Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

Help please... my 10 year old can't grasp counting money

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Joined: Jan 22, 2008
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Posted Jan 10, 2011 at 12:16:13 PM
Subject: Help please... my 10 year old can't grasp counting money

My 10 year old has a severe math learning disability as well as other problems with learning. She has processing difficulties. We go over and over and over counting money and she can tell me what quarters, nickles etc are worth but when I ask her to give me, for example...87cents, it is nearly impossible. Also it is the same for bills. She can't give me $16 dollars from a stack of mixed bills. It is so frustrating. I am being realistic and I think she needs to get by in life by being able to add, subtract, multiply and divide, and know money and time. All the rest (algebra etc..) she probably doesn't need to know. Any help or any similar stories would be so appreciated.
Thank you,


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Joined May 05, 2008
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Posted:Jan 10, 2011 8:15:48 PM

You have probably tried this, but it is all i can think of and i feel bad for you trying so hard to teach such a necesary skill and getting nowhere.

Have you tried reducing the complexity of the task by instead of using the words dollars and cents you just ask her if she has 10 how many does she need to get to 16 then, see if she can pick out that number in dollars?

What about blocks? Have you tried addition and subtraction with blocks??? That can be helpful.

Have you told her that any time she manages to gather up the right bills to give you the number you have asked for she can keep that number in bills and spend it as she chooses? (for some it isn't so much *just* a math block it is a math block but it is also the lack of desire to do it because it is difficult not because they are clinically unable to do it.) Add some incentive and see what happens?

The only other thing i want to say to you is this. I don't know the details of what is going on with your child. But if it is just some LD, then do not sell her short. I have LD. I live with it every day of my life. It makes some very basic things very hard. I understand you want her to be able to survive in this world. That is your job as a parent. To prepare her for just that. It is wonderful that you are working so hard to do that. I admire your courage to face this. Some parents turn around and run the other way. To truly get by in this world though, one must be an equal to the rest. It is that much harder for those with LD to get there sometimes, but we can do it and demanding any less of us than you would someone else is just quite frankly unacceptable and is doing us no favors and a disservice. It is also robbing society of a gifted innovative creative mind that has an alternative thought process that if properly streamlined can offer so much to this world. I know this is hard for you and you are frusterated, but you can't even begin to imagine the kind of frusteration your child is feeling. Still, she continues fighting the good fight and trying over and over and over. Not because she cares if she can add or subtract but because she loves you. She wants so badly to give you what you want. Some day she probably will. When that day comes celebrate the victor and choose a new mountain to climb. Have you ever heard the statement, "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing"?

Imagine in 10 years some strange person comes to the door and says "Can i have $16? And she knows she has 16 dollars and she gives it to them after counting it up just as you taught her not realizing that the $16 is the entirity of her bank account because she never learned division or fractions... Holding her to a lesser standard due to LD is just honestly messed up. Gving her alternative ways to get there and breaking things down a bit more for her, or giving her some accomedations is leveling the playing field. Level it so she has a fair chance but hold her to the same standard.

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Joined Jun 12, 2009
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Hi Rachelle,
You are welcome to visit my forum for the maths disorder Dyscalculia, as this could explain her maths difficulties. This is caused by a problem with Spacial thinking. Where Spacial thinking is what gives numbers a sense of quantity. Without this, 1+2=3 makes no more sense than A+B=C. So that A+B=C can be memorised, but has no meaning.

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