From: May Twu
To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Subject: Re: The Potential Dangers of Teaching Touch Math
I am a mother of an high function autistic child. Whoever invented touch math is clueless. 1) blind students cannot learn touch math okay cause they learn by touch tactile. 2) deaf students do not need to learn touch math method cause they are not blind or autistic. They learn by sight like typical normal mainstream students or by sign language. 3) autistic students processing of information is disorganized due to the wiring of their brains being different from the typical normal developing brain. So why does touch math does not work? 1) the ASD child lose track and count of tapping and gets lost in tapping than learning quantitative logical reasoning for basic math concepts. They end up doing mindless tapping on some number and have a hard time memorizing that position of the dots and that double dots means double tap. Then you start to do velcro and the ASD child starts to fidget with the velcro for sensory issues and stimming rather than learning actual math. 2) the disorganization of processing makes the ASD child lose count of what he is actually trying to do which is basic math 3) in the end, it is one big mess for adding and subtracting tapping what BACKWARDS to do subtracting???? What is wrong with old fashion counting with fingers are using an abacus which involves visual and tactile methods??? Also, my son understands the concepts but is the touch math method of computing that confusing him and gets him the wrong answer cause he cannot even tap accurately or properly. He does math by using his fingers and has even memorized some simple math equation quickly. Touch math needs to go and put it to rest. Is BS way of teaching math to students whether in special ed or general ed. Most importantly, if any child has a hard time learning by one method, then it is up to the teacher's creative ways to teach alternative method to help the child learn by understanding how the child's mind process information. It is no use when you force or make any child conform to one way of learning.
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