This is a guest article from Special Education Teacher Monise Seward, you can find out more about her work on her website – http://www.moniseseward.com/
For the last 8 months, my IG and Twitter posts have focused on two main goals; find (a) Dyscalculia and Dyslexia training; and (b) Math Apps and/or curriculum designed with my students’ needs in mind. Both proved to be challenging and time-consuming endeavours, eventually I found one.
Dyscalculia is the Learning Disability you’ve probably never heard of, despite the fact that 5-10% of the population has it. Based on the challenges non-identified students experience, I believe there are more kids (and adults) with Dyscalculia. We simply characterize their struggles as ‘Math anxiety’; at least, in this country. Based on conversations had with U.S. teachers, few are aware of the existence of Dyscalculia. They are unable to identify the characteristics exhibited by students who may have it. Compounded by a lack of training on Dyscalculia, many teachers adhere to a pacing guide that does not allow time for remediation or accommodations.
It is important to spot signs of dyslexia early. The earlier this learning difficulty is diagnosed, the sooner an intervention can help children overcome it. This list from Dybuster can help you to identify the first signs that your child may need some help. You can also find more information about dyslexia and dyscalculia on their website.
Signs of Dyslexia
When children are first learning how to read and write, they make the same mistakes at varying degrees of frequency. For most children, the mistakes decrease in frequency after a short time and are eventually eliminated altogether. Children with dyslexia, on the other hand, make a significantly greater number of errors than their peers and the problems persist over a long period of time. What is particularly characteristic of dyslexia is the enormous inconsistency of these errors: it is often difficult to establish regular error patterns, and the errors occur without a common factor or any theme.
The following signs can indicate the presence of dyslexia:
Schools that use our learning programs not only use the software for children with learning disabilities, but for entire classes across the school.
The innovative learning programs train the basic skills in spelling and mathematics. They work multi-sensory and adapt individually to each learner. So all students can benefit from it. In order to make the use of our programs in the classroom as profitable as possible, we have put together a few tips, applications and lesson ideas for these schools.
We are looking for primary schools in the UK to trial our Dybuster softwares! You will receive the softwares for free for the duration of the 1 to 3 months. These softwares will help your pupils to tackle their learning difficulties such as dyslexia and dyscalculia in an interactive and fun way. There is no obligation to subscribe afterwards, but we would love some feedback! Interested?
Developmental dyscalculia can be either genetic or environmental and even an interaction of the two. It is a specific learning disability that affects the normal acquisition of arithmetic skills. It is equally common in boys and girls and impacts on 5-6% of the population.
Genetic causes include known genetic disorders such as Turner’s syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, Velocardiofacial syndrome, Williams syndrome. In addition studies suggest that there are genes present in the general population which increase the risk of dyscalculia.
Now I’m sure every parent goes through the stressful shift from primary school to high school and the fears of this change being too much for their child, but there is extra pressure for those with children that have learning difficulties. This is because there will always be a difference between the support your child received at primary school and what’s available at the high school. So we have prepared a list of recommended resources that are suitable for this transition period and for supporting your child throughout their time in high school.
1. Aditi Shankardass – A Second Opinion On Learning Disorders
Aditi Shankardass looks at developmental disorders in children, which are typically diagnosed through the observation of the child’s behaviour. She suggests that it is necessary to not stop there and also study brain reactions. She tells a story of misdiagnosis and how correcting these have transformed children’s lives.
Last week we were part of a very exciting workshop in Manchester, hosted by Roger Broadbent from the Dyslexia Institute UK. The workshop was full of exciting ideas on how to help people who struggle with dyslexia in the Greater Manchester area and beyond. Dybuster was invited to the event to talk about our software Calcularis, software aimed at challenging the difficulties that come with dyscalculia and mathematical anxieties. We spoke about the lesser-known learning difficulty dyscalculia, the problems that come with it in everyday life and how Calcularis can be used to help overcome it.
Dyslexia is a learning disorder that results in reading and writing difficulties. Dyslexia is found in populations around the world, however rates can be particularly high in countries where the written language uses irregular spelling or features combinations of letters with different sound possibilities. English is full of these combinations (such as the ‘ou’ in cough and through) as well as different spellings that all make the same sound (such as the ‘o’ sound in stole, coal, and bowl). It is estimated that 15% of the U.S. population suffers from dyslexia.
Dyslexic people have chronic difficulty with reading, writing, and spelling. Despite being bright and motivated, a child with dyslexia will have great difficulty making connections between spoken and written language. Dyslexics may be intelligent and creative people but suffer from low self-esteem or anxiety brought on by their learning disability.