What is Dyscalculia?
Dyscalculia is a math learning disability that impairs an individual’s ability to learn number-related concepts, perform accurate math calculations, reason and problem solve, and perform other basic math skills. Dyscalculia is sometimes called “number dyslexia” or “math dyslexia.”
Prognosis for Dyscalculia
School-aged kids with dyscalculia may find it hard to:
- Estimate things, like how long something takes.
- Learn basic math, like addition, subtraction, and multiplication
- Link a number (1) to its corresponding word (one)
- Understand fractions
- Understand graphs and charts (visual-spatial concepts)
- Count money or make change
- Remember phone numbers or ZIP codes
- Tell time or read clocks
Treatments influence prognosis
Learning specialists, educational psychologists, or neuropsychologists who specialize in dyscalculia recommend the following to help a child’s understanding of math:
- Specially designed teaching plans
- Math-based learning games
- Practicing math skills a lot more often than other
Early detection and early signs
The earlier the problem is identified, the earlier that children with this disorder can learn the necessary tools to help them adapt to a new learning process, and the more likely they are to avoid learning delays, self-esteem problems, and other more serious disorders.
If your child has a hard time with numbers, see their doctor to rule out any vision or hearing problems that might affect their ability to learn. Then talk to your child’s math teacher to understand where they are having trouble. Also, talk to other teachers to find out if they are struggling in other areas.
Causes of Dyscalculia
Here are two possible causes of dyscalculia:
- Genes and heredity: Dyscalculia tends to run in families. Research shows that genetics may also play a part in problems with math.
- Brain development: Brain imaging studies have shown some differences between people with and without dyscalculia. The differences have to do with how the brain is structured and how it functions in areas that are linked to learning skills.
Common co-occurring conditions in Dyscalculia
The dyscalculia disorder is linked to dyslexia, in that both are genetic and show common cognitive deficits that make it more difficult to learn to read and do math.