It is a strange but true fact that while most of us working in schools have come across dyslexic children and adults, many teachers have not had direct contact with anyone who is dyscalculic.
And yet dyscalculia is not only a genetic issue, as is dyslexia, it is also as common within society at large as dyslexia.
So why is it that we don’t come across dyscalculic children as often as dyslexic children?
The reason is probably that many schools recognise that they have a small number of children who are poor at maths because they have missed some schooling or failed to grasp specific lessons.
The nature of the subject, which is of course utterly cumulative, means that some children fail to grasp certain concepts simply because they failed to grasp what went before.
This is, of course, utterly different from English, where the fact that I might not be able to spell “was” does not mean I won’t be able to learn “because”. In maths, however, if I can’t do division I will struggle to understand fractions.
Furthermore there can be social reasons why children do poorly at maths. Missed time at school can be more detrimental in maths than in most subjects, and there seems to be a greater tendency for parents to suggest to their children that they never understood maths at school, so it just “runs in the family”.
In short there are many reasons why dyscalculia might not be seen as a special need but rather as a consequence of parenting, poor attendance, etc. As a result specialist tuition and support may not be given as early as it might be with dyslexia.
Understanding Dyscalculia: An Introduction for Schools examines the five main causes of dyscalculia and sets out the methods of working available which can help pupils overcome their dyscalculic problems. The book contains short sections which can be photocopied to give out to other members of staff in school, to worried parents, and to governors, so that everyone can share in the awareness of what dyscalculia is, and how it can be tackled.
Above all the book shows that once we understand and accept the causes of dyscalculia we can adopt appropriate methods of teaching to overcome the problem. Research suggests that most children who gain appropriate help in school can overcome their dyscalculic difficulties and achieve an acceptable grade in secondary school examinations, thus allowing entry into further and higher education.
The book, which is available in copiable form so that it can be shared with colleagues throughout the school, is published by the Dyscalculia Centre, a leading provider of teaching materials for dyscalculic individuals. The Centre also publishes a range of books for special needs teachers working with dyscalculics, and provides on-line testing facilities for pupils and students who are thought to be dyscalculic.
There is a sample chapter available on-line at http://pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/dyscalculia/T1628.pdf
Cat No: 978 1 86083 614 5; Publisher reference no: T1628emn
- Photocopiable report in a ring binder, £24.95. plus £3.95 delivery
- CD with school-wide rights: £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
- Both the Ring Binder and the CD £31.94 plus £3.95 delivery
- Prices include VAT.
You can purchase the book…