Ruskin Mill Trust

Re-imagining Potential

This week we have a guest post from the Ruskin Mill Trust a brilliant organisation who provide specialised bespoke teaching with a focus on practical skills as a form of therapeutic education. This form of education can be beneficial for those with a learning difficulty and certainly will help any student gain the self-confidence to find their place in the world.

‘The measure of success for a student at one of our Ruskin Mill Trust colleges is as wide and diverse as the range of issues and conditions experienced by the young people themselves.’

This is how Aonghus Gordon, the Founder and Executive Chair of Ruskin Mill Trust (RMT), introduced a recent talk about the Vision and Method of RMT, Practical Skills Therapeutic Education.

 Mr. Gordon described three short case studies to show something of the diverse range of outcomes achieved by students at RMT colleges. The first, a student who experiences elective mutism and who continues not to talk who has now learned to express herself confidently through various alternative means of communication. The second, related to a story of a young man who, before attending a RMT college, had been through a series of placement breakdowns and had been a serial non-attender. The student progressed to attending college daily and engaging well with his Study Programme despite always struggling to start the day on time. For the final case study, Mr. Gordon spoke about a student who began his course at a RMT college with no qualifications who has recently graduated from university.

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Stress Management Tips for Seniors with Dyslexia or Dyscalculia

Eepeng Cheong

Stress Management Tips for Seniors with Dyslexia or Dyscalculia

When people talk about dyslexia and dyscalculia, they are usually concerned about how they affect people who are in the developmental stages of life, such as children and adolescents. However, these disabilities can also occur in elderly people. Dyslexia and dyscalculia can make it significantly more difficult for seniors to perform certain activities and live a normal life, resulting in considerable stress and frustration. Here is some useful information on stress management with dyslexia or dyscalculia.

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Dyscalculia: The Secret Behind IKEA’s Product Names.

The Swedish brand IKEA is known all around the world for its affordable furniture and household items. The Quartz news outlet discussed the success story of the brand and its system behind the unconventional products titles. The founder of IKEA, Ingvar Kamprad, who is known to have suffered from dyscalculia. The traditional numeral product codes used in most business seemed like a unending nightmare to him. To avoid the challenging typing of numbers in the computer system, he decided to name his products using letters. This lead to the invention of a naming system referencing specific semantic groups dependently on the range of the product to be titled. For instance bathroom articles are named after Swedish lakes and bodies of water, whereas bed textiles refer to flowers and plants. Today IKEA is famous around the world for its unusual product names such as Grönkulla (for bed sheets) or Knutstorp (for a chair lounge), which positively contribute to the marketing and fame of the company.

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Helping Adults with Mathematical Learning Difficulties

Helping Adults with Mathematical Learning Difficulties

This week’s guest post from educator Sarah Jarvis covers a topic on which it can be difficult to find in-depth information: adult math learning difficulties. We are very pleased to feature Jarvis’s informative article on the Dyscalculia Blog!

There are many reasons adults have difficulties with maths
There are many reasons adults have difficulties with maths. Photo credit: attercop311 via Visual hunt / CC BY

I have worked at Bracknell and Wokingham College in the Learning Support Department for 8 years, supporting those aged over 16 who have maths learning difficulties.  I also taught GCSE and Functional Skills adult maths classes for a number of years.

The reasons that learners leave school at 16 or older without the requisite ‘C’ grade at maths can be numerous.  It is only by understanding the roots of the difficulties, as well as the person’s strengths, that it is possible to assist them to overcome their difficulties.  Assessment is therefore an extremely important part of my job. Read more

Dyscalculia and the Brain

Dyscalculia and the Brain

We are very pleased to feature a guest post from PD Dr. Karin Kucian, associate professor at the Centre for MR-Research of the University Children’s Hospital of Zurich. In her article for the Dyscalculia Blog, Dr. Kucian explores changes in brain function and brain anatomy and how these relate to developmental dyscalculia.

Evidence is growing that Developmental Dyscalculia (DD) is associated with various altera­tions in brain function and brain structure. Recent work in the field of DD has used brain-imaging techniques to study the brains of people performing number tasks. These techniques have allowed researchers to generate high-resolution images of participants’ brains, making it possible to observe brain activation patterns during number processing. Read more

“More Awareness & Training needs to be Provided for Teachers…to aid them in Supporting Children with Dyscalculia”

“More Awareness & Training needs to be Provided for Teachers…to aid them in Supporting Children with Dyscalculia”

Natalie Kerslake, teaching assistant who focused her research on dyscalculia. Natalie spoke with the Dyscalculia Blog on the need for more awareness of dyscalculia in the classroom.
Natalie Kerslake spoke with the Dyscalculia Blog on the need for more awareness of dyscalculia in the classroom.

This week the Dyscalculia Blog interviewed Natalie Kerslake, a teaching assistant who conducted her master’s degree research around dyscalculia. Natalie shared her thoughts on the importance of increasing school resources for dyscalculics and their teachers.

Please introduce yourself to the blog and tell us what motivated you to focus on dyscalculia.

My name is Natalie Kerslake B.A (Hons), MA Ed and I am a primary school teaching assistant, with a particular interest in supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities.

I became motivated to complete my MA Ed research on dyscalculia after supporting a child with this in my first teaching assistant post. I did not know anything about dyscalculia myself at the time and not much was available to support teachers and children in this area. I wanted to investigate the current situation as to supporting children with dyscalculia in one particular primary school, and see whether this was the case in another school. Read more