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Arithmetic Tasks: How They Help People with Communication Disorders Get Back to their Daily Lives

Constant Therapy | Communication disorders

The Arithmetic Tasks from Constant Therapy are an effective way to bring math skills back up to snuff to support daily activities.

Arithmetic, also known as math, is a skill that shows up in many aspects of our daily lives, whether we realize it or not. Whether you’re working on a recipe, making change, planning a budget, or calculating a tip, you need to be able to use math operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division to be independent in many activities of daily living. Often, numbers can be especially tricky for people with communication disorders, and the process of focusing and performing math operations can be very challenging (even if you don’t have a communication disorder!).

Constant Therapy’s Arithmetic Tasks offer great opportunities for people of any age to practice their math skills.  Constant Therapy provides Add, Subtract, Multiply, Divide, and a variety of other math tasks like Count money and Do everyday math.  Here’s the great part about working on math skills – not only do we know that these skills are necessary for daily life, we also know that practicing them works! It’s especially effective when we make them functional, which is why we’ve got tasks that allow you to apply your knowledge and understanding of math operations.

Here are a few scientific studies that summarize how and why these tasks are so effective:

  • Whetstone, T., The representation of arithmetic facts in memory: Results from retraining a brain-damaged patient. Brain and Cognition, 1998. 36(3): p. 290-309.
    • Subject(s): Surgery after brain tumor with numerical processing deficits
    • The Major Takeaway: This study used three different types of retraining: Arabic numbers, written language, and spoken language for solving multiplcation problems. The exciting new here is that the person in the study was almost flawless on problems that they had been trained on. The subject also had faster response time on problems that were tested in the same format that they were trained in; in short, practice pays off and works, even after neurological issues!
  • Domahs, F., L. Bartha, and M. Delazer, Rehabilitation of arithmetic abilities: Different intervention strategies for multiplication. Brain and Language, 2003. 87(1): p. 165-166.
    • Subject(s): One person with impaired mathematical ability after a stroke
    • The Major Takeaway: This study looked at whether one or both of two common treatments for mathematical impairments after a neurological event were useful. The big picture from this study is that it proves that patients with mathematical impairments after stroke CAN improve!
  • Girelli, L., et al., The representation of arithmetical facts: Evidence from two rehabilitation studies. Cortex, 1996. 32(1): p. 49-66.
    • Subject(s): two patients with aphasia resulting in multiplication deficits
    • The Major Takeaway: This study looked at whether there is a reorganizationa and reacquistion of multiplication facts after training of someone with significant arithmetic difficulties. The exciting news is that for both patients in this study, their error rate decreased significantly, meaning that they were more accurate after treatment. This suggests that patients CAN reacquire and reorganize multiplcation facts even with significant arithmetic issues after a stroke.
  • Girelli, L. and X. Seron, Rehabilitation of number processing and calculation skills. Aphasiology, 2001. 15(7): p. 695-712.
    • Subject(s): patients with numeric deficits due to brain lesion
    • The Major Takeaway: This is an overview of the research on improving number processing after brain lesions caused by a variety of issues. The authors explain that rehabilitation is possible, and that it’s especially useful to use items that reinforce functional use of math skills, such as using a calculator or money. That’s why we also have our Count money task, which drives home functional money skills. We also have Do everyday math tasks, which allow you to practice using a calculator to solve everyday math tasks, like calculating tip or how much an item will cost on sale.

As always, thank you to all of the phenomenal researchers out there who enable us to provide Constant Therapy users with research-based, effective tasks that will put you on your road to improvement.

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