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View Full Version : how much to expect with a child that has learning disabilities?



AmyinWI
10-27-2012, 10:40 PM
I don't even know where to start here.. my soon to be 9 yr old has some learning disabilities ,mostly in the area of math, but other problems as well.
There are concepts she has been taught over and over and over. we are still on very basic math, using manipulatives, fingers, pictures... whatever.... for basic addition. BASIC. and she can find the answer, but not remember it. The only ones she has memorized are a few of the "doubles" 2+2,3+3, etc. so if I said what is 2+1?. .. she might get it on a good day, but mostly likely will say... "ummmm let me think, then she'll count on her fingers". I'm frustrated, I don't know how much to ever expect of her.

Emotionally, socially, cognitively she should be a fully functioning adult at some point. She can read pretty much at grade level. spelling and handwriting are pretty bad. She loves learning about animals and science and can rattle off the most insignificant animal facts ever... but for basic math and writing skills it's just tough.
I'm not so much looking for curriculum help, but more how to set goals with a child that is just so very slow at learning things..?? I just don't know if I'm thinking about this correctly.
Add to this, lately there have been a very circumstances where a "well meaning" adult has given her a math question and expected her to answer right then and there. (not gonna happen!) I just hate it when adults (or other kids) do that to my kids! :unsure:

CINDY LB OH
10-28-2012, 08:14 AM
:group: Amy. It's tough. My ds14 was like that as well. It took him forever to "see" it and I tried all sorts of things in the beginning. We just kept plugging along.

Have you tried any right-brain teaching methods with her?
Dianne Craft has some ideas to get you started on her site. Things that really helped us were putting the dots on the numbers (the touch math idea), it worked wonders with my ds. Also, lots of color and story.

Another suggestion is to put up a 100 chart and use it everyday during math time. And just using everyday math. Letting her help you cook and do stuff in the kitchen. "I only have 3 and I need 4, can you give me one more?" That kind of thing.

My ds would often stump me. He would lots of time come up and say something which would have math concepts in it, and have it correct. But if I would write that problem down, or simply ask him for the answer to the very fact he used, he wouldn't be able to tell me. It was uncanny, and drove me :crazy:

I just kept moving at his pace, but try to keep it enjoyable and fun too. We read lots of living math type books from the library. Having a story element helps by ds a LOT. We played tons of math games, and still do on occasion.

I hope that helps a little. The best I can say is to just keep going at her pace, but don't underestimate what she can understand, even though she doesn't remember it from day to day. My ds was the same way and we both would often get very frustrated. Keep trying new ways and new ideas.
She will eventually get there.

Now that my ds14 has finally moved through adding, subtracting and even multiplying, my plan is to get him through basic algebra (and I'm talking very basic here) by the time he graduates. If he can do the figuring, and know which operation to use, then when he's older he can use a calculator if he wants. That's pretty normal these days since most people have that on their phones or other devices.

I think the biggest for us has been the right brain strategies. We also use Craft's Brain Integration Therapy, and the last 2 years we used a program called Audiblox. He has made a huge leap the last 2 years because the program helps with memory and retention.

ShelleyW
10-28-2012, 09:03 AM
I agree with Cindy. Give some right-brain math activities a try. They have been helpful to my children. I know what you mean about adults asking kids "school" questions. That really bothers me. I don't remember any adults doing that to me but I have a family member that does it everytime she sees my kids. Luckily we don't see her that often!

Cori
10-28-2012, 09:19 AM
This is a good question and one I've asked myself with my son who has dyslexia! It sounds like that might be what your daughter has??? You might google dyscalculia.

Now with our son, we are looking for progress. As long as he's making progress I am happy with the what he is doing.

I like this book as it has many easy ideas in it for presenting information in a different way.

http://www.amazon.com/Big-What-Book-Learning-Styles/dp/1932096604

Have you tried playdoh and having her roll out the number sentences? Maybe she needs a more hands-on way to learn. We also use an abacus. And Arithmetic Village should be selling their 2nd edition soon (only on facebook). That is a fun method for learning the 4 processes.

Lindsey Carter
10-28-2012, 09:50 PM
You have received some good advice so far. I look for progress and I look for understanding concepts (not necessarily memorizing facts). In general I spend some time on math facts, but I don't stop there or we might never move past it! I make sure they learn the steps (like how to add or subtract with regrouping/borrowing, how to do long division, etc) and if they still don't know the facts we look at ways to get around it. We've generally use manipulatives at first. We also will draw a picture , or start with a fact we know and go for there. We count on fingers and toes, make tally marks, etc. I graduated from college (including 3 math classes) and got through standardized tests this way as I couldn't seem to memorize math facts.:) For daily work I frequently allow the use of a hundreds chart, number line and or list of math facts. Sometimes we use calculators too. I've found that actually repeated uses of these things help in learning the math facts with the added benefit of not holding the child back. I would continue to look for understanding (able to solve a problem on his/her own using manipulatives or drawing) and then move forward from there.

WendyW
10-28-2012, 10:22 PM
Similar issues here. My son is unable to pull info out of his memory on demand. It takes SOOOO much repetition before it becomes automatic.

Learn to tell the difference between understanding concepts and memorizing info. Let her use "crutches" for the info, while progressing through the concepts. This is contrary to most hsing advice. We are told by mentors that they must master each level of math facts before moving on, but if I had followed that advice, my son would be years behind in math. Use printed addition and times tables and let your child keep one at hand to use as needed. At the same time, do some kind of facts drill daily. Speed drills are one method, but math drill games (http://store.rightstartmath.com/mathcardgames.aspx) are much more fun.

Identify the things she absolutely must be able to answer automatically: full name, address, phone number, parents names, etc. Spend your effort on getting these memorized. The list will change as she grows. Eventually adding things like days of the week, months, other things that really must be automatic for daily life. My ds is 13, and we still occasionally drill these basic things to be sure they are still "stuck".

AmyinWI
10-28-2012, 10:27 PM
This is a good question and one I've asked myself with my son who has dyslexia! It sounds like that might be what your daughter has??? You might google dyscalculia.
http://www.amazon.com/Big-What-Book-Learning-Styles/dp/1932096604

Have you tried playdoh and having her roll out the number sentences? Maybe she needs a more hands-on way to learn. We also use an abacus. And Arithmetic Village should be selling their 2nd edition soon (only on facebook). That is a fun method for learning the 4 processes.
SHe does not have dyslexia. Dysgraphia/dyspraxia and dyscalculia. :unsure:

I like the play doh idea- but with her dyspraxia (fine motor problems) it would take her an hour to do one math sentence in play doh. I'm not kidding either.

AmyinWI
10-28-2012, 10:34 PM
:group: Amy. It's tough. My ds14 was like that as well. It took him forever to "see" it and I tried all sorts of things in the beginning. We just kept plugging along.

Have you tried any right-brain teaching methods with her?
Dianne Craft has some ideas to get you started on her site. Things that really helped us were putting the dots on the numbers (the touch math idea), it worked wonders with my ds. Also, lots of color and story.

Another suggestion is to put up a 100 chart and use it everyday during math time. And just using everyday math. Letting her help you cook and do stuff in the kitchen. "I only have 3 and I need 4, can you give me one more?" That kind of thing.

My ds would often stump me. He would lots of time come up and say something which would have math concepts in it, and have it correct. But if I would write that problem down, or simply ask him for the answer to the very fact he used, he wouldn't be able to tell me. It was uncanny, and drove me :crazy:

I just kept moving at his pace, but try to keep it enjoyable and fun too. We read lots of living math type books from the library. Having a story element helps by ds a LOT. We played tons of math games, and still do on occasion.


Thanks for the ideas- I have looked at Diane Craft's website but haven't ordered anything yet.
The other day I was asking M a simple math question. "What is 2+3?" she had unifix blocks in front of her. She could NOT answer my question.. but in talking through it said..." well... 2+2+1=5" I was surprised that she could figure it out that way. I just don't know how her brain works!!?

AmyinWI
10-28-2012, 10:37 PM
Similar issues here. My son is unable to pull info out of his memory on demand. It takes SOOOO much repetition before it becomes automatic.

Learn to tell the difference between understanding concepts and memorizing info. Let her use "crutches" for the info, while progressing through the concepts. This is contrary to most hsing advice. We are told by mentors that they must master each level of math facts before moving on, but if I had followed that advice, my son would be years behind in math. Use printed addition and times tables and let your child keep one at hand to use as needed. At the same time, do some kind of facts drill daily. Speed drills are one method, but math drill games (http://store.rightstartmath.com/mathcardgames.aspx) are much more fun.

Identify the things she absolutely must be able to answer automatically: full name, address, phone number, parents names, etc. Spend your effort on getting these memorized. The list will change as she grows. Eventually adding things like days of the week, months, other things that really must be automatic for daily life. My ds is 13, and we still occasionally drill these basic things to be sure they are still "stuck".
Thanks- I have never been a big advocate of math fact memorization and math drills, but I think I need to change my thinking with this child.
she DOES have all her personal information address, phone # memorized... so I know she CAN do that sort of thing. She can even memorize a lengthy poem or Bible verse. It's just the number things that mess her up alot.

Esther-Alabama
10-28-2012, 10:51 PM
My oldest son has dysgraphia. I decided when he was 9 to continue working on his weaknesses, BUT to move ahead with adaptive technology and assistive devices.

For instance, I used a keyboarding computer program and we taught him to type. It took 8 weeks for him to become a competent typist. Then, I purchased a software called WordQ that is word prediction software. It allows him to type the beginning of a word and the software gives 6 or more words to choose from based on the context of the sentence. Tis has helped him to begin to write so much easier.

I also signed him up for BookShare and for Learning Ally, which provide him with audio books and ebooks and computer programs to read these to him.

While doing these things, we continued to work on reading , spelling (using All About Spelling) and math. He often used a math facts chart and blocks to build his math problems.

Now, as far as how you monitor progress.....I measured it in very small and specific goals. For writing, I'd go one letter at a time. Does the letter sit on the line? Does the letter stay inside the correct space? Is the curve rounded correctly?

I hope this helps somehow.

Cori
10-29-2012, 11:38 AM
My oldest son has dysgraphia. I decided when he was 9 to continue working on his weaknesses, BUT to move ahead with adaptive technology and assistive devices.

For instance, I used a keyboarding computer program and we taught him to type. It took 8 weeks for him to become a competent typist. Then, I purchased a software called WordQ that is word prediction software. It allows him to type the beginning of a word and the software gives 6 or more words to choose from based on the context of the sentence. Tis has helped him to begin to write so much easier.

I also signed him up for BookShare and for Learning Ally, which provide him with audio books and ebooks and computer programs to read these to him.

While doing these things, we continued to work on reading , spelling (using All About Spelling) and math. He often used a math facts chart and blocks to build his math problems.

Now, as far as how you monitor progress.....I measured it in very small and specific goals. For writing, I'd go one letter at a time. Does the letter sit on the line? Does the letter stay inside the correct space? Is the curve rounded correctly?

I hope this helps somehow.

It helps me, thanks! I'm looking at Word Q and Learning Ally now...

AmyinWI
10-30-2012, 09:12 PM
and the last 2 years we used a program called Audiblox. He has made a huge leap the last 2 years because the program helps with memory and retention.


can you tell me more about this program? How does it work, How much time in your day does it take? Is it something to tie in with the rest of the school day, or a separate thing I'd have to add in? Is it something I can use with more than one child? (my 6yo seems to have the same learning difficulties from what I can tell so far)
I looked on the website but it's a little confusing to me.

JoyMarie
10-31-2012, 11:07 AM
I bought the program (and still have it on a shelf somewhere) to use with my kids with processing problems, ADHD, and FAE. I used it with my then 12 year old and I did see some progress with it. The big problem with it is that it takes 45 min. to an hour a day of one on one time with each individual. I have a lot of kids and could not do this. I was hoping to use it with everyone at once, but that is not how it works. Even an hour a day with one in a quiet room while my other kids were unsupervised did not work for us, so it was shelved.

ShelleyW
10-31-2012, 12:50 PM
I bought the program (and still have it on a shelf somewhere) to use with my kids with processing problems, ADHD, and FAE. I used it with my then 12 year old and I did see some progress with it. The big problem with it is that it takes 45 min. to an hour a day of one on one time with each individual. I have a lot of kids and could not do this. I was hoping to use it with everyone at once, but that is not how it works. Even an hour a day with one in a quiet room while my other kids were unsupervised did not work for us, so it was shelved.

I had this problem too, not with Audiblox but with Dianne Craft's reading program. She recommends 45 minutes a day to see results. Dh and I hired a babysitter a few mornings a week to watch my littles so I could work with my 8 and 10 year olds. Dianne was right. My dd 10 gained 2 years of reading in about 9 months. My son gained about a year but he had less ground to make up. It was soooo worth the expense. I balked at the idea initially but we just did without in some other areas to make it work. I know it might not work for everyone but this was much cheaper than hiring a private tutor which I eventually would have had to do.

Jennifer in VA
11-01-2012, 07:32 AM
What do you do about other subjects then? Meaning, do you drop everything but reading, basic math, and writing? Trying to focus on "therapy" related type stuff and some stuff, I am spent after a few hours and not sure how to get it all in.

Cori
11-01-2012, 11:37 AM
What do you do about other subjects then? Meaning, do you drop everything but reading, basic math, and writing? Trying to focus on "therapy" related type stuff and some stuff, I am spent after a few hours and not sure how to get it all in.

I've been wondering this too. We are in cub scouts and 4H this year, and lego robotics, and other activities. Learning to read, spell and write is taking all his energy for academics. I really need to fit in some narration so I'm going to start with 15 minutes.