Dyscalculia Tutoring in Houston, TX
What is Dyscalculia?
Dyscalculia is a broad term encompassing severe difficulties with number concepts and mathematics. Many schools do not use the term dyscalculia to diagnose such hindrances in learning because it includes a wide range of areas of struggle. Generally, a student suffering from dyscalculia will have trouble understanding the meaning of numbers and their quantities, basic operations of addition, subtraction, and mental arithmetic. Trying to solve math problems will often partake in common mistakes such as transposing, omitting, and reversing numbers. Because they do not comprehend math concepts, they cannot remember them and therefore cannot build onto them to master more complex math problems. Dyscalculia is often mistaken for solely being an academic problem but has an adverse effect on students’ day-to-day lives because it can lead to confusion with abstract concepts of time and direction, sequences of events, and memory for names. In addition, individuals with dyscalculia are often impacted in their social lives by the simple act of differentiating left from right, dealing with the exchange of money, having trouble learning musical concepts, following directions, and lacking “big picture” thinking.
Dyscalculia Treatment in Houston
Many techniques used in our Educational Therapy specifically target the characteristics of Dyscalculia and help with treatment. Rhythmic Writing improves directionality, the ability to do intermodal tasks, and develops sensory integration. Math Block improves the formation and retention of visual images, mathematical reasoning and logical thinking, and language processing. This same technique also develops the problem-solving ability, mathematical vocabulary, and concepts, and internalizes basic math facts. The Map technique is specifically implemented to improve directionality and long-term visual memory, and our Auditory Memory Training improves short-term auditory sequential memory and develops strategic thinking.
The techniques that we utilize improves students’ academic performance as well as prepare them with skills necessary to function in daily social and settings. A significant part of Rhythmic Writing revolves around the neurological stimulation of students combining multiple cognitive and physical actions. Here, they do mental math during automated arm movements in various motif patterns while verbalizing the direction in which their hand is moving. This trains students to be able to “think, speak, and do” at the same time. Subsequently, students progress toward being able to do basic math calculations with ease, assimilating directions of left and right, building onto hand-eye coordination, and multitasking. Math Block is an entire technique dedicated to improving mathematical skills. We also combine age-appropriate math activities to practice concepts unique to each student’s needs.
As explained, Dyscalculia is broad; one Dyscalculia student’s difficulties vary greatly from another. Depending on which areas each student struggles with, the therapist customizes multiple activities to practice and discuss. Components include counting, patterns, multiples, time, money, place value, rounding, measurement, fractions, percents, decimals, and word problems. In each component, students are encouraged to derive their own solutions and therapists guide them to exploring multiple ways to reach a correct answer. Then, the therapist and the student discuss the various methods. As the therapist guides the student to explain his or her answer and how it was reached, we build onto two skills often deficient in students with Dyscalculia: independent mathematical reasoning and verbalization. As we allow a student to reflect on his/her thought process and put it into words, the student who normally has difficulty organizing thoughts can now sort through and make sense of them. In addition, a key feature of this technique is building onto critical thinking skills and exposing Dyscalulic students to multiple methods in problem-solving. Our goal is to alleviate the Dyscalculic student’s confusion by allowing them to lead themselves to a procedure that works best for them. A student with a learning disability is often mistaken with the notion that he or she cannot learn. We aim to abandon that idea and highlight the fact that everybody learns, everybody just learns differently.
How our Dyscalculia Tutors in Houston help
Complete a dyscalculia assessment with a tutor trained on dyscalculia techniques. Our dyscalculia tutor looks for the following during our assessment:
- Basic number knowledge including the ability to count and knowledge of number facts
- Knowledge on numeracy
- Reasoning about numbers
- The ability to verbalize when solving a math problem
- Competence level when doing the calculation
- Strategies used to solve a math problem
The dyscalculia assessment includes a numeracy profile that covers:
- Number sense and counting
- Place value
- Multiplication and division
- Word problems
- Formal written numeracy
What are some of the tools and techniques used to tutor dyscalculia?
It is important for students with dyscalculia to learn through kinesthetic methods
- Base ten blocks to help with basic counting skills.
- Cuisenaire rods for comparing numbers and doing fractions
- Unifix cubes to teach addition and subtraction
- Counters to demonstrate multiplication and division
- Real coins to demonstrate the actual weight and feel of money
- A small paper analog clock to demonstrate telling time by the hour and minute hand
- Dice to show probability
Dyscalculia Tutoring & Therapy Houston
To help students grasp basic number awareness and quantitative concepts, using lots of manipulatives is helpful. Using concrete objects to coincide with a number will help students build a foundation to build onto, therefore eventually leading to abstract ideas. Beads, beans, plastic figures, household items, and even foods are great manipulatives. Another tip is trying to incorporate basic math into daily conversation frequently. For example, a teacher or parent may ask a student, “Last week you brought your lunch to school 3 days. How many days did you buy your lunch from the Cafeteria?” Allowing students to think out loud while they do math problems is also a helpful strategy. This can include thinking out loud or verbally expressing what they are doing while solving a problem.
Classroom Accommodations for Dyscalculia:
- Providing a quiet testing or working area with little to no distractions
- Occasionally allowing the use of a calculator for specific math assignments
- Providing fact sheets or flashcards to study with and aid in memorization
Allowing students to use scratch work and concrete manipulatives when appropriate.