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Justin Clark MEd, MLearningInnovation, BEd, BA

I provide one-one-one private tutoring for children with learning disabilities including providing dyscalculia tutoring.  For children with dyscalculia, (often called maths dyslexia), individual tutoring with an experienced learning difficulties tutor is the best way for them to learn and master mathematical concepts.

My qualifications include a Masters of Education majoring in learning disabilities as well as  a Master of  Learning Innovation, along with a Bachelors Degree in Education & a Bachelor of Arts specialising in Psychology & Theology.  I am also an experienced Queensland Primary and Secondary School Teacher, but have chosen to follow my passion in tutoring children with learning disabilities as I find it is far more rewarding.

Dyscalculia Help

Children with dyscalculia,  Which is a specific learning disability in mathematics, are often as intelligent as their peers but they struggle to master mathematical concepts.

Dyscalculia is not uncommon with an estimated 5-8% of students having this specific learning disability.  However, dyscalculia is not as well known or understood.

As maths is considered a more difficult subject, many children with dyscalculia are not identified as having this learning disability and as a result, often no specialised support is provided.

Research* has shown that without specialised support pupils with dyscalculia seem to reach a plateau at the end of primary school and may only make one more year of progress in mathematics throughout their secondary schooling.  Furthermore, 9-year-olds with dyscalculia have, on average, the same level of mathematics knowledge and understanding as a typical 6-year-old.

Your child can receive help with their dyscalculia and improve their mathematical abilities with successful teaching strategies used in individualised private dyscalculia tutoring.

*Source :  Levine, M.  (2002), Misunderstood Minds (web and video materials).  WGBH, Boston.

Dyscalculia In Children

Children experiencing confusion whilst trying to grasp mathematics may become frustrated, angry and anxious whenever faced with new concepts that they cannot understand.  This can lead to a strong dislike of the subject, (or even school), work avoidance and low self esteem.

Dyscalculia is a developmental problem which can be due to difficulties with the language of mathematics and/or due to deficits in memory, (working memory or long-term memory).

While there is no ‘cure’ for dyscalculia, there are certainly some very effective teaching strategies that can help your child.  The specific teaching strategies for your child will depend upon the particular manifestations of their dyscalculia.  These teaching strategies will also need to be adjusted in accordance with your child’s improvement in understanding and applying maths concepts.

Thus one-on-one tutoring is by far the most effective teaching strategy for children with dyscalculia.  The sooner a child with this learning difficulty receives help tailored specifically to their difficulties, the sooner they can improve and the less chance there is for loss of confidence and the development of negative attitudes and behaviour.  The rate of improvement depends on each individual child, how soon intervention and support is provided and naturally how knowledgeable, experienced and capable, (including how patient and understanding,) the tutor your child has.

Often dyscalculia tutoring not only addresses the particular maths disabilities, but also includes building your child’s esteem and changing their attitude to mathematics.

Strategies for Teaching Students with Dyscalculia

There are several different strategies that help with the memory deficits side of dyscalculia.  These strategies involve re-training the brain and building and strengthening different cognitive patterns.

There are also different teaching strategies that help improve a child’s language development including sequential language.  This aids in understanding of mathematical concepts.

Finally, there are different teaching strategies to help children make real life mathematical connections.  These enable a child to understand the purpose of maths and hence a greater understanding and grasp of the mathematical concepts taught in school. Rather than mathematics being an abstract concept that is only encountered in the classroom, the student is encouraged to see and connect with how mathematics is present in our everyday lives.  This builds on learning engagement which is crucial in a child’s motivation and their ability to understand new concepts.

Helping a child with dyscalculia thus can involve one or all of the following; improving working memory in verbal and visuospatial domains; making mathematical connections in multiple contexts; and the development of language, in particular sequential language.

This is a simplistic description of strategies for teaching students with Dyscalculia.  If you would like to discuss with me the different teaching strategies I use in dyscalculia tutoring, please give me a call and I will be happy to explain further what is involved.

Signs of Dyscalculia

The most obvious signs of dyscalculia is for a seemingly intelligent child to start to struggle with maths in primary school.  Also their mathematical abilities do not appear to accord with the results that they are obtaining in other school subjects and with their general academic ability.

If your child appears to be having more difficulty with maths than other subjects and appears confused and unable to understand or remember mathematical concepts, these are obvious signs of dyscalculia.

Private Dysgraphia Tutoring

If you believe your child may have dyscalculia and are seeking help from a private tutor  I would love to hear from you.  I provide private dyscalculia tutoring at my home office in the north Brisbane suburb of Boondall.  The lessons I provide are individually targeted, addressing your child’s specific needs.  I tutor from 8am to 8.30pm weekdays.  Please phone me (0407 407 223) so we can discuss your child’s specific difficulties with maths and the best way to help your child.

dyscalculia tutoring

Justin Clark Learning Difficulties Tutor

If you have any questions, call us on 0407 407 223.