves., (k) Difficulty remembering how to keep score in games, like bowling, cards, etc. Often loses track of whose turn it is. Limited strategic planning ability for games like chess., (l) Experiences anxiety during math tasks., (m) Uses fingers to count.  Loses track when counting.  Cannot do mental math.  Adds with dots or tally marks., (n) Numbers and math seem  like a foreign language.

DYSCALCULIA.ORGIt is great that you do HTML and CSS. Since it is markup, it seems easier than programming. There are several great JavaScript tools, so use them to help instead of programming from scratch. Search for a JS to do a certain job, copy and paste the code and carefully change the variables inside the code. You are already exercising your sequential memory with HTML and CSS, so you are going to try to extend it.
          Try these for coding:
Here's some helpful information for beating dyscalculia:

  Manage It  | Conquer It  | Fix | To Do  |  Remediation

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Elevate is an app that helps with my dyscalculia.

VISITOR:  I am writing to let you know about an app that I am finding revolutionary. It's called Elevate, and it had simple games like "measurement" in which you double 1 1/8, but the great part is you enter it in terms of circles and fractions of a circle. In a another game called "estimate" you do mental addition to approximate the sums of several values like 8.99, 4.19, and 5.60. In this game you scroll along a number line to enter your answer. I find the motor and visual aspects of these games very helpful for the development of number sense and find myself making fewer arithmetic mistakes in math class. I've also used Danica McKeller's math books with a great deal of success. She uses a great deal of metaphor, visualization, and verbal rather than symbolic representation. 
I hope this is helpful for your other clients! 

DYSCALCULIA.ORG: Thank you! These resources are available on Dyscalculia.org. The Elevate App can be found on our BEST TOOLS list. Danica's books can be found in our Teens Get Math Bookstore.

Monday, June 27, 2016

In Medical School with Dyscalculia

VISITOR: I have always struggled with math and physics for as long as I can remember. I was able to cope with it until year 4 and afterwards I was repeatedly bottom of my class for those subjects although I was always towards the top in almost all other subjects. My key observations are, I can never remember the multiplication tables no matter how hard I try even though I have a great memory for other things ( I am now in medical school and have good memory for other things such as anatomy, embryology etc). I also struggle with checking the balance after shopping or splitting bills with friends. I have a physics exam coming up in university ( considered one of the easier modules in medical school, but it is my personal toughest) and I noticed over the course of doing about 90 sums - I jumble up numbers ( 512 as 521), forget about decimals, forget about adding 0's, jumble symbols etc. I also forget what the question is asking during the course of doing the sum and have to go back to it multiple times. Some questions, i understand how to do, but have a hard time explaining in paper. In general I also have a hard time understanding and remembering key concepts in math and physics. My symptoms are much worse when I am tired or nervous but are present even on good days.  I was repeatedly told by teachers and parents that my problems were simply related to carelessness or nervousness. I came to the realisation that my problem might be more deep rooted than that and I would like some guidance as to how I can manage my problems because I have a compulsory physics module coming up which I need to pass in order to get my degree.  
- Shri Lanka 

DYSCALCULIA.ORG:  You can start by reading this advice on managing dyscalculia, conquoring it, and remediating it. 
Fixing Dyscalculia:    Manage It  | Conquer It  |  Remediation | Accessing Math  |  Appreciating Math  | Best Math Tools   And should you seek special accommodations in college in order to pass the courses requiring quantitative reasoning, you should study these resources (the advice is based on college in the USA):  College & Dyscalculia:  College & Dyscalculia  |  Academic Adjustments  |  Accommodations  |  Accommodations vs. Modifications  | Course Waivers  |  Course Substitution and Waiver Guide  |   Advising  |  Algebra Paths  | Books  | Tools  |  Sample letter to DSS |  News  |  College & Learning Disabilities  
        I think you are beyond these courses, but here are some other college-specific tools and           resources: College Tools  |  Calculus  |  Free Courses!  |  Microeconomics  |  Statistics