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dsbonn
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24 Aug 2011, 6:47 am

Hi everyone...I am new to this forum. I am a proud father of a 6 year old girl with high functioning autism. As all parents, we are trying to help her in her weak areas and use her strong skills to overcome problems. Unfortunately at it seems like we are stuck with mathematics. It is very difficult for her to grasp basic ideas like addition and subtraction. We tried a myriad of methods but none seem to work.

Her strong skills are reading. She can spell difficult words far beyond what is expected of her age. In other words she is hyperlexic.

Any ideas of how we can help her out? your feedback will be much appreciated as currently we feel like we are hitting a hard wall.

thanks



marybell
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24 Aug 2011, 7:23 am

:D Hi, I have heard that the curriculum Math-U-See is very good for spectrum kids because it is visual. Also, try Kahn Academy on-line; This is a free site with lots of video lessons for all ages.Hope this helps.



dsbonn
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24 Aug 2011, 9:23 am

thanks marybell. I ll give them a try.



SC_2010
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24 Aug 2011, 7:56 pm

I would try as much work with manipulatives as possible, especially if they are something she loves or is very interested in. Food can work well , too.

Maybe using her love of words, to spell out number problems or to read word problems?

Using a number line may help as well.



dsbonn
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25 Aug 2011, 3:09 am

hi SC_2010,

I think what you are suggesting to do with food is some sort of ABA right?

We tried number line and it seems that it did work a bit but I am sure she did not grasp the whole idea behind it.

Thanks for your suggestions.



megamum
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25 Aug 2011, 3:17 am

Hello

My very first post on Wrong Planet!

Has your daughter ever had a cognitive assessment? There is a small subgroup of children who appear autistic but don't have the usual strongly visual, logical learning style that is most typical on the spectrum. They actually have the opposite cognitive profile, with strengths in verbal skills and very poor visual and mathematical skills. The profile is called NVLD or NLD which stands for Non-verbal learning difficulties. Sometimes it's given its very own label, and sometimes just subsumed under the autistic spectrum. Anyway it's important to identify if your daughter has significant problems with maths, if an NVLD profile could be the reason why - because NVLD children do NOT need the highly visual approach that most AS children do - in fact they need the opposite :)

Have a look at NVLD or NLD websites and see if it sounds like her.

I'm not sure which country you are in but it's likely a school psychologist or educational psychologist could do the assessment.

Good luck
Claire



dsbonn
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25 Aug 2011, 3:38 am

Hi megamum!! !

A very big thanks to your for replying on my query (and a bigger thanks since it was your first :) .. this was also my first query on the forum )

I read a little about NLD and it I do not think she fits in that group. She is hyperlexic...she loves to read and she understand better the written word than the verbal one. She loves books and reading to her comes very natural. Her memory is also extremely good. If I understood correctly, those on the NLD spectrum have difficulty to understand the written word...right?



megamum
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25 Aug 2011, 9:15 am

Hi dsbonn

I'm not certain what the prevailing difficulty is in NVLD. I thought the key feature was / is that children with NVLD are far more competently aurally (ie in auditory processing) than in visual or sequential/logical processing, which is different from most AS people.

You say she is hyperlexic but - again I may be wrong - I thought part of the thing about hyperlexia was that children were early readers without understanding. If you can read it and understand it, I thought that just made you an early reader!

I guess what possibly is the key, is which of her competencies is the one that is out of line. Is her reading out of line with her ability, because she has hyperlexia, and the maths scores are what you would expect for a 6 year old (but look worse because of her good reading) - or is the reading, given that she understands it, a demonstration of her linguistic abilities coupled with good phonic analysis, and the maths is the thing that is out of line? In which case, perhaps she is showing a more specific issue with logical or sequential reasoning, and a cognitive assessment might be helpful before you go down a support route that doesn't play to her cognitive strengths?

Lots of questions!
Claire



magicmum
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25 Aug 2011, 7:03 pm

I don't have any knowledge at all about autism and math problems but my son who has Aspergers always struggled. I read recently that the Kumon math program can be helpful. I don't know anything about it - wish I had when he was younger - nor how readily available it is but it might be worth checking out. Good Luck



Chronos
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27 Aug 2011, 4:27 am

dsbonn wrote:
Hi everyone...I am new to this forum. I am a proud father of a 6 year old girl with high functioning autism. As all parents, we are trying to help her in her weak areas and use her strong skills to overcome problems. Unfortunately at it seems like we are stuck with mathematics. It is very difficult for her to grasp basic ideas like addition and subtraction. We tried a myriad of methods but none seem to work.

Her strong skills are reading. She can spell difficult words far beyond what is expected of her age. In other words she is hyperlexic.

Any ideas of how we can help her out? your feedback will be much appreciated as currently we feel like we are hitting a hard wall.

thanks


There are various different types of learning difficulties when it comes to mathematics.

One that some children have difficulty with is what the notation actually means.
For example:

2+2=4

A child with certain forms of dyscalculia, or a child who is on the spectrum might think to themselves "Two is a different number than four so that doesn't make any sense" In other words, they might interpret the expression in an ultra-literal way rather than grasp the concept that the + is an operator that does something and the = sign just means the quantities represented by each side are the same even they they have different "names". Just like 4 quarters = 1 dollar. 4 quarters represents the same quantity as 1 dollar.

So it's a communication problem or a problem reading the notation in a lot of cases rather than an actual calculation problem.

Have you tried teaching your child with objects that can be counted?



blondeambition
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28 Aug 2011, 5:56 pm

Please see my math channel on YouTube for some free videos made by other people in the "playlists" section and also check out my "subscriptions" and "friends" for links to other math channels.

www.youtube.com/user/vids4autkids2 is the link to my math channel.

My older son with classic autism, who is hyperlexic and 7, has had a terrible time with math. He benefits from lots of repetition and use of visual aids.

For him, we spent a lot of money on DVDs, math games, math computer games, and flashcards. I also made flashcards for him that explained the basic concepts.

If you have the money but not the time and want the child to learn fast, I would recommend buying the following off of the Internet: Purchase "Beginning Math Vocabulary" from 100% Educational Videos (or look for a used copy on Amazon.com), purchase "The Number Crew" Grade 1, 3-Pack (by Discovery Education), and the Slim Goodbody Math Monsters DVD series. These items will both entertain and teach the math concepts.

The Number Crew Grade 1 3 Pack (an entire TV season on 3 DVDs) offers close captioning for the hearing impaired--a must for many young hyperlexics. The Number Crew host has an Australian accent, and the rest of the products have hosts and characters with American accents, if this matters. The Number Crew has a host explain concepts using visual aids, and animated characters act out the concept.

To get her to learn addition and subtraction tables, I would purchase Kid2020.com's "Math Facts" DVD and "Exercise and Memorise the Math Facts" from www.candokids.com. The intro song to the math facts exercise DVD mentions "Christ strengthens you," but the rest of the DVD is non-religious.

The Learning Treehouse Series (buy through Amazon.com) is the best for explaining addition and subtraction concepts, I think. Puppets to keep the kids engaged and decent explanations, too. It is also affordable. However, it does not present all of the tables, as the above two videos do.

I would also purchase several decks of flashcards and other addition and subtraction DVDs, just for variety.

The Jumpstart "Numbers" computer CD is my favorite for drills, but it won't work for a child who doesn't know the basic facts and concepts.

The Mathmatazz series is also super fun for kids and introduces concepts in a basic way. I would use it as a fun addition to other materials.

"Backyard Math with Zac: First Grade Math Concepts" has 12 fifteen-minute segments, and you can probably find it super cheap. It is produced by ShowForth Vision of Bob Jones University (a religious college). It has no religious material, though, as far as I could discern, and is a solid math teaching tool. I bought mine off of Amazon.com and I also saw it for sale in a homeschool teaching materials catalog.

This is what worked for my son. He had a "math crisis" last year, but I was able to use these products to bring him up to grade level. With two kids with multiple issues, I needed something easy, fast, that he would find enjoyable.

I had a tutor working with him for a while on math, but I found the multimedia products to be more fun and cost effective.


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www.freevideosforautistickids.com is my website with hundreds of links and thousands of educational videos for kids, parents and educators. Son with high-functioning classic autism, aged 7, and son with OCD/Aspergers, aged 4. I love my boys!


dsbonn
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29 Aug 2011, 12:42 pm

thanks for everyone who posted ! ! (a special thanks goes to blondeambition for the complete guide!!)

I will try to buy some or all the videos you suggested, even though I did not manage to find them all from amazaon, but at least you guided me on the right path, and this is coming from your own experience which is even better!!



blondeambition
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29 Aug 2011, 1:46 pm

dsbonn wrote:
thanks for everyone who posted ! ! (a special thanks goes to blondeambition for the complete guide!!)

I will try to buy some or all the videos you suggested, even though I did not manage to find them all from amazaon, but at least you guided me on the right path, and this is coming from your own experience which is even better!!


Hope that it helps! Also, all of the suggested products are sold on several websites, so you can do a google search by title of the item and search around for the best deal.


_________________
www.freevideosforautistickids.com is my website with hundreds of links and thousands of educational videos for kids, parents and educators. Son with high-functioning classic autism, aged 7, and son with OCD/Aspergers, aged 4. I love my boys!