How to help a dyslexic child to improve in math/s – Part 1

It has been estimated that around 90% of dyslexic children have problems in some areas of math/s, and most of the time they will need extra help especially when new concepts of math/s are introduced.

To help a dyslexic child improve in his math/s, we must first look into the reasons for this problem.

One of the difficulties a dyslexic child experience is with sequencing.

It is important to help the child learn his/her basic 1-100 systematically. Providing a hands-on experience by using a variety of physical objects and real scenarios (e.g. counting guests) to demonstrate numbers visually will enhance the child’s interest in math/s. The following steps are recommended:


  1. Lay out 100 blocks, with 10 blocks on each line, practice counting from 1 to 100 e.g. 1,2,..99, 100
  2. Lay out 100 blocks in group of tens, practice counting from 10 to 100 e.g. 10, 20..90,100.
  3. Arrange the blocks in group of fives, practice counting from 5 to 100 e.g. 5,10, ..95, 100.
  4. Count backwards, starting from 10 down to 0 e.g. 10, 9, ..0, and working up to 100 down to 0.e.g. 100, 99, …2,1,0 (practice daily until he/she can count backward fluently)

It’s important first to build a solid foundation on the child’s basic math/s and then build other concepts on top of it. Always remember to keep reviewing and never assume that the child knows everything.

Below was my observation of a 8 years old child that I helped to breakthrough with her sequencing concept. I hope this will encourage us to KEEP reviewing with our children until they breakthrough. It is definite a slow but sure process.

Observation on Counting Backwards

CY was able to count to 100 with some guidance especially where there is a change of tens. After few rounds of counting verbally while putting the blocks, CY was able to count 1-100 quite fluently.

Counting backward was a great struggle. She got stuck many times. We did a few rounds of you say and i say – ‘tell me the number before’. When she began to feel more confidence, we tried saying the backward numbers again, but this time I encouraged her to remove the block one at a time as she said the number.

I noticed that she still mix up some numbers. But she is now more confidence and and say the number more fluently.

After a few sessions repeating the above counting, I noticed CY was able to complete her counting backwards activity easily.


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