VISITOR: I'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
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.