From Trajectories, Deficit, and Differences to Neurodiversity: The Case of Jim

Short Description: 
Cognitive differences intrinsic to children with learning disabilities (LDs) have historically led to deficit assumptions concerning the mathematical experiences these children “need” or can access. We argue that the problem can be located not within children but instead as a mismatch between instruction and children’s unique abilities. To illustrate this possibility, we present the case of “Jim,” a fifth-grader with perceptual-motor LDs. Our ongoing analysis of Jim’s fractional reasoning in seven equal sharing based tutoring sessions suggests that Jim leveraged his knowledge of number facts and alternative representations to advance his reasoning.