(22 Posts)
MathsQuery Wed 24-Oct-18 07:17:45

My 10 year old son has just been diagnosed with dyscalculia. His scores couldn't get much worse. I can't afford a tutor so want to help as much as I can. Does anyone who knows about dyscalculia have any suggestions of apps or websites on where to start. His teachers seem as confused me.

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CloudsAway Wed 24-Oct-18 08:00:18

I'd start with the very basic 'Numbers' app by dragon box. It seems very simple, but it gives a good visual aspect to the numbers up to 10, how they combine to make each other, etc. And getting that really embedded in, even for an older child, is very helpful.

You can then move on to 'Big Numbers', but I wouldn't do it too soon.

Montesorri apps like Math City are also useful.

A number line that he can always refer to, just something put up wherever you do work, can help him develop an internal sense of number.

Numicon apparatus - like the number line track etc can also be useful.

Thinking Blocks website - based on Singapore maths style illustrations - is also v good

Talk out loud when you are doing any sort of mental maths - a lot of estimating, showing how numbers work., just to model things without adding pressure for him to do stuff.

Keep everything concrete and visual for as long as possible, and transition slowly to more abstract things. Much of the work at school might be abstract and written methods for things, but it's too easy to learn to do some of it by rote without understanding it, unless you also spend time doing the concrete work.

Norestformrz Wed 24-Oct-18 08:03:06


Norestformrz Wed 24-Oct-18 08:09:04


MathsQuery Wed 24-Oct-18 08:23:19

Thank you so much. We're feeling a bit lost at the moment so this is a good start

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taeglas Wed 24-Oct-18 21:14:18

Loads of ideas for maths games in this book
The book uses Cuisenaire rods, dot patterns of dice, dominoes, and playing cards, to help form a visual sense of number.

I used an earlier version of this book when helping my friends son with maths a few years ago.

Ronit Bird Dyscalculia — A Parent's Guide on You Tube.

I work as a teaching assistant in Key Stage 1 and find the use of games excellent for children who are anxious about maths and indeed reading.

Manipulatives such as Numicon Cusinaire rods & dice all help.
Try putting Dyscalculia into www.pinterest.co.uk/ for more ideas on how to help and other maths games.

There are also resources on TES. You have to join the site to download. Many of the resources are free.
The following can be downloaded for free
I found I couldn't download the whole collection for some reason. But if you go to show all files each resource can be downloaded individually.

ilovesushi Sat 27-Oct-18 15:02:51

Norest thanks for the race catcher tip off. My son loved it (age 10, dyscalculia diagnosis) and it was really interesting to watch and see his almost total lack of number bonds/ sense in action. However, he enjoyed the game and I could see things starting to click with him as he played.
My DS was diagnosed over four years ago, and while he's had various interventions for dyslexia, I've not really seen much happening at school regarding his almost total lack of progress in maths. We just get given the 2x table every week - for years and years! I kid you not. He still doesn't know it by the way.
OP is your DS following the Y6 curriculum, because mine is and STRUGGLING doesn't even come close to describing where we're at!


MathsQuery Sat 27-Oct-18 16:31:24

Thank you all.

Ilovesushi no he's not following the year 6 curriculum and won't be sitting any SATs. That's the decision by the school. TBH, given they've only just noticed these gaping holes in his knowledge hmm I can't say he's had any relevant intervention to date. They are supposedly drawing up a seperate set of work for him but as far as I know they are just doing a scaled down version of the curriculum with a TA. These resources are great and I've bought the dyscalculia toolkit book. It's good to see we aren't alone because it sure does feel like it.

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DeanImpala67 Sat 27-Oct-18 16:44:09

I can recommend the "Power of two" it's a workbook you go through for about 10-15 mins as often as you can manage a week. The frequent repetition helps facts sink in, and you progress at the childs pace of understanding. It focuses on basic number skills, number bonds and facts, then builds up to times tables etc. Worth the cost. It's on Amazon.

MathsQuery Sat 27-Oct-18 16:56:47

Thank you.

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BB8sm8 Sun 28-Oct-18 07:00:42

I have no advice but just wanted to add try not to worry. I was diagnosed at 20 and went on to get my PhD at 29 (admittedly not in maths!) so it’s not a huge stumbling block, I’ve learnt strategies to deal with it & it doesn’t stop me doing anything 😊

ilovesushi Sun 28-Oct-18 09:21:52

One book I've found quite useful is Tandi Clausen-May's Teaching Mathematics Visually and Actively. We have also used Nessy (online programme) for telling the time and times tables. Found the time telling more successful than tables as tables assumes the child already has some kind of working knowledge and understanding.
•BB8* good to hear your story! I have full confidence in my child's potential, but I feel school judges his total all round ability on maths and literacy and comes to the conclusion that he is dumb!
MathsQ interesting you DS is allowed to skip SATS. Does that then mean school can hide their SEN figures though? Good for your DS on the other hand!
Will look up the other recommendations! I think I have the Ronit Bird book already.

Kokeshi123 Sun 28-Oct-18 11:23:49

Glad you are getting some good responses and help on here, but how shocking that the school seems to have done nothing up to this point.

MathsQuery Sun 28-Oct-18 12:07:41

Thank you all.

BB8sm8 lovely to hear that. It has been such a worry for us but I'm determined he'll do well.

ilovesushi apparently he will show in their SATs figures as failed. They also want him to not do SPAG but I am pushing for them to do it as I think they will sideline him and concentrate on the kids doing SATs.

kokeshi123 yes it is disgusting. Apparently teachers aren't trained to spot dyslexia and dyscalculia but yet the system relies on them doing just that on order for help to be sought. confused

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TeenTimesTwo Sun 28-Oct-18 13:55:46

Doing SPAG was a waste of time for my DD. Instead of helping her focus on capital letters, full stops, occasional commas, and checking her writing, she had to spend time being taught but not learning about subordinating conjunctions etc.
I wouldn't dismiss not doing SPAG paper too quickly, but instead ask what and how he will be taught instead.

Agustarella Sun 28-Oct-18 14:02:18


This book is the only thing that ever helped me, by explaining in plain English how to do sums. My DDs also find it useful, in spite of being less afflicted than me.

I haven't been diagnosed (41 years old, it wasn't a thing in my day) but I am considerably worse at maths than anyone I have ever met, including some extremely "challenged" people.

MathsQuery Sun 28-Oct-18 14:46:00

That's the problem, TeenTimesTwo I dont trust them to do much if they're not doing at least some of the SATs. I agree SPAG is a waste of time.

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GreenTulips Sun 28-Oct-18 14:49:09

Second Numicon
Try Nessy.com as well

Do things practically where you can - weights and measures guesstimating etc really helps

Do maths in practical terms so if you have 3 sweets and 2 friends etc

Loulou247 Thu 01-Nov-18 16:46:18

Dyscalculia is difficult to diagnose, so the fact you have an official diagnosis is good. Did an EP diagnose? I would not worry about the SATs your DS does not need that added stress. I am confused about why not the SPAG, do they think he is dyslexic too, if so is he doing the Reading paper? I would definitely want to know what provision is being put in place to help him with his Maths. You will need to be careful with language you use when helping him with his Maths. I prepared a presentation on dyscalculia for my colleagues which might be worth a look at and may help my website is www.encouragingyoungminds.wordpress.com. I started looking into Dyscalculia when my ds really struggled in Maths, I have since created a book to help other parents you will find it on Amazon it is called Supporting Practical Maths An Easy Guide. It was written with parents in mind. There is assessments to start with to see where the gaps are and lesson plans to help. You have to keep it visual using a multi-sensory approach. Your child may find Place Value difficult and not associate a number with an actual amount. This is where I would start. He can not rely on just learning everything by rote he will need to see it, as you may find he finds it hard to retain and remember number facts. He needs strategies to find the answer and should not have the stress of being timed for times tables either. Please do not worry, I spent most of my ds's time in primary stressing and this was not helpful to him or me. As long as he has interventions in place at school to help him and the love and support from you which he obviously does he will get there.

MathsQuery Thu 01-Nov-18 20:16:07

Thank you Loulou247. He was diagnosed by someone from the SEN team from the LEA. I don't think she's an Ed psych but I'm not sure but it wasn't a private assessment.

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MathsQuery Thu 01-Nov-18 22:44:15

BTW, I couldn't open your link as its got a security issue with it.

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Loulou247 Fri 02-Nov-18 10:17:43

Well that was helpful of me wasn't it. Ha ha sorry about that. Try searching the address through google and I will try and sort that out. Thanks for letting me know.

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