Last week we were in Manchester at Improving Lives: Autism and Learning Difficulties, a conference by Open Forum Events. It was a true eye-opener and gave us a true understanding of current thinking on the topics from a huge list of expert speakers who have an incredible amount of first-hand experience and knowledge. Not only were there many professionals at the event, but people also shared their amazing and inspiring success stories that showed us how it can be made possible and what needs to be done for a better future of neurodiversity. In this article we have highlighted some of the talks from the event, it was difficult to choose, as the day was crammed with incredible presentations.
What is Dyscalculia?
Dyscalculia affects around 5% of children, a smaller proportion than those affected by dyslexia (the rate of occurrence for dyslexia in the United States is approximately 15%). This has resulted in dyscalculia remaining relatively unknown; many people are not even familiar with the term.
What effect could this have on children with dyscalculia? Imagine struggling every day at school with number problems that your peers master far more quickly than you do. Your teacher is beginning to lose patience with you and your parents think you are just not trying hard enough. They don´t understand that you are trying hard every day, but even basic arithmetic concepts make no sense to you. You are called lazy or stupid or both.
This is the reality for many students with dyscalculia. With awareness of this learning disability still low, children may not be diagnosed as dyscalculic and not receive intervention that could help them succeed in the classroom.
So school begins again for a lot of children around the world and we would like to help them be prepared and gain confidence in their abilities before school starts! This article is mainly targeted for those that have difficulties with maths, but I’m sure everyone will find it useful to warm up those brains.
Now we have written about Numberphile before and its page on dyscalculia with Professor Brian Butterworth of University College London discussing how dyscalculia manifests itself, the signs of dyscalculia, and current research on the topic. It’s a great introduction to and overview of dyscalculia, so take a look if you haven’t seen it yet.
Today we are going to introduce you to a few videos which can get your children prepared and their brains warmed up for going back to school!
The first of the videos is perhaps more suitable for a person at high school level as it involves some algebra, but in saying that the video is very fun and entertaining with some animations helping to describe the maths and theory making it clear and interesting for younger ages.
- Catching Money (Reaction Times)
The second video is a series of fun magic tricks, which is a great activity you can try at home using a strip of paper, two rubber bands and two paper clips. Certainly a great way to show off to your friends and educational!
2. Perplexing Paperclips
In at number three, save time on your school mornings by learning this little mathematical trick to tying your shoelaces ultra quick!
3. Super-fast way to tie Shoelaces
All kids who reverse their b’s & d’s or their numbers have dyslexia or dyscalculia.
Failure to read or do maths is often more to do with the nature of teaching rather than the nature of the child. A child will not develop dyslexia or dyscalculia because he has trouble reading.
Multi-sensory exercises can help struggling students to strengthen their brain activity, but this will not cure their dyslexia or dyscalculia.
It is also not a dietary problem. No amount of healthy green juices, or other wholesome foods will reverse the conditions, but that does not mean you can eat unhealthily! In fact a healthy diet can improve your concentration and may help you control the conditions, so keep eating those greens, its and seeds!
It can be difficult to find much about or for adults on the subject of dyscalculia, previously we had a guest post from educator Sarah Jarvis covering the topic of Helping Adults with Mathematical Learning Difficulties, which is a great introduction to the subject if you have not read it yet.
We have decided to dig deeper on the subject and find more resources and more ways of overcoming this difficulty with maths and here it is: