kitchen table math, the sequel: What is new with the science on math disabilities?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What is new with the science on math disabilities?

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Atypical numerical cognition, dyscalculia, math LD: Special issue of Cognitive Development

A special issue of the journal Cognitive Development spotlights state-of-the-art research in atypical development of numerical cognition, dyscalculia, and/or math learning disabilities.

Article titles and abstracts are available at Kevin McGrew's excellent IQ's Corner blog.

Joe Elliot on dyslexia:
"Contrary to claims of ‘miracle cures’, there is no sound, widely-accepted body of scientific work that has shown that there exists any particular teaching approach more appropriate for ‘dyslexic’ children than for other poor readers."

I am in agreement with Elliot.

I wonder if the same will be found to be true for dyscalculia and kids who struggle with math.


Lsquared said...

Thanks for the reference. I'm going to see if I can read some of those articles!

Paul B said...

I tried reading the abstracts and got lost. It's not that the subject isn't fascinating. It is. I'm just not equipped to understand it.

My attempt, though futile, did make me question why teachers are expected to figure this out with absolutely no training in this field? It has always frustrated me to have a child with a 'specific learning disability' cited on an IEP while nobody can tell me what the 'specific' thing is.

If these disabilities are known and identifiable then isn't it also true that there are specific mitigations for same? And if that is true then wouldn't it make sense to equip math teachers to recognize them and have tools at their disposal to address them?

All we have is a slipshod identification process (that guarantees late recognition) and mitigation by differentiation (that guarantees slipshod corrective action).

Anonymous said...

It depends on the severity of both. A very severely learning-disabled reader must be explicitly taught to blend in a time-intensive and deliberate manner (a la Teach You Child to Read in 10 Minutes a Day, which is meant for the very young but works well with LDs). A very severely LD math student must be taught number-ness and one-to-one correspondence in a very deliberate and time-intensive manner. Neither of these things are true of vast majority of math OR reading students. And some, a very few, kids will never be able to recognize numbers or letters though they are not so low-IQ that they can't because of a visual agnosia that can't be treated.

Anonymous said...

"specific LD" is a legal phrase, not a diagnosis, from IDEA