This is not exactly about Disney (but we do live right outside WDW), but since many of you are very knowledgeable about disabilities I thought I would ask. My child is missing the fingers on one hand. The teacher is teaching the students math counting on their fingers. My child runs into an issue after five. I have asked the school to allow a number line on the desk. (My child uses this at home with great sucess). They are acting like I asked for the world. They don't know if they can "allow" that. Am I missing something?

I'm moving this to our disABILITIES Community Board, since it doesn't relate directly to Disney travel. I think what you are asking for is a resonable accomidation for your child's disability. If you can't get anywhere with the teacher, go higher up - like the principal. And, if that's no good, try the Special Education Coordinator for the district.

You are not out of line at all. I was going to suggest an abacus, but if a number line works, great. I'd go as high up as I had to. It's making me mad just thinking about this. I would be so tempted to go into school with my child and hold up her fingerless hand and say, "Count on your fingers, sweetheart" just to make the school folks feel really stupid.

Thats not unreasonable at all. In the mean time I would have flip off her shoes and count her toes . Maybe then they can see how ridiculous they are being.

You are absolutely right to expect an accomodation, and why the teacher hadn't already implemented it on his/her own is beyond me. Besides....I know it's a style of teaching, but my kids were always discouraged from counting on their fingers by a teacher as you can't remove the fingers later from the process. They were always taught with number lines or prompts that were then phased away.

have your child ask every time to "borrow" the teacher's hand to count on. see how fast the teacher puts in that number line then!

I assume that your DD does not have an IEP, if her missing fingers are her only "difference." One thing you might do is threaten to REQUIRE an IEP if they won't informally give an accomodation. For each child who has special services, multiple meetings, notices, etc are required. Seems like they'd give you what you need, just to avoid this.

Actually, I think a 504 plan would be a perfect fit for you. My eldest has a neuro tremor in her right hand, and her 504 plan provides accomodations for that, things like a keyboard for lengthy writing assignments (laptop now that she's in middle school, but up to about 3rd grade she had an AlphaSmart), she marks a line through "bubbles" on the standard tests, etc. I actually had the school contact me about a 504 for my youngest, who is on medication for an over-active bladder, so she would be able to go during the FCAT, LOL! Talk to your guidance counselor and/or pediatrician about this, and I hope everything works out well!

Have you tried sticking a number line onto a ruler for her, so she can take it into class? I'd be very surprised if a teacher confiscated it, and it might help her out until the school agrees (possibly with some 'persuasion' from you) to provide one themselves. Good luck!

Thinking a littel more, I'm surprised that the teacher doesn't use number lines with the other kids. I guess I was lucky that we had teachers for our girls that used many ways to reach kids. Even with all their fingers, there might be some kids who just find a number line or abacus makes more sense to them. Another thing I thought of was some things I read they do to teach addition in Japan. I don't know if I can explain it well, but it's counting points on the actual number - sort of like translating how the numbers look to how that numbr looks on a set of dice. For example, 1 has only one point, 2 has a point at the top left of the 2 and the bottom right, 3 has 3 points, etc. When you get to 6, you count the points like a 6 on dice; 8 is 2 sets of 4 points, etc. I saw a demonstration of some little kids counting up long lines of numbers like this and they could do it faster than a calculator. I actually use it myself when I am counting long columns of numbers. I could not find an explanation of that, but while I was looking for it, I found a one handed counting system they use in Japan. Here's a link about how that works.

Thank you for all your suggestions. The school just called and have chosen to "allow" my child to use a number line. My child's response was "WHO HOO thank you mommy for fixing this!"

This program was used for my son in a special needs classroom, even though I believe it is a regular education program. It really is an interesting program. The cards/sheets he had showed the numbers with the points clearly marked and then it became second nature for many of the kids to just look at a number and mentally see the points/value. It is called TOUCH MATH http://www.touchmath.com/

Thank you. That's the name I couldn't remember. It is a regular classroom teaching tool, used in other countries. I don't know how often it is used in the US, but it sounds to me like a really useful tool.

I didn't "learn" it, nor was I specifically "taught" it (BTW: I graduated from a gifted and talented residential high school in 1983, got my BS in 1987, my MS in 1989, and my PhD in 1992 in engineering); BUT I use this method when I have a long list of #s to add up. The other thing that I will do when adding a long column, I match up sets into tens and use that to "carry over"... example: 75 + 56 + 74 + 15 I'd match the 2 5's and then the 6 & 4 -- gives me 2 tens, so I'd carry those and write down 0 2 7's and a 1, make 15, add my other 5 and I have 20, I carried 2 so the answer is 220 EG

Count using your fingers? Boy that wasn't allowed in any of the school my kids went to. Thats like looking at the keyboard when your type. Back when my girls where in K, they used Counters. They usually were a shoe box size plastic bin full of multi colored critters the size of legos. They used them for counting and learning ratios and graphing etc. http://catalog.teachingsupplystore....48594&osCsid=8d83670e4f3303bda68813768a2ff95c Maybe you could invest in a a set for her. You know that is really a sad note. If your daughter was an adult it would be considered extremely rude of someone to put her in a situation of pointing out her physical difference on a daily basis. Yet because she is a child it is ok?

First, I have to say good for you for standing up for your child. I am also missing fingers (from both hands) and counting on my fingers, while possible, was not easy and always called attention to a part of me I didn't really want people to notice. Second, The touch math system posted above really works. My teachers, regluar ed classes, always used something similar and it was used for the whole class, not just for me. It is easy to learn, simple to use and translated well into adult life. People taught to count on their fingers continue to do so well into adulthood (do you wiggle your fingers when counting?) Touch math translates into "seeing" the dots to count and no one sees you have to count and add on your fingers. Looking at the touchmath poster, I can see a few differences in the system I was taught but it is so close it would work the same. There is a whole page of free downloads on their website...maybe you could share them with the school? It works for everyone and not just those of us with limb differences, but for us it can be a true lifesaver.

This is actually kinda of cool-well the end anyway(and DISNEY related). It seems there is a child that has been "picking" on my child about the whole "missing" fingers thing. When does my child choose to tell me? Standing in line to get Mickey's autograph! It seems this boy has been telling my child that "EVERYONE has 10 fingers" and there must be something "wrong" with my child. SO as I stand there seething and what do I see out of the corner of my eye? Mickey's hand and MICKEY DOES NOT HAVE 10 fingers!!!!!! I walked up to Mickey and asked if I could see his hand (I quietly explained what my child had been told) Mickey walked over to my child and showed his hands and went and got Minnie and showed her hands, then went and got Goofy and PLuto and Chip and Dale. And guess what NONE of them have 10 fingers! My Child was SO excited! The photopass guy even came up and said his son was missing fingers. It was the coolest thing how the characters all came together for my little one. My daughters's little spirit has been lifted again. She KNOWS not everyone has 10 fingers and that is OK. She is not "different", she is just like Mickey!

VERY COOL The Disney characters are so good with our kids. Quasimodo (in the musical) was my DS's hero, and the special meeting will never be forgotten.

What a cool story! Yes, Mickey and the gang seem to get along just fine with the number of fingers that they have!