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Common Skill Deficits Experienced by Students with LDs

Learn Types of Math Skill Deficits to Focus Instructional Strategies


Updated December 16, 2011

Identifying Specific Skill Deficits is the first step in designing appropriate instruction for a child diagnosed, with learning disabilities in basic math or applied math. Special Education teachers typically use standardized diagnostic assessment, observations, and analysis of student work to identify specific areas of weakness. Teachers then develop instruction and select appropriate strategies.

Children with LDs in math may have difficulty with:

  • Remembering math facts, steps in problem solving, complex rules, and formulas;
  • Understanding the meaning of math facts, operations, and formulas,
  • Understanding why problem solving steps are needed and how rules and formulas affect numbers and the problems solving process;
  • Solving problems quickly and efficiently;
  • Focusing attention on details and accuracy;
  • Becoming lost in the problem solving process;
  • Making errors because of handwriting problems;
  • Mentally computing answers;
  • Applying math skills in new problem-solving situations;
  • Remembering and following multi-step instructions;
  • Making logical leaps in problem solving based on previous learning;
  • Inability to find the important information and/or choose the right problem solving strategy to correctly solve word problems;
  • Inability to find errors in their own work or to identify mistakes they made in solving the problem; and
  • Understanding math terms.
When you observe these problems in your child's work, share the information with his teachers to help develop appropriate instructional strategies that target your child's specific needs.

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