> On Jun 15, 2013, at 3:44 PM, Pam <Pamkgm@hotmail.com> > wrote: > > > Conversely, students with dyslexia, who typically > have strong visual-spatial skills, have trouble with > arithmetic, but often do well, even very well, in > higher levels of math. > > Just asking... > > What quality is it of arithmetic that would thwart > their success wouldn't also thwart their success with > equations? I am trying to understand what you mean by > "trouble" with arithmetic and why that wouldn't be > trouble with the later stuff. I am not saying that > someone with dyslexia severe enough to affect > arithmetic is unintelligent, but the later stuff has > as much algorithm and organization on paper as does > arithmetic. Much more in fact. > > Bob Hansen
Students with dyslexia have difficulty moving information from short term to long term memory, so while it might have taken you a handful of repetitions to memorize 6x8, it may take them hundreds of repetitions before they have efficient retrieval of those single digit arithmetic facts. Given quality instruction, they get there eventually, and any remaining "glitches" can be supported with a calculator (part of that "quality instruction", though, is limited calculator use prior to middle or high school). Note that this is a memory/retrieval issue, not a difficulty with arithmetic thinking - given time, they can solve 6x8 by using a combination of facts they already have memorized, repeated addition (horrors!), and, yes, mental imagery.
They also have a tendency to misread or skip over symbols. So they see a minus as a plus, or miss a negative sign. Again, this improves over time, and they learn compensatory strategies - rereading, checking answers, learning to think "does this answer make sense?"
And they tend to transpose and reverse numbers, reading 14 as 41, or 5-3 as 3-5.
The language of mathematics often trips them up; for example, they may say 3 divided by 15, even though they are correctly thinking 15 divided by 3.
Essentially, it is the manmade elements of mathematics, the symbols and language, rather than the mathematics itself that they find difficult. In fact, those students with dyslexia who have math aptitude have superior pattern recognition and manipulation abilities. Yet, when you combine all of the above, in elementary school that "is" the mathematics, in the minds of many, so it looks as though they can't do arithmetic.