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Struggling with Math
Q: My stepdaughter has learning disabilities in reading and math. She's made good progress in reading, but her math skills are still lacking. She constantly complains that she doesn't even understand the terms used in math. I'd like to know what I could do to help her. She's 12 and still can't count change. I'm concerned about where she should be by now. What can we do?
A: The best resource I can suggest for teaching your child is Nancy S. Bley and Carol A. Thornton's book, Teaching Mathematics to Students with Learning Disabilities. The book addresses a full range of difficulties students' encounter, from basic math concepts to everyday skills related to time and money. The key to teaching kids who have difficulties with math concepts is hands-on instruction using real-world materials. Bley and Thornton will give you a good guide to helping your child with this challenging subject.
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For more than 20 years, Eileen Marzola has worked with children and adults with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders, and with their parents and teachers. She has been a regular education classroom teacher, a consultant teacher/resource teacher, an educational evaluator/diagnostician, and has also taught graduate students at the university level. Marzola is an adjunct assistant professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Hunter College of the City University of New York. She also maintains a private practice in the evaluation and teaching of children with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders.