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