Diagnostic Assessments and Interventions
Helmy follows closely the current research studies on dyscalculia and math learning difficulties and is familiar with the latest academic articles and books on this topic. She selects the best intervention programs and materials available, while following the math curriculum in the respective schools.
Individual sessions are designed to the needs of the student and are suitable for students in Kindergarten, primary and secondary school students as well as private school students and students attending International Schools in Singapore who encounter difficulties in learning mathematics.
The main focus during the sessions is working on the understanding of math concepts, whereby current processing and problem-solving strategies will be analyzed and corrected or improved. Based upon age and topic, the sessions will be adapted to the individual learner and his/her current level of understanding. Domain examples: number sense, number concepts, arithmetic, place value, fractions, time, decimals, percentages, algebra etc. Concrete materials and a variety of resources will be used to enhance the individual’s understanding of math concepts, increase number sense and apply their knowledge efficiently. Foundations skills need to be mastered or improved prior to learning more complex word problem sums. Math games are implemented to develop a positive attitude, reinforce math concepts and have fun with math.
Educational Therapy may focus as well on developing underlying skills such as memory, attention, metacognition, processing speed, study skills and time management which are equally important. Topics will be divided into smaller components, whereby the learner can more easily experience success and gain more confidence in mathematics. Early intervention is crucial for all students with math difficulties to improve their learning, reduce their math anxiety and frustrations and enhance their performances.
Prior to the intervention, a diagnostic math assessment is recommended in order to determine the underlying difficulties in mathematics and to determine strengths and weaknesses. In addition, math anxiety will be assessed, whereby the goal is to identify NAT and its causes. A remediation plan (or IEP) will be developed whereby the targeted interventions are based upon the specific difficulties of the individual. A regular re-assessment will be conducted in order to evaluate the progress.
Assessment Reports will be provided upon request and include tests results, appropriate interventions and recommendations.
Consultation services; providing professional advice and information related to dyscalculia and (severe) math difficulties, including collaboration with schools, teachers and other professionals if required.
Example cases of students with math difficulties.
All these students mentioned below required a diagnostic assessment containing formal and informal tests to identify the underlying difficulties in mathematics, strengths and weaknesses and assess math anxiety. Thereafter an Individual Education Plan (IEP) had been developed for a math intervention program of a short or longer duration.
1)Student with Dyslexia, P1.
Judy is 7 years old and has been diagnosed with dyslexia at age 6. The psychologist had conducted the WISC-IV (an IQ test) and the WIAT-III (an achievement test) and thereafter the CTOPP to assess phonological processing. As Judy developed math difficulties in P1, the information from the test battery concerning mathematics is insufficient to develop an IEP. In order to assess all the gaps in mathematical development at age 7 a different test battery is required to assess early math skills, number sense, foundations skills in math, math concepts, reasoning skills, problem solving strategies, math vocabulary, number patterns etc.
2) Student with dyslexia and severe math difficulties in P2
Susan has been diagnosed with dyslexia in K2 by a psychologist in private practice who conducted the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI-R), the British Achievement Scales (BAS-II) and the Macmillan Individual Reading Analysis (MIRA). Recommendations included deferment to Primary School and seeking specialized language support. Susan is currently struggling with all subjects in school and exhibits signs of stress, anxiety and school avoidance.
3) Student with math anxiety, Grade 3 “I hate Math”
James is attending an International School grade 3 and parents noticed his reluctance and insecurities while learning mathematics. Feedback from the school indicated he is a quiet, friendly and well-behaved boy with a lot of friends. Parents thought the “I hate math” from a 7-year-old was a cry for help and requested advice.
4)Student with ADHD, P3
Stephen is currently having problems with math and failed math in P1 and in P2. The report from the psychologist indicated only an IQ test (WISC-IV) had been conducted and she described him as functioning in the low average range of intelligence. A paediatrician confirmed Stephen had ADHD and prescribed Ritalin to improve his problems regulating his attention.
5) Student with GDD, P1
Mark has been diagnosed with GDD in Kindergarten 1 and has received speech therapy as well as occupational therapy. Currently in P1 Mark has encountered difficulties learning mathematics as his comprehension is low and his vocabulary insufficient to understand the questions and sums in class as well as for homework and he is unable to keep up with his peers.
6) Student with dyslexia in P5
Andy has been diagnosed with dyslexia at age 6 by a psychologist in private practice. He then enrolled in programs conducted by the Dyslexia Association Singapore (DAS) although parents find his work is not on par yet with his classmates. He also has tuition for mathematics, but he still struggles to cope with the demands, resulting in frustrating behaviours and acting out.
7) Student with Dyscalculia, Sec 3
Richard has been diagnosed with dyscalculia by a psychologist in private practice who conducted the WISC-IV, the WIAT-III and the Test of Visual Perceptual Skills (TVPS-3). He displayed significant deficits in fluency for math facts, addition, subtraction and multiplication as well as difficulties with fractions and other mathematical operations. Intense remediation in basic mathematics was recommended, as well as tailored interventions to improve his math skills and to learn compensation strategies. Noteworthy, he did not have math anxiety.
8) Student with Dyslexia and Dyscalculia, grade 9
Olivia is a student at an International School who was diagnosed with mild dyslexia by a psychologist in private practice who conducted the WISC-IV, the WIAT-III and the TVPS-3. Olivia’s mathematical performance was in the average range however, her math fluency was weaker. Parents have concerns she may have dyscalculia as well.
9) Student with ADHD, ODD and CD, P4
Rick has been diagnosed by a psychologist from the MOE with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and Conduct Disorder (CD) as well as dyslexia. Later on, a psychologist from the Child Guidance Clinic diagnosed ADHD. His school did not have the Learning Support for Mathematics (LSM) and he made only little progress during his time at the Dyslexia Association Singapore (DAS). He has consistently failed math and displayed severe math anxiety.
10) Student with Dyslexia, P3
Karen has been diagnosed with mild dyslexia at age 7 by a psychologist from the Dyslexia Association Singapore (DAS) who conducted the Differential Ability Scales (DAS) and WIAT-III. Math performance indicated an average performance, but Karen struggled throughout the lower Primary School with learning mathematics.
K2: diagnostic math assessment $120 (excluding report). $50 p/h Math Ed Th.
P1-P2: diagnostic math assessment $180 (excluding report). $60 p/h Math Ed Th.
P3 and above: diagnostic math assessment $250 (excluding report). $70 p/h Math Ed Th.
Dyscalculia-SMD Screening: $80-120 (including report) per individual.
Group Screening for Dyscalculia-SMD upon request.
Location, see ‘contact’. Home based sessions available upon request.
Verbal or if required, written reports will be provided upon request and include tests results, appropriate interventions and recommendations.
“Educational Therapy’s view of the whole individual encompasses academic, psycho-educational and socio-emotional aspects of a clients’ life in an effort to improve the individual’s learning experience.”