Sydney Dyslexia

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Dyscalculia / Dyslexics and Maths

Declan is a sensitive, clever, creative 8-year old who is Dyslexic. After correcting his Dyslexia, his reading, writing and comprehension improved, but he was still struggling in Maths. On the first day of the Math program, he took to the whiteboard and – in big fat letters – wrote:

MATH ALIENS COME – I NEED YOU!

On Day 3 of the program, he wiped it out and replaced it with:

NO NEED TO COME AFTER ALL THIS TRAINING – THANKS!

Visual learners, like Dyslexic individuals, have a different style of learning. Contrary to common belief, Dyslexia affects not only reading related subjects, but can also prove challenging for Mathematics.

Not everybody has Maths aliens to call upon. Declan was happy that he didn’t need to rely on them any longer and that he had found that he gets it now.

Lauren is 15 and finds it really hard to read. A Dyslexic program improved her reading, but it was still a struggle and not enjoyable. It was the Maths program, another area of difficulty, where she really found a strength and instead of working at it, she now plays at it. On her last day of the program, I stared in amazement at a really complicated calculation which she had just finished successfully and correctly. She asked me if she can do one more, please! That, for me, is the reason I love these programs. Where else can you measure success as clearly on a logical as well as an emotional level?

Let’s start, with the help of Declan and Lauren, to discover how to release your child’s Maths genie from the bottle!

Unfortunately, a lack of motivation is rarely the reason for a child’s struggle at Maths.

Many of my Dyslexic clients are challenged in Maths, not because they don’t have a ‘Maths brain’ or are lacking intelligence. Quite the opposite! They may even find that they get the most advanced Maths easier than the simple basic Math questions.

They need to be taught Maths in a different way – a way that makes sense to their visual or kinaesthetic learning style. As a problem with Maths doesn’t point any struggling child to a facilitator for Dyslexia, I won’t write the Dyslexic’s Guidebook into the Maths Galaxy. It will help any child that has a creative, visual mind.

However, if that child also has comprehension issues when reading a word problem in Maths, they might be Dyslexic and in that case a Dyslexia Correction Problem may be needed before tackling Maths. My first book, ‘the Right Brain for the Right Time’ will give you an insight into the visual world of Picture thinkers, why they are finding it harder to cope at school and how this can be helped and corrected.

In my work, a program to master reading or improve a child’s attention and focus will usually proceed a Maths Program, enabling a basic foundation for the individual to focus with ease and work with full comprehension. For this ongoing blog to be as helpful as possible, I am going to add some basic focusing tools, as a way of assuring that the child is able to place its attention to the task at hand. They are part of the Davis Dyslexia Correction Program, which you can find in more detail in ‘the Gift of Dyslexia’ by Ron Davis.

The second part of the book will address foundations of Maths, concepts that will lead to order in the brain and in the life of the person. Without these pillars, Maths is built on shaky grounds and missing even one of these Master Concepts can stop the mastery of calculi. Dyscalculia is often quite easily addressed when the ‘how’ follows the ‘why’. At school the presence of these foundations is taken for granted. It is assumed that anyone who can count to 100 actually understands what it means to count. There is a belief that teaching the ‘how-to’ will be sufficient to learn to add, subtract, multiply, divide and then go on to more abstract and sophisticated Math problems. However, missing the basics, the reasons why we add, the meaning of the symbols and amounts represented by abstract numerals leaves many children guessing and frustrated.

The third part will then address the ‘how-to’, in a fun, creative and interactive way. It will make Maths ‘real’, rather than abstract. After this much deeper understanding and reasoning behind calculations, the last part will add a different way of learning times tables. In one week or less the basic times tables should be learnt very easily and with fun.

to be continued…

 

 

 

 

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We are creating ‘entitled’ children

A frustrated Occupational Therapist gives her opinion on the generation of spoiled children, who are not to blame. Interesting strategies and answers, but of course her advice does not apply to all families and children. I think as a professional OT you may get that impression, working with children who are in need of change.

https://yourot.com/parenting-club/2017/5/24/what-are-we-doing-to-our-children


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The Gift of Dyslexia Workshop

I hope that everyone who has ever considered changing career to helping dyslexic children and adults, has seen this flyer – and the rare opportunity to start the dyslexic training in Sydney. For most trainees this will be all they need to make an impact in the class room or with their own child.

If you have any questions or if you would like to work with me at Sydney Dyslexia afterwards, please contact me on email: hoi.barbara1@gmail.com

The official Registration Form – Gift of Dyslexia Workshop

Venue: Crows Nest Centre, Sydney, Australia

10-13 July 2017

 

Register early, as places are limited to 18.

Minimum numbers apply so do not make travel arrangements without sufficient insurance before you receive confirmation.

Early-bird – Registration & payment AU$1955 required by 13 June 2017

Registration after 13 June 2017 AU$2300 closes 3 July 2017

 

Please note that your place will not be confirmed until payment is received.

 

Attendees:
Name_________________________________ Phone ______________________

Email _____________________________________________________________

Name_________________________________ Phone  ______________________

Email _____________________________________________________________

 

Credit Card: Visa / Mastercard (circle one)     Total Amount $________________

(Charges will appear as Sage Learning Limited)

 

Number __________________________________________ Exp______/______

Name on Card ____________________________________________

Signature________________________________________________

 

Please send my tax invoice, receipt and confirmation to:

 

Name_____________________________________________________________

 

Address___________________________________________________________

 

Email______________________________________ Phone  _________________

 

Email form to: margot@giftdyslexia.co.nz


Or Post to: 14 McLintock Street, Johnsonville, Wellington 6037, New Zealand

 

Any questions please phone: +64 4 478 2208 or email margot@giftdyslexia.co.nz


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The Power Of Storytelling

Yes, I agree, storytelling is powerful and important – not only in classrooms. Every speech becomes more memorable and emotionally charged, when spiced with stories and we all rather like being entertained than lectured.

Picture this: Maria is highly visual and everything about school confuses her. She is only six, you know – and already there is a huge pressure. After all, in Year One there is an expectancy to read, write stories, do your numbers, sit exams and complete homework after a day, where nothing made sense. Just words, explanations. Everyone just talks and talks. Most of the words they use don’t even mean anything to Maria. They don’t add to pictures and if they do, the pictures seem to be wrong. Maria is very bright and was so looking forward to go to school and finally learn and enjoy it like her bigger sister. Now she just pretends to know it already, to find reading just boring, disrupts others when they read or makes fun. She already knows that she is different to her friends, who seem to understand so much more. ‘What’s wrong with me? ‘ she wants to know.

One day, she sits in class, looking bored and feeling stupid, chewing on her already diminished fingernails and chatting to her best friend Emma, when a new teacher walks in. A young girl, who just finished her teaching degree, asks them to sit around her on the floor and starts telling them a story about an ancient place a long time ago, when Pharaohs ruled the lands and slavery was common-place. She creates images in the minds of these children, who listen spell-bound, transported out of the classroom and into another world. Maria is now soaking up every word, filing it into memory – and loving her new favorite subject: history.

 

https://www.edutopia.org/blog/storytelling-in-the-classroom-matters-matthew-friday?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow


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Fidget Spinners

In case you are not up to the latest and hottest toy of this year – or were like me, very late to realize – you may have asked yourself the same question: What are Fidget Spinners?

According to Wikipedia, fidget spinner is a type of stress-relieving toy. … The toy may help people who have trouble focusing or fidgeting by acting as a release mechanism for nervous energy or stress. Invented in the 1990s, fidget spinners became a popular toy in 2017, as fidget toys in general began experiencing mainstream popularity.

I have asked a few of my clients about them – all of them actually had them in their school bag and were proudly showing off their spinners – and if they actually helped them to focus or feel less stressed. The answer was that it wasn’t really that, but they just either like to be having the latest, coolest tool or that it is a good toy to collect.

There seems to be no negative side effect and some people on the internet even claimed that it helped them to kick an addiction to an electronic device.

Have you had any experience? Good or bad?


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A Mother’s heart break story

I cannot tell you how familiar this story sounded, when I read it on another Davis facilitator’s site. I have literally heard these lines, word-for-word from mothers of my dyslexic students – and also as the mother of a dyslexic child, who had been struggling before I found Davis. Phrases like this mother expressed: “He will be fine,” “He just needs to try harder,” “He isn’t applying himself,” “He’ll catch up,” “You should read with him more,” “Make him read more…”

Getting clients to realize that they are not dumb, but just learn differently, is one of the main aims of a program – and of course that only happens when they prove their abilities to themselves, when that overwhelming feeling of ‘I get it now’ comes over them and you see that smile and start believing in themselves.

Yes, they still have their creativity and the genius way of thinking, inventing, dreaming – but after they unlock their potential, they also have a way of showing this to the world:

http://www.drangiesplace.com/davis-program-saved-son/


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I Suck at Poems

Well, that’s what my 14-year old client told me today and I wrote these words down vertically for him to give me an acrostic poem:

P.S. An acrostic poem is a type of poetry where the first, last or other letters in a line spell out a particular word or phrase. The most common and simple form of an acrostic poem is where the first letters of each line spell out the word or phrase.

am lost

o lost

U sually not so lost.

C losed shows

K iss my nose

A t the snow

T onight’s the night

P ity she’s not here

O pen mouth

E ats cake

M y stuff is tough

S o tough.

It certainly got him over writer’s block and opened the gate to writing and expressing himself. Why not try it yourself – it works with any message, of course. Often it’s very daunting trying to write an essay, when you are creative and your mind just seems to race in every direction – yet no words make it to the page.