Thursday, April 28, 2016

School testing says, "No math problem!" Not true!!!

VISITOR:  I have several questions about appropriate assessment tools used to identify individuals with dyscalculia. My daughter is a 3rd grader, who has been struggling in math throughout the entire school year. When observing her I notice that she struggles with making numbers make sense, for lack of a better term. She doesn't seem to be able to compute multi-step problems and make connections of step by step orders of operations. For example, she knows 3x4 but if you implement the number fact into a word problem, she unable to make the connection that it's 3x4, instead she may add the two numbers. She is a star student in all other subject areas, but it's math comprehension that she is currently struggling with. I requested for her school to test her for dyscalculia/math disability. The assessment specialist used the Woodcock Johnson, and has stated my daughter doesn't have any type of learning/math disability. I know my child and I know that something is wrong. Do you have any advise? I feel as if I'm getting blown off by the assessment specialist. I just want the right help for my child.

DYSCALCULIA.ORGAt this point, you must DISAGREE with their findings and request an independent evaluation at district expense. I can do that assessment for you or you can contact an educational neuroscience department at a local university.  
Schools are horrendous for identifying LDs and claim they can't use terms like dyslexia and dyscalculia in spite of recent chastising and guidance from the US Department of Education.  

She should be getting 30 minutes a day of remedial math instruction through the  RtI / MTSS program. 

If you'd like me to do an independent review of her case and recent testing, let me know.

Where are you located?

What does US Federal Education Law say about Specific Learning Disability? 

Fixing Dyscalculia:    Manage It  | Conquer It  |  Remediation | Accessing Math  |  Appreciating Math  | Best Math Tools

More about dyscalculia and diagnosis:

Yes, they are avoiding the issue! Fight back!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

An Osteopath Cured Dyscalculia

VISITORThis story was a long long time ago in my past.
I was born with ADHD, as an adult I found a library book called "A Touch of Life" by Robert Fulford, who was an Osteopath who helped many children.  After reading this book I wanted to find an Osteopath. I lived in NYC and in the phone book I found 2 Osteopaths in Manhattan. I chose the Russian Osteopath, Mikhail Volotkin who learned the traditional osteopathy school method of training. Mikhail had a part time private practice and worked at St. Vincents Hospital part time.  When I went into his office I was given a good omen sign, on his wall above his desk was a photo of the D.O. author Robert Fulford.  I received a cranial sacral adjustment and my ADHD symptoms were gone. I felt like a new person.  I also went to my Osteopath for a wrist tendon problem, and a sudden onset of hypoglycemia, which he aligned, adjusted and healed permanently.  I also brought my young daughter to see my Osteoapath. My daughter was born with the math disability, Dyscalculia.  With a cranial sacral adjustment my daughter's Dyscalculia math disability was gone, completely healed. My daughter was born with the cord around her neck. Which I think caused her brain dysfunction. Dr. Fulford says many babies are born out of alignment; that being out of alignment can cause any kind of health issue.

DYSCALCULIA.ORG:  I have not heard of that. I will do some research. Many swear by Osteopaths, and I have had great experiences with D.O.'s who were excellent diagnosticians and healers. It is worth looking into! Thanks for the note! -Renee

Friday, April 8, 2016

Disorganized Reading, Writing, Coordination, Listening

VISITOR: My child loses things constantly, skips letters and words and lines when reading, mixes up letters and numbers, and is very disorganized. Her writing is a jumbled mess, and the school just thinks she has ADHD. Clothes drive her crazy, she hates seams and tags. She fights me on everything! She has trouble following directions. She passed the hearing test, but it's like she doesn't get everything I say to her. Everything has to be repeated over and over! This frustrates everybody. She was premature and was in the NICU for 3 months. She's 11 now. Help!

DYSCALCULIA.ORG: Her symptoms indicate Sensory Integration Disorder (see a neuropsychologist or neurologist), dysgraphia and  dyslexia. I would first take her to see if custom lenses (prism or colored) can correct the visual processing instability that causes her reading difficulties. Read about this on the bottom of the Dyslexia page linked to above. Also get to an audiologist for to investigate Auditory Processing Disorder. An effective treatment program for APD is Fast ForWord. Organization and sequencing disabilities are comorbid with SID, dyslexia, and APD.  If you correct those, sequencing, organization and attention improve. The Orton-Gillingham method significantly improves penmanship, phonological awareness, reading decoding and comprehension, spelling, and reading and writing fluency. 

Take it in stride.  Learn all you can and be prepared to bounce among professionals who only specialize in one area.  A physical exercise program is crucial for continued brain development. Do karate or ballet, or something that regularly involves crossing the mid-line, balance, coordination, and sequential memory. Develop hand-eye coordination and tracking by playing outside: throwing, catching, hop-scotch, jump-rope, darts, yard games, etc.  Also use these apps to develop key skills: 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Thank you for this amazing site.

VISITOR: Just found your site and it is amazing.  My daughter and I both have dyscalculia although I didn’t know why I had so much trouble with math until she started having trouble as well.  I would like to find a program where I can learn and work as a tutor for her.  I have my degree in elementary education but we never covered anything like this.  She has basic number sense and skills.   The biggest area is with word problems.  She, nor I, can parse the words to make sense of the problems.  If you give me straight numbers I’m great.  Thanks for your guidance! 

In general, you will want to talk through word problems, draw pictures to illustrate the word problem and solve it, and focus on the words that give the problem meaning and direction. For accuracy, you want to color code operations (add in green, subtract in red, multiply in blue, divide in black) [think Bic pen]. Use large square graph paper to line up numbers and triple check that you write and say the numbers that are actualy there. Use a calculator to double check your math facts. Highlight the boxes that will contain the numbers carried and borrowed and the answer. You need this visual feedback to keep it all straight. Talk it out, always. You will notice verbal mixups. Accept them and correct yourself and each other. Be aware that this is a natural brain glitch with dyscalculia. Learn to control for it. 
 Look here: