Table of Contents
- What is Dyscalculia
- What are the Symptoms of Dyscalculia?
- Is Dyscalculia a disability?
- Can Dyscalculia be cured?
- How do you treat Dyscalculia?
- About Dynamo Maths
- Is Dynamo Maths right for me and my child?
- What is the Dynamo Maths program like?
- Final thoughts
- Where can I find other ways to help my child?
Most parents today have heard about dyslexia. However not many parents, or teachers for that matter, know about dyscalculia – or know how to help.
That's where we come in. In this article, we'll shed some light on what dyscalculia is, and show you a program that can help. Keep on reading to learn all about dyscalculia plus, discover our Dynamo Maths online review, so you can see if it fits your child’s needs.
What is dyscalculia?
Everyone has bad math days. Dyscalculia, however, is not just a bad day with maths. It is so much more.
Dyscalculia is often referred to as “math dyslexia”, which isn't entirely accurate. It is a completely different condition, that up to 6% of learners have.
Dyscalculia affects the building blocks of numbers. Specifically recalling, acquiring, and applying numbers in their different forms. This is because the learner has very little coordination of different cognitive and sensory pathways.
This means that a lot of information gets jumbled up. We also know that many children with sensory or cognitive problems also suffer from dyscalculia.
Being bad at maths in not an indicator that a child has dyscalculia. Every child has a bad day every once in a while, especially when it comes to maths. However, when the good days are not out numbering the bad? It might not be a bad idea to have your child tested for dyscalculia.
What are the symptoms of dyscalculia?
Symptoms surrounding dyscalculia are associated with having difficulty to:
- Estimate numbers
- Understand mathematical words
- Link maths words to their number (linking one to the number 1)
- Understand fractions
- Learn basic math
- Understand visual representations of math (graphs and charts)
- Remember numbers or postal codes
- Count money or make change
- Tell time or read clocks
- Understand mathematical symbols (+, -, x, ÷)
- Work out number lines
Is dyscalculia a disability?
Yes, dyscalculia is recognised as a legal learning disability. Schools are required to make changes or adapt to accommodate your child. Just like children with dyslexia who get verbal exams, certain changes should be made for children with dyscalculia.
Can dyscalculia be cured?
Like most learning disabilities, dyscalculia is not curable.It is, however, treatable. Learning disabilities are not meant to be cured. Children should be accepted for how they learn, no matter how different it is. Which is why schools need to make accommodations for children. However, sometimes parents need to take it their own hands too.
How do you treat dyscalculia?
There are small steps you as a parent can take. Do not be afraid to approach your child’s teacher. They will probably be able to help you more than you think.
Here are some very simple steps that you as a parent can take to help your child:
- Let your child use their fingers or paper to work things out
- Provide the right tools e.g. easy to use calculators and lots of erasers
- Use music to teach math facts, steps, and names
- Use graph paper to help keep numbers neat
- Draw pictures when doing word problems in math
- Praise the work done, not just the correct outcome
- Teach the management of anxiety
- Incorporate the above and you should see a big improvement!
Exploring your options 🕵️♀️
Not all teachers are equipped to teach learners with dyscalculia. Research online and look at a school that has an alternative approach to teaching. Consider hiring a tutor to help you out. It might also be worth taking a look at Dynamo Maths.
About Dynamo Maths 🧮
Why Dynamo Maths for Dyscalculia?
The Dynamo Maths program aims to support learners who are at risk of dyscalculia. They also help learners who are not performing as well as their peers.
There are 4 stages to the program. They start off with the Dynamo Maths assessment. This assesses whether your child has dyscalculia or just has trouble with math. Next, they work out a plan, which identifies weaknesses and strengths in your child’s maths. The third step is an intervention program. Then finally a review on your child’s progress.
Dynamo maths online gives you access to 5 different reports
- Standardised Scores with Percentile Rank and Number Sense Developmental Profile
- Individual Support Plan with a Scheme of Work and Signposts to Dynamo Intervention
- Assessment Class Summary Report
- Visual report
- Learner’s View of Progress and Performance
These all act as support tools for you as a parent to track your child’s progress through the intervention. The whole program is meant to be positive! It is meant to shape and re-position areas of numbers your child has trouble with.
Is Dynamo Maths right for me and my child? 🤔
If you are concerned about your child having dyscalculia, try out the Dynamo Maths assessment. Even if it is just to determine whether your child has dyscalculia.
Otherwise, if you are not able to pay for the assessment, speak to a counsellor. Your school should have one available to help you determine if dyscalculia is the problem.
There are, of course, other reasons why your child could struggle with maths. Your child could have had a bad teacher in the past. They could have been put into a curriculum that moves quicker than they can.
It is very important not to self-diagnose a learning disorder. That diagnosis might not be supported by a school, so always consult an expert first.
The next question would be whether you, as a parent, can afford it or not. They are not here to bankrupt you! A student assessment is (excluding VAT) £29.99 and after that £121.76 for a whole year. In that year you get full access to the student intervention program.
What is the Dynamo Maths program like?
Investigating the Dynamo Maths Assessment
The Dynamo Maths assessment is offered to students aged 6 to 15. It takes approximately 30 minutes and is available online. It can be used for learners who need to be screened for dyscalculia.
However, it can also be used by teachers for an insight into possible intervention. The Dynamo Maths assessment can also be used to just identify strengths and weaknesses surrounding maths.
Examining the Dynamo Maths Intervention Program
Dynamo Maths makes it very clear that the program is currently only mapped out for students ages 5 to 8. This is seen as the foundational point in maths for many learners. Without this, most learners will always struggle with maths on some level. The program develops number sense and foundational math skills guided by the curriculum.
You, as a parent, have access to over 600+ worksheets, lesson plans and online activities. Dynamo Maths games are also included. All of these resources are meant to encourage small-step development.
With a recommended daily work time of only 15 to 20 minutes. This does increase if you would like to offer a full lesson to your child. Since lesson plans can be as long as class periods in school.
The Dynamo Maths online games are visually and audibly stimulating. They offer both visual and audio versions, as well as combined options. Feedback is instant and encouraging. It motivates self-reflecting for children, with child-friendly score cards and feedback.
You as a parent also have access to everything. You can observe the approaches to the questions and the application of maths vocabulary. How long your child takes, and the number of attempts is also visible.
You can see how your child progresses throughout the whole intervention program, or just that day. The program does stipulate to always remain positive and to try reward children for even the smallest achievement.
Dynamo Maths is addressing and helping children all over the world! When you’re looking at the homepage, the site has an evidence tab. This tab shows how much dyscalculia affects learners of different ages and how Dynamo Maths can help. They have over 3000 students in the UK and Scotland.
There is a graph that shows how students have improved. All the topics within the curriculum for foundational maths are shown and the increase in success is phenomenal. Instead of just claiming to parents and teachers that this program works, they actually show it.
Where can I find other ways to help my child?
Let’s say you have a child outside the age range that Dynamo Maths offers. There are two situations in which you could still look at Dynamo Maths.
The first situation is, when your child is still missing foundational maths. Dynamo Maths can help fill in any knowledge gaps due to things like sickness, moving schools and difficulty keeping up in class.
The second situation is, when a child suffers from other learning disorders which influence their mathematics. As Dynamo Math states, there are many different reasons why children could struggle with maths. If a child has a learning disorder which makes any curriculum move faster than they can? Dynamo Maths could be the support they need. Other learning disabilities can also be supported through Dynamo Maths.
If you don’t find yourself in either of these situations? Speak to your school counsellor, or to a child psychologist. When we look at dyscalculia in older children, other programs might need to be used instead of Dynamo Maths.