Names of children have been changed to protect their identity and comply with COPPA.
I have a child in the Bob Burdette afterschool program named Andrea. Andrea was very shy and quiet. It was difficult encouraging her to stand up for herself.
This year, she started to open up and has become more vocal. During homework time, I noticed something. She was writing her numbers backward. In fourth grade, that should not happen. I asked her, “When you look at numbers, what number do you see first?” She told me that it was that last number that she sees that sticks out to her.
I asked her if it seems jumbled like scrabble in her head. She confirmed what I was thinking and I informed her mom that I felt she needed to get tested for dyscalculia (a form of dyslexia that affects how one perceives numbers and can cause considerable difficulty when learning or using math).
When my own child was diagnosed with dyslexia, I did a lot of research and learned about dyscalculia. I myself have dyscalculia so it was easy to recognize. Numbers get jumbled in my own head and it takes me a long time to get anything to do with math correct because that last digit is the very first thing I see.
I asked Andrea if it’s hard for her to understand clocks with hour hands. Andrea nodded her head yes. She looked at me and was so excited because I knew what was going on in her head. Finally, someone understood what was happening to her! In my talk with her mom, she stated that Andrea actually is also dyslexic but the school had concentrated on reading more than math, so the dyscalculia went undiagnosed.
Now she has special help just for math! Her self confidence has increased by leaps and bounds and I am so very proud of Andrea. She has started to stick up for herself and her grades are coming up. I am so thrilled to have been a part of her newfound success. We expect to continue to see her improve both academically and that her self-confidence will continue to grow!