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Math Disabilities

Uploaded by stac on Apr 20, 2002

There seem to be many problems within the American educational system today. Most of the problems refer back to the differences in the students that undergo the education system. Some of these students are handicapped, some are not motivated either at home or by themselves, and some have learning disabilities. The world of learning disabilities is large and seems to receive the least amount of attention. Learning disabilities are apparent in some children while in others they remain hidden. One example of a learning disability exists in children that speak languages different from English, which is spoken the most in schools today. Children that speak different languages seem to have the most trouble in math because their memory works differently, their organizational skills are different and they lack the symbolic understanding that English speaking children possess. Psychologists have also found that there is a link to children with language disabilities, their mathematical skills, and their reading skills. This is especially seen in word problems. “When solving story problems, children must understand complex language and solve problems presented in meaningful contexts.” (Jordan p. 569)

The most apparent problem found amongst children that are language impaired is their symbolic understanding. This weakness is also found amongst children with other disabilities. The main problem with symbolic understanding is that the children do not seem to realize that things can stand for other things. “They may fail to come to terms with the notion that one coin can stand for two other coins” (Grauberg p.3)

It is understood that children with a problem with symbolic understanding most likely suffer from other learning disabilities.

“Such children are most probably learning-impaired in a wider sense, but they are often found in special language units and in special schools for children with language impairments.” (Grauberg p. 3) Children who seem to have the most problems with symbolic understanding are the ones that are known as being semantic or pragmatic. These types of children are able to use the symbols that are numbers and letters. However, they can only use them as they learned them causing the children to be unable to see the symbols as constructs which, only stand for a meaning. “In general, such children will have difficulty in applying acquired number skills to new situations”. (Grauberg p.4)

Some children with very large problems in language development seem to just give up on learning mathematical skills at a...

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Uploaded by:   stac

Date:   04/20/2002

Category:   Miscellaneous

Length:   9 pages (2,082 words)

Views:   1537

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