Multiplication can be very difficult for students with dyslexia. As a dyslexia tutor, I have often advised the parents of my students on how to help their dyslexic children improve in this area. For a dyslexic, numbers can be difficult in the same way that letters can be difficult. As a result, basic math skills like multiplication facts may be very hard for a dyslexic child to memorize.
There are several methods that may make learning multiplication facts easier for a dyslexic student. First of all, try using some sort of objects to represent the multiplication facts. For 2 x 2, try using two groups of two pennies each to represent the result. This way, a dyslexic child will hear 2 x 2 and be able to physically see the result of four pennies. If you try 2 x 3 , you would set up three groups of two pennies each. Using some sort of objects with multiplication will often help a dyslexic student make connections between the theory of multiplication and the process of doing it.
Another useful tool are multiplication flash cards. Flash cards are easy to use, and can produce great results when they are used consistently. Incorporating flash cards into a child’s daily routine can provide the repetition and consistency that my be needed for the child to master multiplication facts.
Finally, another good strategy is to have the child count up by certain numbers. In my years as a dyslexia tutor, I have seen this technique help many students. Have the child practice counting up by 3’s, 4’s, 5’s, etc. This way, when you ask them what 4 x 4 is, they will be able to count up, “4, 8, 12, 16” and have their answer. Yes, this may take a bit of time at first, but eventually, it will become more automatic for them.
By incorporating different strategies, you can help a dyslexic child learn multiplication facts more easily.