Delilah and Lee Don’t Let Extreme Shyness and a Fear of Failure Slow Down Their Math Learning

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Diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, and hampered by an intense fear of failing, Lee was terrified of learning new concepts in math. His sister Delilah was shy, quiet and seldom asked for help. Elephant Learning eliminated the fear of failing for Lee and providing the differentiation both children need to thrive in mathematics.

1.) Challenges

Not every child is outgoing and eager to ask questions. Many are left behind in mathematics because they are shy or have medical complications that hamper them from speaking out. Still, others suffer from a near paralyzing fear of failure. For fourteen-year-old Lee, diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, these issues manifested in a lack of openness to learning any new things he found scary. Like many children, Lee was also terrified of failure. "It was very noticeable in mathematics," says his mom. "He struggles with getting answers wrong and feels the need to punish himself if he does."

Lee struggled in school because the staff at his school hadn't learned how to differentiate learning for autistic children. "As a result, my child feels that he is stupid and finds it difficult to engage with any formal lessons, especially mathematics." His mom says that she had to be careful to move very slowly with her son to prevent him from feeling scared or threatened by each new concept.

Lee's special needs mean that his younger sister Delilah often failed to get the attention she needed at home. "She is very smart and observes everything," says Mom, "but is also shy and afraid to ask questions."

2.) Finding Elephant Learning

Lee and Delilah's mom found Elephant Learning while searching for a program or app that would provide differentiated learning for both of her children. Lee needed a different approach than he was receiving at school, and eleven-year-old Delilah's learning style was very different from her brother's. She needed a mathematics approach that would challenge her but also help her while accommodating her natural shyness.

Related: Children Are Empowered Through Understanding

3.) Lee and Delilah’s  Experience With Elephant Learning

Both children loved Elephant Learning. It offered the differentiation required by both Lee and Delilah, and the non-threatening, adaptable approach that allowed both children to excel. Lee was no longer terrified of learning new concepts. Delilah found help and success without the perceived risk of having to put herself out there as she might in her traditional classroom. The program also gave Mom the time to spend with both of her children.

Both Lee and Delilah improved their mathematics skills rapidly with Elephant Learning. In just six months, both children had progressed two years' worth of mathematics!

Related: 5 Common Math App Pitfalls — and How Elephant Learning Is Different

4.) Delilah’s Results: 

  • Age: 11 years old
  • Starting Elephant Learning Age: 10.8 years
  • Current Elephant Learning Age: 12.8 years
  • The difference after six months: 2 years!

Lee’s Results: 

  • Age: 14.5 years
  • Starting Elephant Learning Age: 11 years
  • Current Elephant Learning Age: 13 years
  • The difference after six months: 2 years!

“He struggles with getting answers wrong and feels the need to punish himself when he does.” - Mom

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