Learning the Multiplication Facts - NLD Style

I have a 13 year old son (now 8th grade) who was diagnosed with a right hemisphere learning disability in 4th grade.  I wanted to share this information with others as math always is such a perplexing issue. Our son, like many, could add and subtract in his head at a young age. In 6th grade he won a district wide math award involving solving word problems. Despite this he has always had real trouble in math often resulting in failing grades.

Due to social difficulties and self esteem issues we began working with a wonderful and creative child psychiatrist when our son was in 5th grade. One of the things we discussed was the difficulty in learning math and retrieving multiplication facts. Being a former special Ed teacher I had tried everything imaginable to assist our son. In discussing this problem we began to look at my son's strengths to see if we could come up with a way to learn this skills. Suddenly the Dr. got up from his chair walked over to a chalkboard and wrote long hand "eight sevens equal fifty six ." He then asked my son to read what he had written, and then asked him to write the sentence. After completing this they went on to talk about other things. At the end of the session he casually asked my son what eight sevens equaled, and to our joy my son just as casually said "fifty six". This technique was extremely helpful in enabling my son to learn his times tables well enough to get through the pre IEP math experiences without too many emotional scars. He now is able to use a calculator in general math and 1st year algebra and and this has made things better as well. The sad part of this story is that this Dr. retired from medicine and our family (and surely many others) has not encountered any other local practitioner to fill this void. Thanks again -- Suni

I forgot to add that I typed and printed out all the times tables in flashcard fashion as well. The important thing was that there were no symbols only words.


P.S. Sharp has just begun marketing a scientific calculator that has a LED screen on the top which prints out the calculations as they are entered. This has been helpful for Algebra and was introduced to him by his math tutor.