ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Can dyslexia affect a child's maths ability?

Updated on June 25, 2015

What implications does dyslexia have for mathematical learning?

Not all children with a diagnosis of dyslexia will experience problems with maths but a high percentage of dyslexics will struggle for the following reasons:

  1. Many children with dyslexia have long term memory weaknesses. This will have an impact on their ability to memorise facts and step by step procedures. Early mathematical learning relies heavily on the memorisation of facts e.g. number bonds to 10, 20 and 100 and the times tables from 1 to 12.
  2. A key marker for dyslexia can be a weakness in working memory. This means that children may find it difficult to hold a question in mind, think about the strategy for answering the question and calculate the answer all at once. The dyslexic child may find that they have forgotten the question before they have managed to arrive at the answer.
  3. Children with dyslexia often experience sequencing difficulties. This means that they may encounter problems with seeing patterns in strings and numbers. This can be further exacerbated by abstract concepts such as telling the time where there are sequences within sequences i.e. the numbers on the clock read from 1 to 12 but the minute hand moves from 1 to 60.
  4. Children with dyslexia may have aural perception difficulties. Maths in school often places emphasis on the child's ability to carry out mental maths. The teacher will ask a question and the child is then expected to work out the answer mentally, there is no written work involved. If a child is struggling with aural perception then this can be extremely difficult.
  5. Visual-spatial difficulties and/or difficulties with left to right orientation may also be experienced by children with dyslexia. This means that they may write numbers in reverse e.g. 21 instead of 12, 32 instead of 23 and individual digits may be written back to front (as mirror images). This problem will be further exacerbated by the fact that when we teach children to read we teach them to read from left to right but the maths strategies we teach them such as column addition teach them to work from right to left. This can be a challenging concept for the dyslexic child.

Maths strategies for dyslexic children

There are many important ways you can support a child with dyslexia who is struggling with maths:

  • If you are a parent make sure that you begin teaching your child how to tell the time from an early age. Buy your child a wristwatch and emphasise looking at the time that events normally happen e.g. dinner time, time of TV programmes, bedtime etc. Teach the time slowly beginning with o'clock and half past and then moving on to look at how to read the minute hand. Telling the time is complex and can have its own challenges for the dyslexic child, if you find that your child is still really struggling by the time they go to high school then the best option may be a digital wrist watch.
  • Times tables can be a difficult concept for a child with dyslexia as they are usually taught in an abstract, verbal way. If a child is struggling with aural processing then this can compound the problem. Options to try are computer games that show times tables visually or flash cards that you can practice with your child for 5-10 minutes a day. Also teach your child practical ways of working out the times tables e.g. show 2 x 5 as two sets of five dots and then count the dots. Using concrete items such as counters will also help.
  • It is of paramount importance that your child learns the basic building blocks of mathematical concepts. The most important basic concepts to teach your child are:
  1. Number bonds for each individual number from 1 to 10 e.g. 1 + 0 = 1 and 0 + 1 = 1
  2. Once number bonds to 10 are known, you can then begin to teach number bonds for 20 and 100
  3. Addition doubles facts to 10 + 10 e.g. 1 + 1 = 2, 2 + 2 = 4 etc.
  4. Counting forwards and backwards from 100
  • Begin teaching your child the days of the week from an early age and remind your child each day what day it is.
  • Once your child has grasped the days of the week then begin teaching the months of the year. Keep a calendar somewhere your child can easily see it as a visual prompt.
  • If your child struggles with visual-spatial difficulties ensure that they have lots of practice writing numbers especially the teens as they can prove a stumbling block for dyslexic children.

Have you found that dyslexia has affected your child's maths ability?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Dyslexia affects a lot of children in the public school setting. It is good to know that these issues can carry over to their performance in math as well.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)