What you should know about dyscalculia
- Dyscalculia refers to a wide range of learning difficulties involving math skills.
- There is no single form of dyscalculia - difficulties can vary from person to person and can change throughout a lifetime.
- Two major areas of weakness that are responsible for learning disabilities in math are
- Visual-spatial difficulties - which result in a person having trouble processing what the eye sees
- Language processing difficulty - which result in a person having trouble processing and making sense of what the ear hears.
- Like all learning disabilities, dyscalculia is a life-long challenge.
- Using alternate learning methods, people with dyscalculia can learn how to achieve success.
Dyscalculia: Warning signs by age
- Difficulty learning to count
- Trouble recognizing printed numbers
- Difficulty tying together the idea of a number (4) and how it exists in the world (4 horses, 4 cars, 4 children)
- Poor memory for numbers
- Trouble organizing things in a logical way - putting round objects in one place and square ones in another
- Trouble learning math facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division)
- Difficulty developing math problem-solving skills
- Poor long term memory for math functions
- Not familiar with math vocabulary
- Difficulty measuring things
- Avoiding games that require strategy
Teenagers & adults
- Difficulty estimating costs like groceries bills
- Difficulty learning math concepts beyond the basic math facts
- Poor ability to budget or balance a checkbook
- Trouble with concepts of time, such as sticking to a schedule or approximating time
- Trouble with mental math
- Difficulty finding different approaches to one problem
If a person continues to display difficulty over time the areas outlined above, testing for dyscalculia should be considered.