Saturday, May 25, 2013

Dyscalculic 7th Grader Reaches Out

I'm right now in middle school, about to finish 7th grade. My entire life, ever since 1st grade, I've struggled tremendously with math. I used to go to special groups for math, because I was way behind everyone else. Every summer I did math workbooks, so I wouldn't be left behind. It took me forever to learn my multiplication, I still count with my fingers, even for simple addition or subtraction. I write down 3 instead of 13. I always fail math, and I feel so stupid. I never understand the lesson my teacher explains, and I can never do my homework without someone to help me the whole time. My teacher will say to do a problem, and I'll sit there not knowing what to do. She thinks I'm helpless, and don't care. I have such a hard time, and I get terrible grades in math. Please help me, I'm going through a hard time! Thanks so much.  
DYSCALCULIA.ORGI am quite impressed with your note! I will help you. I have time to talk if you want to call: 313-300-1901.

The first step is to accept that you have natural math processing limitations that are caused in the brain and which you cannot control or will to get better.  Learn all you can about your problem. 

The second step, is to challenge yourself to TRY to learn and perform the basic mathematical tasks of life using common tools, like your iPhone, iPAD, laptop, etc. 

The third step is to use tools to get through the math required in elementary, middle, high school and college. Check this out and tell me if you'd be willing to try it. You should be doing all your math classes in a program like ALEKS. Your school can set this up for you, or you can do the curriculum as a homeschooler during your math period at school on the computer and use the teacher for assistance. (This requires school cooperation, use as RTI, or a school evaluation for MLD, and an IEP or a personal curriculum). 

Dyscalculia is a specific learning disability in math. Read this to see what that means for you:

See if you can relate to this letter I wrote to my college math teacher almost 30 years ago:

Share  this email with your parents. They need to follow the guidance here:

You have much to look forward to! Understanding your condition will help you live with it successfully. This is a great time to get help! You can take charge of managing your learning and your future. I will help you get the knowledge and power to do that. 

Feel free to tell me more about your talents and interests. 

HELP! 17-year-old with 4th grade Math level

VISITOROur 17 year old daughter has recently been diagnosed with Dyscalculia. She has strong reading and writing skills.  She is currently testing at a 4th grade math level.  Vocational rehabilitation service will provide math intervention services to work on her math skills gap.  We are searching for curriculum, software, and methodologies that would help our daughter.  Any recommendations? 
DYSCALCULIA.ORGAbsolutely. She should cover the state mandated curriculum using the program in order to get her high school diploma and get through the college math required for her degree. ALEKS is the most appropriate for credit recovery. Here are other resources but use ALEKS primarily. ALEKS covers elementary, MS, HS, and college math. Your state rehab department or your school district should pay for the individual subscription which is only $20 month and covers access to all content in the system. A teacher or district or school representative should supervise progress and agree to grant credit toward the diploma or degree based on her progress in the ALEKS curriculum. 

These links contain information on remedial resources:

If you give more detail on her situation I can further advise you. Is she in high school? Has she graduated? Does she have a diploma or certificate or GED? What are her future career plans? Has she ever had an IEP?

Failing GED Test Math Section

VISITOR: I am 34 and keep failing the math portion of the GED test. Please help!
DYSCALCULIA.ORG: Try studying for the GED math using Sign up as an independent student. At is only $20/ month and no books are needed.

GED tours:

Prep for GED Mathematics *

This course covers the topics shown below.
Students navigate learning paths based on their level of readiness.
Institutional users may customize the scope and sequence to meet curricular needs.
Curriculum (320 topics + 33 additional topics) [open all | close all] PDFWhole Numbers and Integers (60 topics)
Rational Numbers (65 topics)
Measurement, Proportion, Percents, and Probability (45 topics)
Variable Expressions and Equations (58 topics)
Functions and Graphs (29 topics)
Geometry (63 topics)
Other Topics Available (33 additional topics)
Other Topics Available
By default, these topics are NOT included in the course, but can be added using the content editor in the Teacher Module.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

School Says Dyscalculia is an Excuse, Doesn't Exist

VISITOR: I am a counseling professional and grandpa of a 6th grader in Arkansas who I know has dyscalculia, but the school dismisses the idea and says dyscalculia doesn't exist and is only an excuse. Where can I have her evaluated for dyscalculia?

DYSCALCULIA.ORGThe school must evaluate her for a specific learning disability in mathematics (they don't have to call it dyscalculia, but that is another term for SLD-M). 

Follow this guidance:  FAQ:    Is it Dyscalculia (Math Learning Disability)?
    Guidance for students age 5 to 21
Let me know if you need assistance. does evaluations, but you should let the school do one at their expense, and if you disagree with their findings, then you can get a second opinion at the school district's expense. Then you may want to have do it, or contact an expert in your area (if there is one). I will do some searching for you.
The parent will start by putting in writing to the school principal (email is recommended), a formal request that she be evaluated for all areas of suspected disability. Use the LD Checklist (under Guidance) to find her weak areas. 
They have 60 days to schedule and complete testing and report the findings to the parents and student. Start now, don't wait for the start of the new school year, even though they will try to convince you to do so. That is a time buying strategy that will result in another wasted year, because they won't schedule her testing until November and then will have delays for vacation days, and before you know it, it will be nearing the end of her 7th grade year. Tell the parents to be persistent and insistent that it gets finished this year. Its not their fault that school let her slide with skill gaps for 6 years already. The school system is responsible to educate her. Have her skill gaps grown or remained consistent on state standardized tests year after year? If so, school is guilty of not recognizing and addressing her learning difficulties. 
Another issue is that school is supposed to identify skill deficits and intervene, then report on the "response to intervention." This is known as RTI and is done before referring a student for SLD evaluation.
So, your questions are:
"What have been the interventions tried and how has she responded?"
"If adequate progress has not been made, then why hasn't school referred her for an evaluation for learning disabilities?"
"What were the specific strategies employed to get her to perform at grade level?"

"How large are her skill gaps?" [chronological age vs. performance age and skill grade level vs, actual grade level].  

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


VISITOR: I am in college dealing with a lot right now and need to know about math course waivers. Pleàse help!

Here is some guidance for you: 

Sample letter to Disabled Student Services:

We look forward to assisting you