Special Education for Math: Counting Money

Learning how to count money is often a lot of fun for students, including those in special education programs. When you're teaching your child to count money, plan lessons that match his or her ability level. Here are some general tips for teaching this essential skill to a child with special needs.

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Teaching Kids in Special Education to Count Money

Helping Your Child

Many kids have had several opportunities to use money and might even have savings of their own. The reason this skill is enjoyable to many children is because it gives them independence. However, when a child has special needs or a learning disability, it can get a bit complicated because children in special education often need extra help when learning certain skills.

Don't hesitate to get in touch with your child's math teacher or any other education professionals working closely with your child. It's often important to diagnose the problem and understand what your child needs before proceeding.

Counting Money at Home

Each lesson you give should be in tune with his or her attention span. Many children in special education programs have short attention spans and will lose focus after more than ten or fifteen minutes. Often, using real item and visuals will be more effective than expecting your child to immediately understand abstract concepts on a page or a computer screen.

Use hands-on materials, like play money. Have your child use the play money to figure out the answers to problems. Your child should also see the real version of each denomination. Even the best play money isn't exactly like real money and you want your child to make the connection between play money and real money.

When your child is ready, take him or her to the toy store or a super market. Allot your child a certain budget and have him or her pick an item that falls within this figure. Present your child with money and help him or her count the correct amount. Next, your child can pay for his or her item independently, without your help, which can give your child a true sense of accomplishment.

Helpful Resources

Many simple and complex counting money games that you can find online are designed to keep students engaged. They will often help your child visualize monetary values. There are also many online resources, like articles and videos, that can help you understand what your child needs.

Talk to your child's teacher if you think your child needs help outside of school that you are unable to provide as a parent. You might consider hiring a private remedial math tutor, seeking assistance from a child psychologist or talking to other special education professionals.

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