Dyscalculia learning disability is the inability of a person to comprehend math calculations. A person with such a disability finds it difficult to add, subtract, or even remember formulas.
Did you hate math at school? Did you run away from numbers? Well, if you found comprehending math extremely difficult, then there is a possibility you have a learning disability called dyscalculia. People with this disability find it innately difficult to understand and learn math. Also known as ‘math dyslexia’, this disability causes children to invert numerals. Individuals are confused about different math symbols and their applications.
What Causes Dyscalculia?
The inability to visualize numbers and math calculations is what results in this condition. To understand math, a person needs to visualize numbers and symbols, and correlate them with specific functions. However, this visualization does not happen in such children. People with sequencing problems also find it difficult to remember formulas required for carrying out math calculations. An injury to the brain can also result in such a condition.
Symptoms in Children
- Difficulty in reading numbers
- Difficulty in learning the meaning of numbers (number sense)
- Difficulty in recalling numbers in a sequence
- Difficulty in matching numbers
- Trouble with tasks like sorting objects by color, shape, or size
- Inability to tell time from a non-digital clock
- Difficulty in recognizing groups and patterns
- Difficulty in playing strategy or role-playing video games
- Difficulty in keeping score when playing games
As these kids grow, they encounter even more challenging levels of math at school. They find it extremely difficult to solve basic math calculations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. They even find it difficult to memorize multiplication tables. At times, children may even comprehend the concept, but are unable to put them down on paper. Children with this learning disability find it extremely difficult to pass in a math exam.
Symptoms in Adults
Children with this form of disability grow into adults who are unable to incorporate math into their daily life. Some of the difficulties they face are as follows:
- Inability to note phone numbers correctly
- Inability to read music notes
- Forgetting dates and addresses
- Inability to count money
- Difficulty in adding up costs at the grocery store without a calculator
- Difficulty in remembering the passwords and PIN for using an ATM card
Diagnosis and Treatment
A teacher or trained professional will evaluate the level of the child’s learning disability, by conducting various tests and exercises. Once the diagnosis has been made, they along with the parents, will try to find different ways to improve the child’s math skills. Creative and interesting techniques are used to help the child comprehend basic math functions. Therapy or tutoring is an extremely powerful tool, that helps the child learn at his or her own pace.
Children with such a disability need emotional support from their parents, siblings, and teachers. If not dealt with delicately, they can easily enter a state of self pity and condemnation, and can even totally withdraw from the subject. So, deal gently and help them learn the subject without exercising coercion.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for the advice of an expert on the subject.