# Dyscalculia?

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My dd has problems with math. She has loved MUS ,and does well using the blocks, generally. She can typically add and subract with borrowing and carrying. BUT she can't think mathematically. For example on dreambox today, she was boxing stuff in sets of 10 with leftovers then filling in a chart. For the number 77, 7 boxes with 7 leftover. 6 boxes with 17 left over, 4 boxes with 27 leftover. She did each one by using the graphical manipulatives. 5 boxes had her stumped. We talked talked about it, but nothing really helped. I asked the question as MUS does what plus 5 = 7. Finally, she counted on her fingers. She never saw the relationship to the other problems. Any problem she had to do while visualing the numbers was the same.

I've noticed this for years, but had reading problems to deal with first. Dyscalculia has been in the back of my mind for years. Do you think that could be the problem? even with MUS, she is just as likely to solve a problem backwards as she is to solve it the right way: ? + 2=7 is just as likely to have 9 as the answer as 5 so is 7-2. Do you think she just needs more time with manipulatives? Would you worry?

And we've used LOTS of programs. We started with Miquon which was a disaster as were Singapore, Saxon and R&S.

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Dyslexia frequently affects math due to sequencing issues (and memory). Just like a b, p, d and q can be switched around so can 7+2 and 2+7.

That's not to say that it isn't dysculia but more often than not I've seen it has a reflection of dyslexia type issues.

There was one student that I worked with for years who was reading at or above grade level but he could not get math. He was getting As and Bs in all subjects but couldn't get above a D in math. If given the problem 10-9 he had to use his fingers each and every time. It was not a matter of switching the numbers around but that he does not have the number sense to "get" that 9 is only 1 number away from 10 and 2 is only 1 number away from 3. That is what I think of when I think of dyscaculia. I could be way off though. I've not seen it diagnosed very much.

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When she's doing math with blocks everyday, she can remember that 10-2 is 8, but if she takes a week off, she is back to counting. And if she were to add 5+5 without blocks, she would start at 1 then count up. She doesnt get that she can start at one of the numbers. I havent considered dyslexia, but we have an abundance of them in the family.

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Generally, those with dyscalculia struggle with subitizing. They struggle with seeing how numbers consist of individual pieces that can be pulled apart, manipulated, and rebuilt without changing the overall value of the number.

If your DD was getting confused with the 5 box question and then you shifted to a ? + 2 = 7 type question, I expect she'd be confused. Perhaps you should try using the rods with the MUS questions. It's easy enough to stack a 2 rod on top of the 7 rod and see that 5 is missing.

Sousa has written a book titled How the Brain Learns Mathematics. This book makes suggestions for teaching, which I have used, implemented, and found very helpful.

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Thanks. I think a big part of my problem is my small sample-size of students. The older two are very good at math and early readers. I have trouble figuring out normal. I had been certain her reading delay must be normal until I was forced to realize it wasn't. Now I am constantly on alert to make sure I don't miss something else important.

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