Dyslexia Expert: Dyscalculia is as Big a Problem for Schools Today as Dyslexia 25 Years Ago
Celia Stone, co-author of Beat Dyslexia, talks about her new work with children with numeracy problems in Cornwall on Monday.
Celia Stone, co-author of best-selling multi-sensory literacy programme Beat Dyslexia has been invited to run a workshop at a conference organised by Cornwall Dyslexia Association and Cornwall Council. She will be talking about her experiences as a teacher with over 35 years’ experience of working with children with special education needs, and about her new initiative, Beat Dyscalculia, for children who are struggling with maths. The multi-sensory programme includes songs, stories, shapes and colours and a counting machine called an Addacus that Celia has invented.
The conference, entitled ‘Meeting The Needs of Young People with Dyscalculia’ aims to highlight the issues that children can have when learning maths and numeracy and offer some solutions. It will be held at The Royal Cornwall Showground in Wadebridge on Monday 26th March.
In an average class, at least 1 child will have dyscalculia and around half of dyslexic children will also have problems with maths.
Celia said: “I was inspired to create the programme by a little boy called Oliver who one day came into one of my literacy classes with tears on his eyelashes. I decided not to ask him what was wrong and eventually he sidled up to my desk and said, ‘please miss, what does ‘times’ mean?’ It was then that it struck me that there were many kids out there who were struggling with the language and concepts of maths, and so I set out to do something about it.
“When I started working with dyslexic kids, dyslexia wasn’t something that was widely known about and understood, and that’s the position we’re in with dyscalculia today. This is one of the biggest problems facing schools at the moment: There is so much pressure on schools to improve literacy and numeracy levels and make sure all children get good SATs scores, but until teachers can recognise children with dyscalculia and are able to modify their teaching methods to suit children who learn differently, they’re going to struggle.”
Celia will be speaking alongside world-renowned dyscalculia expert, Professor Brian Butterworth, Professor of Cognitive Neuropsychology at University College, London, and Patricia Babtie, co-author of ‘The Dyscalculia Assessment’.