7 Practical Ways Parents Can Help A Child With Dyscalculia

Many children suffer from learning disabilities, which can affect their ability to understand and process information. Dyscalculia refers to a developmental disorder in which a child has difficulty understanding and performing math. Parents can offer help to their children with dyscalculia by following these steps.

Play With Dominoes

A child can learn simple math concepts by playing dominoes games. Ronit Bird, a specialist in math, says that children should be able to recognize patterns on dominoes or dice rather than counting individual dots. Your child should first be able to use the dominoes or dice on their own, so they feel comfortable with them. Next, discover a game that your child likes and use these items.

Resist using Worksheets

To reinforce math facts, parents should play with their children as often as possible. For kids, games are almost always more fun. These games present math as fun problems to solve, rather than boring concepts to remember. It may be necessary to highlight key numbers in instructions or throughout problems when using worksheets. It may be helpful for your child to have a variety of colored pencils in order to complete worksheets.

Use Manipulatives

A child will be able to see and touch a tangible object, which will make it easier for him or her to grasp abstract mathematics. To teach addition and subtraction, Legos and simple blocks are good options. When working with children, TheSchoolRun.com recommends using a counter. Your child will be able to see different numbers more easily if you cover a certain amount of counters with your fingers.

Learn the Language of Math

Encourage your child to speak out loud as you work through a problem. Math difficulties may be helped by children who have strong language skills. It is a good idea to teach children several synonyms for different math terms. When discussing addiction problems, they might use terms like “plus”, “increase”, and “more than”. Talk to your child about the basics of terms and let them explain each definition. Parents can use the Making Math Real approach to address the problem of symbol imagery to encourage automaticity with multiplication and division facts.

Create Visual Models

This is similar to manipulatives but visual models can be more than just working with simple handheld objects. Understood.org recommends drawing pictures or moving large objects around in a room to clearly explain math concepts. You can even use simple household objects like socks and shoes in different colors to teach subtraction and addition.

Use Accommodations

Accommodations could include anything from giving your child extra paper for solving math problems to circling keywords within math sentences. Some accommodations include extra time for tests or access to a math resource area if one is provided.

Teach Toward Understanding

Although math can be broken down into smaller sections, it is always best to keep the end goal in your mind. While it is helpful to memorize facts, such as multiplication tables, it won’t necessarily lead to a deeper understanding of a concept or process. Begin by teaching your child how to think through a problem using logic, not rote memorization. You can also learn a few strategies that are universally applicable.

Each strategy may not be right for every child. However, a combination of the strategies that work will help a child improve their math skills. Parents should acknowledge their child’s struggles and celebrate the accomplishments of each new skill.