The Acquisition of Numeracy

There are many areas in which to shine in mathematics, but unfortunately, there are also many areas in which to struggle. As with the language domain, mathematics is a broad topic with many associated cognitive tasks, each demanding a unique skill set. Math tasks change over time, demanding increased refinement or elaboration of skill sets, or the addition of new ones as a student progresses through school. A student’s ability to succeed in math may change as demands change. Many students simply need additional instructional time and structure, while others need individualized therapies that acknowledge their specific strengths and needs. Treat math instruction with the same kind of thoughtful and targeted strategies that are applied to reading and language arts instruction. We need to be similarly diagnostic and prescriptive within the context of math!

Math disabilities resulting from general cognitive deficits in language processing, executive functioning or memory systems can be addressed using whole-to-part, multimodal therapies that show the big picture first, and structures how the parts are connected to the whole. Students develop language skills necessary to describe math concepts and relationships as they perceive and process them. Math-specific issues related to the representation of quantity will also be addressed in terms of a diagnostic- prescriptive approach.

Drive Instruction from Whole-to-Part