Adult Dyslexia Report

In the 40 years that the British Dyslexia Association has been campaigning there has been many changes in the world of dyslexia, some of them good.

In light of this milestone, the British Dyslexia Association has produced a report looking back at the last 40 years and has made recommendations for the future.

In partnership with The Dyslexia Foundation and after consulting 100 organisations, this report is a wide ranging and comprehensive assessment of the current provision for adults with dyslexia.

The link to the full report is here:

‘Moving Numeracy’ by Sue Peace

“Movement is the Door to Learning” Dennison creator of Brain Gym®

Moving Numeracy (MN) addresses the physical movements that are the
foundations for all learning skills including maths: visual, auditory, tactile and
proprioceptive. The aim of Moving Numeracy (MN) is to co-ordinate the body to
be able to concentrate and develop new and effective maths learning. Moving
Numeracy is aiming at “making a match” between the maths concepts necessary
to learn and the movements which can support this learning.

As an example have you ever taught a pupil who cannot tell the time?

Time and Movement

This is one of the least understood areas of learning in relation to poor binocular
vision. With poor binocular vision any learning involving vision will be more
difficult. Stein ¹ explains how the behaviour of the eyes skews the numbers on
the clock to one side of the clock, along with the reversals of numbers.

The clock face is distorted for these individuals and to tell the time will probably
be impossible. Hence eye behavioural correction exercises are top of the
priorities in MN for these types of students. Developing tracking skills for reading
from left to right along with eye hand co-ordination for recording are fundamental
principles of MN.

Often the confusion with direction such as left/right and b/d can extend to
confusion with concepts such as clockwise. MN encourages the pupil to
physically move up and down, left and right, clockwise and anticlockwise and in
other ways to address the development of the directional senses. How can you
tell the time from a traditional clock face if you cannot tell which direction is

Number and Movement

In discussion related to dyscalculia, Professor Brian Butterworth, a leading expert
on numeracy, reminds us of how children spend hours
playing and counting with their fingers. Muscle movement
is an aspect of this task. Historically “how long” could
have been described as a measure of a foot, or 3 foot or
7 feet etc. In times gone by a yard was the measure of
the king’s arm length. Hence, historically, arithmetic and
moving part of the body has been an accepted aspect of numeracy.

The Moving Numeracy program begins with the concept of the quantity of “five”
and uses visual, tactile, auditory and proprioceptive stimulation. Pupils are
touching, seeing, talking about and moving shapes based on the “X” movement.

 “Thinking of an X” is one of the basic 26 Brain Gym® movements” (Dennison).

Looking at the X includes 5 points on the X and involves crossing the visual
midline essential for visual co-ordination.
This technique is extended to cover the concept of other quantities hence
enabling the dyscalculic pupil to grasp the meaning of number, size and the
concept of counting. This “X” pattern is a foundational aspect of the Moving
Numeracy program.

Memory and Movement

“Memories that are movement and sensory based (tied to specific senses as
vision, hearing and touch) are more likely to be retained and retrieved”

For practise, revision and memory support these quantity and number patterns
which are continually revisited, stimulating both short and long term memory. The
same pattern structures are used to teach concepts of length, weight, currency,
area and volume.

Physicist and mathematician Katy Bowman explains that correct alignment or
posture leads to more oxygen flow, more support for the body’s organs, and
motor skills which are vital for cognitive function.
“A typical classroom experience lacks the quantity of movement required for healthy physiological development” (Bowman)².
With this in mind it makes movement a sensible part of a numeracy teaching

Sue Peace: BSc; BEd, MEd, AMBDA, SpLDPAC, KFRP, Brain Gym® Instructor

Email: Tel: 07786068097

² Dennison, P and G, Brain Gym® Teacher’s Edition, 2010, California, Hearts at Play, Edu-Kinesthetics.
Pages 3, 7, 50

¹ Fawcett, A., and Nicholson, 1994, Dyslexia in Children, Essex, Pearson Educational Limited. Page 152,

Butterworth, B., 1999. The Mathematical Brain. London, Papermac-MacMillan

Multisensory resources for Maths by Jacky Gurney

At the HDA AGM, Gilliam Cawse spoke on the subject of ‘Dyscalculia –
what to do when the numbers don’t add up’. She made some
recommendations for equipment to help children with dyscalculia which
included these resources.

Illustrated is ‘1st Steps with Numicon at Home’.
£30.89 + VAT. There are further resources for
different year groups.

The Numicon shapes make numbers real for
children because they can see them and touch
them. The shapes make odd and even numbers
very apparent and they help children to
understand addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. There are kits available for groups of children and ‘One to One’ kits that are
ideal for tutors and parents. Included in the kits are guide books with structured teaching ideas.

Cuisenaire Rods.
Introductory Set illustrated. £8.99 from

The Rods come in 10 different colours and lengths representing
different numbers. Young children soon get used to the colour
system and older students find Cuisenaire Rods acceptable to
work with too. They can be used to demonstrate things like
number bonds, area, perimeter, factors, multiples, double
numbers, near doubles, fractions, ratios.

Cuisenaire rods can be used in conjunction with the number tracks from Numicon.

Glass nuggets are very tactile, so good for any counting
750g Adorn Glass Nuggets: blue, green, or clear available online. £2 + p&p.
Plastic Peg Board & Peg Set.

£6.50 from
Peg Boards with 100 holes are good for demonstrating percentages
and fractions.

Base Ten or Dienes Blocks. Illustrated is learning resources Interlocking Base
Ten (Starter Set) £22.95 from Amazon.
The blocks are good for illustrating the number system
and place value. They can be used for adding and
subtracting numbers and concepts such as ‘carrying’
and ‘borrowing’. See a demonstration on:

Stile System

This is a self checking system. The tiles are placed in a
special tray, and if all the answers are right, a given pattern,
that matches with the exercise from the book, will be
revealed when the tray is turned over. There are three
packs; ‘Numbers and the Number System’ (which is
especially helpful for children with dyscalculia), ‘Calculations’
and ‘Shape and Measure’. Suitable for children in Key Stage
2 and older children who need reinforcement at this level.
The packs offer a systematic approach. Available from: Tray is £6.75 and books 19.99 a set.

Numbershark. Single CD is £59.00.
Numbershark is a motivating computer programme that uses 45 games
to teach and reinforce numeracy and improve understanding and the
use of numbers. The wide variety of carefully designed games provides
many ways in which to practise at a chosen level and then to build
skills in very gradual steps. The games focus on: the number system
and sequencing (very useful for dyscalculics); addition, subtraction,

multiplication, division, fractions, decimals and percentages.

Jacky Gurney.

Prices and suppliers based on a web search in Aug 2011. Except for Numbershark,
other suppliers are available.