Dyscalculia is a brain-based condition that makes it hard to make sense of numbers and math concepts. It is a severe difficulty in maths when the person has normal to above normal intelligence.
This impacts on their ability to learn the times table, subtraction, comparison of numbers and completing work as they take more time to complete maths task.
If affects about 6% of the population and can co-occur with dyslexia (50%).
People with dyslexia can still struggle with maths especially when there are word problems or if there are demands on their short term memory to remember the steps in calulations.
Signs of dyscalculia
How do you assess for dyscalculia?
Research into dyscalculia is recent so standard assessing for dyscalculia has not be completely established.
Any assessment done needs to consider the person’s intelligence, if other learning difficulties are affecting the maths learning such as dyslexia, ADHD, dyspraxia and also other contributing factors such as anxiety and stress, second language, inconsistent schooling, classroom management etc.
For more information on what is available in Southland please contact Dyslexia Support Southland.
Will my child grow out of dyscalculia?
While it is possible to reduce the effect of the maths difficulties in most cases your child will not grow out of dyscalculia.
What can I do at home to help?
Maths anxiety is a common result of dyscalculia. Speaking with your child’s teacher to make them aware of the learning difficulty means they can use accommodations in the classroom to reduce the learning stress, for example, giving your child more time to complete tasks or give written examples of full maths problems to use as a reference.
Incorporate maths into daily life, for example, making change with money, asking questions such as, there are 5 people for tea and 10 bits of chicken - how many each? Are there more apples than bananas here? Playing card games etc
Software options available for the home
There is free software available for downloading that is specifically for dyscalculia. These include:
- The Number Race, children 4 -8 years
- The Number Catcher, children 5 -10 years but benefits older children and adults.
For more information visit the About Dyscalculia website.