Dyslexia and Math are strange bedfellows; it has been seen that children who suffer from dyslexia including teens have some or the other problem in Math especially with regards to multiplication, decimals, fractions, ratio, percentages and statistics. Smith Ronalds, a teacher who has trained a lot of students with learning disability says, “ Not able to understand Math problems can be another downer on a child’s self-esteem, especially the one who has Dyslexia. However, do not forget that the most brilliant thinker and Mathematician ever, Albert Einstein; was punished by teachers for what they considered as a mathematical blunder of a person. But his early childhood did not come in the way of this person who later changed thinking with Theory of Relativity.”
Dyslexia students find it challenging to get numbers in the right sequence and then reverse it. Since they also may have short-term memory, they are not able to get their multiplication tables right. Smith says, “ Let the student understand one concept thoroughly before moving on to the other one. For instance, do not teach counting backwards and confuse him or her, till they are able to master basic counting.”
One of the best methods to make dyslexic students comfortable with numbers include the multi-sensory approach that shows students how to read and understand. This approach is introduced in the form of a game, making it a fun activity with breaks, if needed.
Let’s say you want the student to know how to count to 100. So what you can do is arrange 10 marbles in a line on the floor. Place a marker after every ten marbles. Keep ten sets of marbles in different colors to make it easy for the child to understand them Similarly,you can let them count by fives. This can actually help the child with his multiplication and even give him knowledge of time.
Do not restrict counting to numbers on a book, you can help the dyslexic child count cars along the road or stairs as they climb. You can have a child open his palm and let him look at the shape of 8 and 6 to let him get the feel of the curve of the numbers and relate to the digit.
Multiplication and division for Dyslexic Child
Multiplication can be quite a task for the child to learn So in order to make them understand multiplication tables, you can help the dyslexic child with five pair of items like toys, shoes, gloves as long as the pairs are same. Keep the pairs in front of the child, show that there are two items in every pair, four items in two pairs etc. So when the child sees four pair of items having ten items, you can tell the child by putting it down on paper: 4×10 means. The multiplication game Bingo can be very good for dyslexic children to understand multiplication tables. You can help the child win games to build their self-confidence.