The Supreme Court took cognizance of the rights of the differently abled and those with learning disabilities in a significant judgment last month. The petitioner, it observed, suffered from dysgraphia (also known as writer’s cramp) and was denied a scribe during the civil service examination because he did not fit the standardised notion of “benchmark disability”.
The ruling may well lead to a better understanding and wider recognition of little-known disabilities such dysgraphia and dyscalculia. The apex court ordered that differently abled citizens be provided with a scribe to facilitate the taking of examinations and directed the Union Government to frame proper guidelines for the purpose.
Read all about it: HERE (scroll down a bit on that page for this particular ruling)
The environments we create and the experiences we provide for young children and their families not only affect the developing brain but also many other physiological systems. Biological systems like the brain and the autonomic nervous system, immune system, heart and gut interact with each other and with the environment and environmental stress negatively influences all of them. Remediation may be possible at any age but outcomes are better and easier to achieve when interventions are provided earlier and more cost effective than trying to fix them later.
This is so cool the Crown Prince of Norway met with people who have learning disabilities.
In the meeting, His Royal Highness said: “It’s not about intelligence at all. It is a disability. If we can manage to facilitate in the right way and find solutions, there is so much good people there – good people that we need in society”.
The maths factor provides some free sample lessons and in our link for today we share the clever trick they use to learn the times table of 3. Children with Dyscalculia are better served with conceptual understanding and working with manipulatives to learn times tables but this trick is just too clever not to share it.
Read the wonderful example in this post from Tony Attwood about how to explain fractions to someone with dyscalculia by doing a little physical exercise. Something they can touch and see. It works better for them this way and brings the true understanding they need in order to be able to relate to the concept later.
From Australia comes the news that they have now implemented a new mandate on how to identify and work with students who are both gifted and have a learning disability, the so-called 2e students.
The traditional way of identifying gifted students was to look at their achievement, but this overlooked students with hidden potential.
Dr Townend said twice-exceptional students need both learning support and enrichment or extension to reach their potential, and supporting the disability in the classroom was essential to level the playing field.
“It’s like giving a wheelchair to a child who cannot walk or glasses to a child who needs glasses,” she said.
People with learning disabilities have often dificultiy to know what is left or right. In our link for today you’ll find a solution by someone, that may be a bit intense for you, but is sure to solve the problem once and for always.
Grandfather Tony Campbell, has taken his 20-year-old maths toolkit, which has helped special needs education professionals nationwide, and adapted it for home-schooling.
The new ‘Maths Home Schooling Kit’, which can be ordered online, contains flexible tables allowing primary school children up to Year 7 to grasp the basics of addition, subtraction, multiplication and fractions.
You may have heard the story that goes around on social media now about the Cistercian monks who invented a numbering system in the 13th century which meant that any number from 1 to 9999 could be written using a single symbol. Wondering what this would do for children with Dyscalculia.
The White Rose Maths (yes from the UK hence mathS) provides us with a great set of home learning videos for primary school. Wonderfully done and although not specific for Dyscalculia, certainly very helpful for your work and as a reteach of what they have done in school.
Given that dyscalculia is a very heterogeneous deficit, studies examining dyscalculia should consider exploring deficits in WM because the whole group of children with dyscalculia seems to contain at least two subpopulations that differ in their calculation process.
The numberdyslexia blog shares with us today a great article about “gamified manipulatives” for first graders. As we always say “games are the new worksheets” this is a great resource and they even put buttons on where to buy them.
So how are those with dyscalculia diagnosed? Diagnostic professionals may look for a number of symptoms. A person with this disorder may . . .
have spatial problems and difficulties aligning numbers into columns.
have trouble with sequences of numbers and concepts (left/right orientation).
confuse similar numbers (in sound or appearance).
have difficulties understanding word problems.
have difficulties using a calculator.
have difficulties with abstract concepts of time and direction.
have difficulties recalling schedules or keeping track of time.
lack “big picture/whole picture” thinking (like the ability to grasp or picture mechanical processes).
produce inconsistent results in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
be unable to grasp concepts, rules, formulas, sequences, orders of operation, and basic addition.
have difficulties with memory (e.g., long-term memory or concept mastery).
The Difficulty of Diagnosis
Still, dyscalculia is not often the first designation a psychologist or a special educator may give a person with this condition. If it can be proven, a person may be diagnosed with a learning disability such as visual processing disorder (since it appears that this condition may be associated) or something else. When there’s nothing else there to definitively prove it’s one of those learning disorders, dyscalculia may be written down as the person’s learning disability if the one area affected happens to be math skills.
Studies suggests that between 4-7% of students have experience difficulty in math compared to 26% of children with ADHD.This may be the result of the working memory, problem solving skills and inattentive skills all characteristics of a student with ADHD
Children face learning difficulties in reading (Dyslexia), difficulties in the language (Dysgraphia), difficulties in Math and calculations (Dyscalculia), difficulty in fine motor skills (Dyspraxia), difficulty in interpreting sound (Auditory Processing Disorder) and difficulty in understanding visual information (Visual Processing Disorder). Research suggests that a learning disability may occur due to genetic causes, neurological challenges, premature birth, poor nutrition or environmental factors. It is also important to note that these children have an average to a high IQ and therefore are not disabled, but just face difficulty with learning. Also, a learning disability cannot be cured completely. However, there are strategies that one can use to cope with.
BWEducation gives us 12 ways to overcome these challenges in our link for today
With all due respect to Robert Recorde who invented the equal sign about 500 years ago, I’m going to suggest to changing it a bit to clarify some things.
As you may know in his book The Whetstone of Witte, Robert Recode got tired of having to write that both sides of an equation were equal so he wrote:
” Instead of using a phrase to convey meaning, he would convey the same meaning with a symbol. What symbol could be more appropriate than a pair of equal-length lines? Nothing, noe 2 thyngs, can be moare equalle.”
In our history of working with children who have dyscalculia for over a decade, we have seen a lot of confusion about the = sign. Children believe it to mean “action” as they see the answers popping up on their calculators when they hit the button marked =. In Robert Recorde’s time there were no calculators to add to the confusion, so the problem never may have occurred to him.
Today we want to present a new design for the equal sign. Something that will make it easier to explain that both sides are in balance, are of equal value, have the same weight.
As you can see we have tried to use an icon of a seesaw, to replace the equal sign. This will remind the children immediately that both sides need to be balanced. The choice of the seesaw is just a little departure from the equal sign but we believe the impact will be large.
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