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Math for Down Syndrome


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#1 coastalfam

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 06:26 PM

My son, age 11, has Down syndrome. He is learning to read by sight, starting to decode some shorter words, he is able to write first name, last name. He has a lot of solid life skills. He can play imaginatively, and has a great sense of humor. He expresses himself very well, and understands what we communicate to him. All of this to say, he is in most areas at a level that is totally incongruent with where he is in math. Math is a total no-go. We will progress a bit, then have a regression that leaves us at square one. Currently he can count to ten, he can recognize quantities to four, and he can count objects a little past 10 sometimes. He can recognize numbers up to 10 fairly solidly, and he can sometimes recognize some of the teen numbers. And all of this depends on what kind of day he is having. If he is "off" math is the first thing to be totally unavailable in his brain. This tells me he does not really understand what he is learning. It's just memorization of something abstract. I have really tried to tie everything to real life, tactile, hold it in your hands type of experience, but obviously, we are still struggling. I am looking into Right Start because their philosophy is evidence based and their research makes sense to me, but the price tag is high for a high likelihood it won't work. What else is out there? I'm just looking for ideas, experience with programs aimed toward people with intellectual disabilities, input on Right Start or other programs. I appreciate it.



#2 maize

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 06:31 PM

I wonder if the Ronit Bird materials would be appropriate? They are designed for kids with dyscalculia and aim at developing basic number sense.

I haven't used them but maybe someone who has will chime in.

I'm not sure Right Start would help a kid who struggles with basic counting after years of effort.

Edited by maize, 05 April 2017 - 06:31 PM.

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#3 Rosie_0801

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 06:36 PM

How about Rosie's c-rod vids?

 

http://www.educationunboxed.com

 

 

I think I played youtube counting vids daily for about 9 months before my dd got the hang of counting.



#4 Kinsa

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 06:40 PM

I don't mean to insult your intelligence or your experience, but have you seen Teaching Math to Children with Down Syndrome? https://www.amazon.c...h down syndrome

#5 coastalfam

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 06:53 PM

I don't mean to insult your intelligence or your experience, but have you seen Teaching Math to Children with Down Syndrome? https://www.amazon.c...h down syndrome

 

Not insulted at all. :) I have that book, although the one you linked to looks like a new edition. That book is my current "curriculum". I use the book to inform me on what level my son is at and what to teach next, and I use the ideas therein, but we are still having these big regressions, and days where math is not available to him, so to speak, so I feel like there must be more ideas I can employ. It's so frustrating. 



#6 Kinsa

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 06:58 PM

Not insulted at all. :) I have that book, although the one you linked to looks like a new edition. That book is my current "curriculum". I use the book to inform me on what level my son is at and what to teach next, and I use the ideas therein, but we are still having these big regressions, and days where math is not available to him, so to speak, so I feel like there must be more ideas I can employ. It's so frustrating.


I figured you probably had seen it before, but I thought I'd mention it just in case. :)

Given what you said, I think the Ronit Bird materials might be best. I haven't used them, but there are several very experienced users on the forum.
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#7 Hilltopmom

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 06:59 PM

My 14 yr old dd does not have DS, but her IQ is borderline & math is pretty much a no go. We've gone over the same things for years & she has no recollection of them the next day.
Memory issue & dyscalculia, we think. (But memory is low but ok for other things, not math though)But no decent neuropsych near us to confirm.

We've tried Ronit Bird, Math u see, a ton of games & manipulativeS.

I did like the Mus blocks & loved the worksheet layouts, but I don't think you're at the worksheet point.
Sorry, it's hard.
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#8 EKS

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 07:34 PM

Didn't Steve Demme develop MUS for his son with Down Syndrome?



#9 coastalfam

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 08:34 PM

Didn't Steve Demme develop MUS for his son with Down Syndrome?

 

I don't know, but I do know about his son. We tried MUS Primer, and it moved too fast. But we do use the block a lot to demonstrate quantity. 



#10 samba

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 06:44 AM

I just saw this. I'll come back and share what we have tried. My son with DS is 15.


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#11 Heathermomster

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 07:07 AM

I'm all about RB; however, I was thinking of Touch Math.

#12 coastalfam

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 09:59 AM

I just saw this. I'll come back and share what we have tried. My son with DS is 15.

 

What? Awesome! I would love to hear about what you have tried and what works. 



#13 samba

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 03:18 PM

Okay, I'm back. Coastalfam, I have to start by saying Woo-hoo! Finally! I'm not the only one! Please don't ever leave, lol. ;) A few people have popped in over the years to ask about schooling kids with DS but, as far as I know, none have stuck around.

 

We've had the same experience you've had as far as language skills FAR exceeding math skills. He was starting to read and write by around age 6 and he's reading at roughly a 5-6th grade level now (I'm sure his comprehension is a little lower with non-fiction material). I haven't done any formal assessments lately. His writing is not as strong but decent. But math? Low, really low, painfully low. He's probably around 1st grade, maybe 2nd if I'm being optimistic. BUT! We're finally making progress with no more regressing and no more insurmountable roadblocks. We've finally landed on Semple Math and I think(?) we're here to stay.

 

We started with RightStart because I had already used it with my daughter and it was great for building that conceptual understanding with her. My son did well with the visualizing quantities aspect of Level A, tally marks, etc. But we didn't make it very far before it was too difficult for him. This was years ago so I don't remember how far we got. Not far. I have a hard time seeing this program work for kids like ours. And the abacus never made sense to him.

 

Then we tried Horizons and he made it through K and part of 1 before it starting moving too fast and a no-go. Then we started all over again with Math U See. Son really connected with the blocks, which kind of surprised me (we had used traditional base 10 blocks up to that point), and made it through Primer and Alpha. I thought we were set. Nope. Reached one of those darn roadblocks again and could not move forward. Considered Ronit Bird but thought it was more for kids with different kinds of issues and never looked into it too deeply. I sort of knew about TouchMath from my teaching days but didn't consider it because I was already biased against it. I think my attitude was a mistake and based on not really seeing how it could help kids exactly like mine. 

 

Started researching Semple and it just seemed weird, cheaply done and so visually unappealing and reliant on mnemonics. I thought "that's not real learning and hey, my kid's better than all that", lol. I bought it used on a whim of desperation and it sat in my closet for close to a year while we continued struggling with anything and everything we tried. When I finally realized we were hopelessly stuck, I pulled it out, spent a week reading through it and started doing it. Son whizzed through the first book. It's mostly making mental connections with a visual. It just clicked with him. We are halfway through Level 2 and he is still going strong. I will confess that I still don't love it and I don't do everything exactly the way it's laid out (because we already had a foundation and there were some things like the vocab. of math that I didn't want to go back and undo) but it has truly worked for him. I SO wish I hadn't waited when I think of where he maybe could be by now. I will also say that my son's conceptual understanding of math is still weak. It just is. I have to work with what he has and the goal is functional life skills. period. 

 

So, knowing what I know now about my kid and what seems to work, I would suggest looking at Semple or possibly TouchMath (now that I understand it a little better). 

 

I'd be happy to continue the conversation and I hope some of this helped. 

 

 


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#14 coastalfam

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 08:26 PM

Oh my goodness! SO helpful. Thanks! I probably was one of the people popping in to ask about homeschooling and DS over the years, but we finally took the plunge last year! We aren't going anywhere, either. :)

 

So, one thing I have been wrestling with, and I think the reason I wondered about Right Start, is if he could remember math better if he understood it's meaning. When reading he is able to easily pick up nouns when he knows what they are (concrete idea), which is what made me wonder if he knew better what 36 *means*, for example, if he would be more successful retaining information. We have the Right Start games book and cards, so we are working on subitizing and "more or less"--it's helping a bit. I'm going to guess that it won't be worth the investment for us to have the whole program, as it sounds like what worked best for your son was the components we already have. My son is also confounded by the abacus. Math-U-See decimal street has helped with building/"seeing" larger numbers, but I'm beginning to think we need to just memorize one numeral at a time and work on the actually quantity separately. MUS has also helped with "more or less" using the blocks. He LOVES the videos. So funny, all my kids just really enjoy Steve Demme, but Charlie can't really do the lessons past patterns and decimal street with 1's and 10's. I am torn about Touch Math. Touch Math (if I am understanding it correctly) seemed to me like it was good for helping with performing operations, but not necessarily reinforcing the meaning of math, but again, I don't honestly know if conceptual understanding is possible or if it is the road that is going to get us to being able to pay for a few groceries with cash, or knowing how much time he has until and appointment, or... whatever. I will check out Semple tonight. I have never heard of it. Thank you SO much for you input. I really, really appreciate it!

 

 


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#15 Kinsa

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 06:11 AM

I just wanted to pop in (again) and say that I, too, use Semple Math with my intellectually disabled son (IQ= 60, tho not DS).

I started him in Saxon, before we knew of his intellectual delays. Nothing stuck. Nothing.

Moved on to MUS. It was better, but still not working great. And he didn't like it much.

Found Semple and haven't looked back. We are now halfway through level three and he's starting to learn multiplication. I never thought we'd get to this point in math.

Like samba, we personalize the program to fit our child, but it has worked wonderfully. Unfortunately, the website doesn't give you much to go on and you do sorta have to order it blindly, but I'm so glad we took the plunge. My only sorrow is that it only goes through four levels, and I don't know where to go after we finish the program!

Edited to add: of Semple hadn't worked, my next move was going to be Touch Math.

Edited by Kinsa, 28 April 2017 - 06:14 AM.

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#16 coastalfam

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 06:04 PM

I just wanted to pop in (again) and say that I, too, use Semple Math with my intellectually disabled son (IQ= 60, tho not DS).

I started him in Saxon, before we knew of his intellectual delays. Nothing stuck. Nothing.

Moved on to MUS. It was better, but still not working great. And he didn't like it much.

Found Semple and haven't looked back. We are now halfway through level three and he's starting to learn multiplication. I never thought we'd get to this point in math.

Like samba, we personalize the program to fit our child, but it has worked wonderfully. Unfortunately, the website doesn't give you much to go on and you do sorta have to order it blindly, but I'm so glad we took the plunge. My only sorrow is that it only goes through four levels, and I don't know where to go after we finish the program!

Edited to add: of Semple hadn't worked, my next move was going to be Touch Math.

 

Thanks! I really appreciate your input. I was looking at the website for Semple last night, and it is definitely plain looking and website is sure not relying on it's marketing to sell the product, so I really appreciate your vote of confidence for it. I was wondering, does Semple help with remembering numeral names past 10? I was noticing on the sample it had drawn on touch points for some of the numbers, and I understand how those help with remembering numerals within 0-9, and how they can help with addition and subtraction, but what if our current issue is simply remembering any numeral name past 10. Actually, he is good with 11 now. He always learns his age, and so we've been going up one number per year when it comes to committing numerals to long term memory for recall. I'd love to find a quicker way! :)



#17 Kinsa

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 01:51 PM

Thanks! I really appreciate your input. I was looking at the website for Semple last night, and it is definitely plain looking and website is sure not relying on it's marketing to sell the product, so I really appreciate your vote of confidence for it. I was wondering, does Semple help with remembering numeral names past 10? I was noticing on the sample it had drawn on touch points for some of the numbers, and I understand how those help with remembering numerals within 0-9, and how they can help with addition and subtraction, but what if our current issue is simply remembering any numeral name past 10. Actually, he is good with 11 now. He always learns his age, and so we've been going up one number per year when it comes to committing numerals to long term memory for recall. I'd love to find a quicker way! :)

 

It's been a while since we were at the beginning of level one, but from what I remember...

 

(Also, my son didn't struggle to know his numbers, so we just flew over this part...)

 

The numbers from 10-19 are referred to in an unorthodox way.  The "one" that stands to the left is referred to as a "teenager" (and there's a whole story that goes along with that), so this is the numbering scheme:

10 = teen

11 = one-teen

12 = two-teen

13 = three-teen

etc.

 

Eventually, "teen" is called "ten", "one-teen" is changed to "eleven", etc.  It morphs slowly into the correct names.  But the original naming scheme really helps to cement the logical number pattern.

 

I know it sounds weird and unorthodox and like you'd then have to go through and reinvent the wheel, but it really works.

 

(Samba, can you pipe in and help describe this for me?  I'm trying to pull this from the recesses of my memory.  I'm not sure I'm remembering it correctly.)


Edited by Kinsa, 29 April 2017 - 01:53 PM.


#18 coastalfam

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 02:29 PM

That actually sounds helpful to re-name them that way until they are solid. I read through the whole website last night. What I like about it, that I was not liking about TouchMath, is given that my son is now 11, we need to be addressing things like money management right off the bat. Touch Math does not address money in the Kindergarten of First grade levels, and who knows how long it will take us to get through even one level. It looks like Semple has that, and number all the way to 999, addressed in the first level, which will be more appropriate for our special circumstances. Also, it is so plain, which is better for my son, because he is starting to be oh-so-teenagery and not appreciating the babyish themes of so much of the material that is at his level. Also, it's cheaper. I think we are going to try it out.