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Dyscalculia is a term referring to a wide range of life-long learning disabilities involving math. There is no single form of math disability, and difficulties vary from person to person and affect people differently in school and throughout life.


[edit] Why should I be aware of this?

  • Since disabilities involving math can be so different, the effects they have on a person's development can be just as different. For instance, a person who has trouble processing language will face different challenges in math than a person who has difficulty with visual- spatial relationships. Another person with trouble remembering facts and keeping a sequence of steps in order will have yet a different set of math-related challenges to overcome.
  • Dyscalculic learners may have difficulty understanding simple number concepts, lack an intuitive grasp of numbers, and have problems learning number facts and procedures. Even their correct answers may be produced mechanically and without confidence.

[edit] All about Dyscalculia

Discalculic children lack an intuitive grasp of number magnitudes which makes checking calculations especially difficult. They may grasp the sequence of counting words, but navigating back and forth, especially in twos, threes or more, is difficult. More difficult is translating between number words, where powers of ten are expressed by new names (ten, hundred, thousand) and numerals (where powers of ten are expressed by the same numerals but in terms of place value).

Though they can manage reading and writing numbers, some Dyscalculic children, even 6-year olds, may find problems with numbers over 1,000.

[edit] Dyscalculia difficulties

Dyscalculia difficulties manifest in a person in the following ways:

  • Inability to master arithmetic facts by the traditional methods of teaching.
  • Face problems dealing money, such as handling a bank account, giving and receiving change, and tipping.
  • Difficulty comprehending abstract concepts of time and direction / schedules, telling and keeping track of time, and the sequence of past and future events.
  • Problems about spatial orientation/space organisation / direction. Get easily disoriented (including left/right orientation), have trouble reading maps, and grappling with mechanical processes.
  • Learning musical concepts, following directions in sports that demand sequencing or rules, and keeping track of scores and players during games such as cards and board games.

[edit] Calculations

As Discalculic children find learning and recalling number facts difficult, they may have trouble, even with money and exaggerated difficulties with intensive numbers - i.e. those involving x per y, either explicitly or implicitly - such as speed (miles per hour), temperature (energy per unit of mass), averages and proportional measures. Some will have spatial problems, which affects understanding of position and direction.

When Dyscalculic children are unable to perform like others in school, it can lead to anxiety and make them avoid school altogether. Avoidance makes things worse and as a result they fall farther behind.

[edit] Causes

Dyscalculia may be cause by any or a combination of the following factors: [1]

  • Cognitive factors.
  • Inadequate and poor teaching-mismatch between the mathematics learning personality of a student and teaching style.
  • Lack of prerequisite skills for mathematics learning.
  • Delay in the development of mathematics language-vocabulary, syntax, and translation ability - from mathematics to English and English to mathematics.
  • Inadequate mastery at levels of knowing: movement from intuitive to concrete, concrete to representational, representational to abstract, abstract to applications, and from applications to communication.

[edit] Support

Unlike dyslexia, very little research has been done on the problems of Dyscalculia. It is still not known whether there is just one form of dyscalculia or several, and whether different treatment approaches may be needed. Dyscalculia is a special need, and children will require diagnosis and appropriate counselling, as well as support away from whole class teaching.

It may be possible to achieve positive results by enhancing the learners' self-esteem by giving them real-life exposure to mathematics as a part of everyday life: ingredients needed in baking a cake, checking the change after purchasing something, or making estimations.

[edit] What can I do?

Effective teaching calls for direct instruction (teacher-directed tasks, discussion, and concrete models) with strategy instruction (teaching ways to learn, such as memorization techniques for arithmetic facts, study skills and metacognition - learners identify strategies that help them to learn). You may follow these teaching guidelines:

  • Break down the task into parts and then synthesize the parts into a whole, prompting him step-by-step prompts.
  • Repetition and practice (automatizing arithmetic facts, daily testing, sequenced review).
  • Follow structured questioning where teacher asks process or content questions to scaffold learning.
  • Provide necessary assistance or tasks sequenced from easy to difficult.

[edit] CopperBytes

  • Although many people experience difficulty or disability in mathematics, recent studies show that approximately 4% of students show classical symptoms of dyscalculia.
  • A link between dyslexia and dyscalculia hasn't been proved. The International Dyslexia Association has suggested that 60% of dyslexics have some difficulty with numbers or number relationships. Of the 40% of dyslexics who don't have mathematics difficulties, about 11% excelled in mathematics. The remaining 29% have the same mathematical abilities as those who don't have learning difficulties.
  • Most people with dyscalculia don't necessarily suffer from any other learning difficulty. Indeed, they may well excel in non-mathematical areas.

[edit] 90 degrees

Dyscalculia has only recently been identified as a distinct condition for children and adults. It means that there are many adults and children who have never had their difficulties with mathematics formally identified. Furthermore, while there is currently a great deal of interest, little is known about the causes of Dyscalculia. It is a complex phenomenon and may have several underlying causes. [1]

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[edit] See Also

[edit] References

  • What is Dyscalculia?
  • What is dyscalculia?

[edit] Source

  1. 1.0 1.1 BBC