Friday, 26 April 2013

Oh No – Now I have to learn all about Dyscalculia Too?!

I have known since the Dyslexia issue came up, that my daughter had problems with maths too & that this was a common issue for 40% of dyslexics – but her reading was my priority & that is what I concentrated on.  This issue is all but nearly solved now – reading is not an enjoyable experience for my daughter & still tires her out – but she can read anything, and does.

However, although I have come some way with her maths using numicon, I know I haven’t really solved her issues.  This was brought home to me yesterday when my daughter told me that she had ‘gone down in maths,’ ‘what do you mean?’ I asked, ‘I was 3 last term & I’ve gone down to 2c or something’ she said.  ‘But it’s alright, the teacher said I’d just made silly mistakes.’  At first I tried to put it out of my mind, I’m hugely busy at the moment so it’s just a bit too much to deal with & in any case, maybe she had an ‘off day’.  But I know in my heart of hearts that’s not true.  It’s just another example of the teacher misunderstanding the issue...I don’t think she said ‘silly mistakes’ to be mean; in fact, it actually shows that she believes that my daughter is capable of more – BUT ‘Silly mistakes’ is a bit like ‘just needs to read more’, or ‘needs to concentrate more’.  My daughter makes ‘silly mistakes’ because she DOES NOT KNOW HOW NOT TO!  What seems ‘silly’ to most people, are just how a person with dyscalculia sees numbers and methods of numeracy...So, here I am, back to the internet, books, training courses.... to find anything I can get my eyes, ears & brain around to help my daughter & my tutees in their struggle with dyscalculia – aghhhhh!!

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


  1. Hello, I read your post on first tutors and your blog is brilliant!
    I am a "high-functioning" dyslexic myself, and I have been tutoring the same dyslexic pupil for over 3 years now. When I first met her as a y5, she had little confidence at school due to her dyslexia and getting behind.
    Now she's a year 8 and, although she still struggles with things, is getting on so much better!
    The stance we've taken on "silly mistakes" is that she knows they happen, and accepts them. This means that now she makes sure she always checks her work, and if she makes a silly mistake she doesn't get flustered and bothered by it, she just crosses it out and tries again. There's no way to prevent it happening, but it doesn't need to cause a problem if it does.
    Have you got any tips for helping slow readers?

  2. Hi Sophie,

    Thank you so much for your comments on my Blog - I am so glad you have enjoyed it & my ramblings have struck a chord! Your suggestions re; 'silly mistakes' are very inciteful, you are right, they will always happen - as will many frustrating things - for these students; it's accepting it & moving forward that is the key!

    With regard slow readers - the best product I know is 'Stride Ahead' which increases reading speed & comprehension ability & can be found through the Keda Gateway to Literacy. Hope that helps!


  3. I know I can't really help, But when I was at school I was in lowest set for Maths always making "Silly Mistakes" And due to the teacher not actually helping me and just teling me "get on with it" "You should have been listening" I got a low grade in maths. I then went to college got disnosed with Dysleixa then after 2 years of full time education I did 2 years of Maths at the college. I asked to be tested for Dyscalculia... All they said was I'm not dyscalculic. Even though I finally passed my Level 2 maths... I still don't know my times tables, read numbers out loud wrong... I don't believe its "Silly mistakes"
    Hopefully we can all learn something about Dyscaulica

    Hannah x

  4. You may want to check out the Lindamood-Bell program "On Cloud Nine" which addresses math issues. Also, this may help people who are wondering if they or their child has dyscalculia: