Learning Differences

Reach and teach ALL learners.

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Suppose there was a math program that generated outstanding results for students with learning differences? What if the method was easy for teachers, tutors, parents, and students to learn and teach? There is –– TouchMath!

Teaching math to students with any learning challenge can be a daunting task. While some of us take learning math for granted, it is a very abstract subject that requires learning one skill before moving on to the next skill. The TouchMath method of instruction helps to reinforce each skill by seamlessly bridging the gap between abstract and concrete concepts. Instead of giving the student limited opportunities to master a skill, the TouchMath Program gives the student multiple, meaningful repetitions to truly understand the concept. TouchMath also incorporates the strategy of scaffolding (using supports to promote learning) so that the student can have success with math immediately without feeling frustrated.

As more Special Education departments nationwide incorporate TouchMath as their comprehensive math program, TouchMath continues to create new programs, manipulatives, technology, and adaptations to reach a wider range of student needs and challenges.

Find Out More About Learning Differences

  • Special Ed K-3
  • Special Ed 4-Adult
  • Autism
  • Free Training

Why Teach TouchMath to Students K–3 with Special Needs?

What if your students with special educational needs could compete with their peers in general education classrooms? Suppose you could help them develop a positive attitude about math and raise math test scores across the board at your school?

Sound impossible? Not according to Elizabeth De Fazio, a special education teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and one of 2,000 special education professionals trained in TouchMath as part of a district-wide initiative.

Los Angeles Unified School District

Leveling the playing field.

"Typically, what I hear back from teachers in the general education classrooms is 'yes, your child did really well on this area of the test, and yes, they were using TouchMath,'" says De Fazio.

My biggest thrill is the happiness I see on my students' faces. TouchMath is an errorless program. As long as they can count forward or backward, my kids are successful. Student self-esteem is boosted and test scores are higher. There's an overall, pervasive attitude change," she concludes.

Find out how the Los Angeles Unified School District Division of Special Education improved student math proficiency.

Teaching Math Effectively

Math is not just for classrooms. It's for life.

Our signature TouchPoints give individuals with learning differences the edge they need to understand and use math effectively.

TouchPoints are introduced to help students understand that each numeral has a real value. Using pictorial objects and TouchPoints on numerals, pupils learn that a numeral (3, for example) is not just a meaningless squiggle. It represents a quantity such as three ladybugs, three apples or three pencils.

Recognize, cultivate and appreciate different learning styles.

In TouchMath, students are encouraged to see, say, hear and touch the TouchPoints in the correct Touching/Counting Patterns. By engaging all the senses, we acknowledge learning preferences and actually strengthen all of the learning modalities.

Encourage memorization

TouchPoints are intended to develop memorization skills whenever possible. As students move at their own pace toward fact mastery, many no longer need TouchPoints. For others, TouchPoints will remain an invisible, errorless and portable resource throughout life.

Teach math one step at a time.

Only when students fully understand and master one skill, are they are prepared to learn the next, more challenging concept. The intuitive, sequential TouchMath method teaches each skill thoroughly before moving on. For example, students learn all beginning addition skills and counting-on before moving on to subtraction.

Use appropriate materials.

Students with learning challenges and impairments can be intimidated by a page filled to the margins with math equations. Our pages are uncluttered, with large print, plentiful workspace and a manageable number of problems on each page.

Why Teach TouchMath to Older and Adult Students with Special Needs?

What if there was a math program guaranteed to help students of all ages and abilities learn math? Imagine how proud an adult would feel to balance a checkbook for the first time or secure a good job?

Dawn Jenkin

Texas teacher Dawn Jenkin knows firsthand how it feels. Despite her intellectual savvy and perseverance, Dawn struggled through school, dropped out of high school and was told she would never fulfill her dream of becoming a teacher. It wasn't until she was an adult that Dawn was finally diagnosed with dyslexia. She sought help, found programs including TouchMath and overcame the odds. Today Dawn teaches TouchMath to all her students at Amber Terrace Elementary School.

Read Dawn's personal story of her triumph over dyslexia.

Teaching Math Effectively

Try a new approach.

By fourth grade, students with learning difficulties come to your classroom demoralized by their prior experiences with numbers. They've been over simple concepts a hundred times and they just don't get it. TouchMath offers a fresh approach — one that is easy to learn and remember. Begin again with the basics and progress step-by-step based on student readiness.

Many adults with special needs are undiagnosed or under-served. TouchMath's multisensory, sequential approach offers new hope for math success.

TouchPoints make math accessible – anywhere, anytime.

For older students and adults with special needs, TouchPoints provide a clear advantage over counting on fingers or using manipulatives. Students can remain focused on their papers without the intrusion of cumbersome manipulatives. TouchPoints are an accurate and reliable tool that can be applied in any setting, from the classroom to the mall. As long as students can count forward, backward and in sequences, they will always arrive at the correct answer.

Use appropriate materials.

Our educational experts are sensitive to the needs of individuals with learning differences. All TouchMath worksheets are uncluttered, with large print, plentiful workspace and a manageable number of problems on each page. Our upper grades materials use graphics, vocabulary and packaging appropriate for older age groups.

Why Teach TouchMath to Students with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder?

Suppose there was a math program that generated outstanding results for students with an autistic spectrum disorder? What if the method was easy for teachers, tutors and parents to learn and teach?

Graham Mongin

A recent autism prevalence report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in every 88 American children have been diagnosed with an autistic spectrum disorder. Among these is 13-year-old Graham Mongin. After years of frustration, Graham found success with TouchMath. He made the critical connection between numerals and quantities. Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division quickly followed. "TouchMath gave Graham something that had been missing," commented his mom. "It gave him an opportunity to improve."

Read more about Graham Mongin.

How to Teach Math Effectively

Help students connect numerals with the quantities they represent.

Students diagnosed with an autistic spectrum disorder vary greatly in their ability to comprehend math. In many instances, these children are able to count objects or repeat the names of numerals. However, they may have difficulty grasping that a numeral is a symbol associated with a specific quantity. For example, the numeral 5 may represent five pennies, five pencils, five fingers, etc. To convey this fundamental principle, TouchMath places pictures of familiar objects or our signature TouchPoints on the numerals.

TouchPoints are mental manipulatives.

Our unique TouchPoints make it possible for people with disabilities to perform math functions essential for daily living and for academic accomplishment.

  • TouchPoints serve as mental manipulatives for students who find concrete manipulatives cumbersome and distracting. With TouchPoints, students can remain focused on their papers.
  • Counting on fingers and other improvised tactics can be inconsistent, inaccurate and condescending for older students. TouchPoints are portable, reliable and can be used in any setting for as long as needed.
  • Test scores improve and guesswork is eliminated when students learn to visualize the TouchPoints on the numerals.

Follow the prescribed step-by-step process.

TouchMath is meticulously designed to introduce information in a sequential, scaffolded process. Step by careful step, students progress to more complex math skills at their own pace. They experience a personal sense of accomplishment and positive reinforcement from teachers and parents.

Materials matter.

A student with an autistic spectrum disorder can be overwhelmed by a worksheet overloaded with math equations. Our pages are uncluttered, present a manageable number of problems, use large print and provide plenty of workspace.

Beginning with first-grade materials, we introduce visual cues that help with left/right directionality, reduce number reversals and reinforce place value.

Free Teacher Training Program:

Teacher Training Manual

Take our interactive training and discover the unique advantages of the TouchMath Program. In just one hour, you will learn the step- by-step process for teaching our multisensory system to students of all abilities and learning styles. Along with the online training videos, we will supply all the materials you need for a hands-on, interactive learning experience – absolutely free and yours to keep. Plus, if you watch the training videos with your colleagues, you'll receive a thank you gift.

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