REQUEST for Accommodations
SAMPLE LETTER TO DISABLED STUDENT SERVICES ADVISOR
January 15, 2013
Diagnosis: Developmental Dyscalculia (Specific Learning Disability in Mathematics)
Diagnostic code: 315.1
To whom it may concern:
After a comprehensive assessment that included a complete educational history, standardized intelligence and academic achievement tests, personal interviews, and a psychological battery, it is our professional opinion that Student meets the criteria for a diagnosis of dyscalculia, AKA specific learning disability in mathematics.
Student consistently performs well above average on reading and writing tasks, and well below average on math tasks. His deficits are specific to sequential math memory, math working memory, math fact recall, mathematical reasoning and problem solving, math calculation, and general storage and fluent retrieval of practiced math skills.
These deficits are not due to inattention, illness, insufficient interest or motivation, anxiety, educational gaps, poor instruction, poor study skills, socio-economic circumstances, or other environmental causes.
Research has proven developmental dyscalculia results from cortical abnormalities in regional neural organization in the left angular gyrus, particularly a reduction in grey matter in the left intraparietal sulcus; whereas acquired dyscalculia occurs after lesions to the left parietal lobe.
Student cannot overcome these cognitive impairments with typical approaches, like tutoring and studying harder, alone, as these cannot lead to permanent math learning, math memory and math facility. While Student is capable of executing guided practice, and demonstrating mastery through extended exercises; he is incapable of retaining math material in long-term memory, and must relearn the concepts at each attempt.
Given these limitations, it is only reasonable to require his exposure to and demonstrated short-term facility with the math course material required of his degree program.
In other words, it is appropriate for Student to cover required course material in a computer-mediated format, which tracks exposure and practice, requires demonstrated mastery of perquisite skills before introducing new concepts, does not require performance on a cumulative final assessment, is self-paced, has just-in-time help for vocabulary definitions, concept demonstrations (review), instant feedback, and ample scaffolded practice until independence is achieved, and has instant tools for measuring, calculating, and color-coding operations.
Full course credit should be given for complete progression through the established curriculum, on a pass-fail basis (not calculated into GPA).
An acceptable format is the ALEKS program used by the University of Wisconsin-Madison for distance education and independent study.
- ALEKS Success Stories: http://www.aleks.com/highered/success_stories
- Univ. of Wisconsin's online Algebra: https://il.wisconsin.edu/catalog/course.aspx?course=U3600-110
- Graduate on time with dyscalculia:
If the required math courses are not integral to the degree, the university may elect course waivers and substitutions.