Many parents come to LexiAbility thinking that their children perform poorly at math. And although this may be true in the classroom, we encourage parents to consider the idea that math is a global brain activity — and that the deeper meaning of math is not based in language-based, rote memory, and in sequencing arbitrary information. In fact,  a rich understanding of math involves visual-spatial strengths, analysis and synthesis, and creative and abstract thinking.
Those with dyslexia have a brain difference that results in his weaknesses with language processing, rote memory, and sequencing arbitrary information; but it also comes with amazing strengths in visual-spatial abilities, analysis and synthesis, and creative and abstract thinking.
Image source: FCIT.

Image source: FCIT.

 There are many ways to learn math. Unfortunately, standard curricula approach math with little consideration to numeracy outside of language, rote memory, and arbitrary information. The overarching concepts of math sense and math theory are often ignored until graduate-level math courses. Scientific research tells us, time and time again, that the way we are approaching math in the classroom is off-base and media tells us, time and time again, that Americans are falling behind in academic performance with particular regard to math. Instead of examining the underpinnings of how children best learn math, we examine children who can’t learn math the way it is taught. This is backwards. And it’s not working.

The MIND Research Institute is making inroads when it comes to approaching math visually and spatially — an approach that is especially appreciated by those with dyslexia. What is groundbreaking about their approach is that it’s not simply the integration of technology into the classroom – it is about an approach that recognizes that all not all thinking is language-based and that perhaps some things are better learned using visual, spatial, and creative strengths.

LexiAbility has contacted the MIND Research Institute with the hope that we can bring this alternative method of instruction for math to Kansas City. Stay tuned.


How a Dyslexic Neuroscientist’s iPad App Will Boost Your Kid’s Math Scores

ST Math, which uses visual puzzles to teach concepts such as fractions and number lines to elementary school kids, is the creation of the Irvine, Calif.–based nonprofit MIND Research Institute. The organization’s work could help quell some heated debates being waged in school districts and around kitchen tables across the country regarding technology’s role in the classroom.

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