See how Itani navigates dyscalculia in Itani Finds His Way!
TJ and Friends is a series of Social Emotional Learning titles for readers aged 7–11. This collection of stories follows TJ and his peers as they deal with common day-to-day issues that many children face, including bullying, family conflicts, and setting personal boundaries. In Itani Finds His Way, Itani struggles with dyscalculia. Keep reading to learn more about Itani's story and explore the rest of the books in the TJ and Friends collection!
Dyscalcu-what? Itani isn’t sure how to feel when he finds out he has dyscalculia. His teacher explained that dyscalculia is a learning disability that makes understanding math skills and concepts more challenging. Itani knows he has nothing to be ashamed of, but he wants to leave behind the year’s struggles in the classroom. He’s sure summer camp will provide the perfect escape!
When Itani is accused of cheating at camp after making a scoring error during a game, Itani starts to worry that his dyscalculia negatively affects how other kids see him.
Many books about learning disabilities for young readers focus on famous people who have those disabilities to give readers a positive role model. While this boosts the confidence of some students, it can make others feel like they must accomplish extraordinary feats to be appreciated. This can understandably feel overwhelming. Itani Finds His Way takes a different approach by focusing instead on a young student who readers can relate to. Dyscalculic readers can recognize the everyday challenges Itani faces, and watching him successfully navigate those challenges can empower them to do the same in their own lives. Itani is encouraged to work at his own pace, break up problems into smaller pieces, and talk through them when they feel too complicated. While these strategies may not work for every student, they show dyscalculic students that with the proper support, managing dyscalculia doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
Learning about dyscalculia doesn’t just help dyscalculic students. It benefits non-dyscalculic students, too! When students understand how dyscalculia affects someone’s ability to understand math concepts, it can reduce stigma and create more inclusive learning environments. Non-dyscalculic students can learn to be patient with their dyscalculic peers and better assist them in advocating for what they need. This can make students with dyscalculia feel more supported while simultaneously teaching non-dyscalculic students that everyone learns differently. Encouraging conversation around dyscalculia and other learning disabilities in the classroom can help create a more positive learning environment for all students.
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Written by Emily Jackson, illustrated by Jesus Lopez
Paperback | Ages 8–10
English ISBN: 978-1-77450-286-0 | $12.95
Inuktitut ISBN: 978-1-77450-287-7 | $16.95