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Read on to know more about the symptoms and the possible causes of dyscalculia… The word ‘Dyscalculia’ is a combination of the Greek ‘dys’ which means ‘badly’ and the Latin verb ‘calculere’ which means ‘to count’. Dyscalculia is a condition where a person has difficulty in comprehending mathematics. It is a fundamental inability to understand numbers as abstract concepts of comparative quantities. It is also explained to be the non-understanding of what is called as the ‘number sense’. This disability occurs in people across all IQ ranges and is also referred to as ‘Arithmetic Difficulties’ or ‘AD’. The patients who suffer from Dyscalculia often also have trouble with measurement of time and spatial reasoning. Dyscalculia can be diagnosed at a young age. The measures taken to ease the problems include a different style of teaching mathematics to these students. The symptoms of Dyscalculia are:

Difficulties understanding the mathematical operators such as the plus, minus, multiplication and division symbols. Confusing S with 5 or inability to distinguish between an O and a zero (0). Difficulty in telling which of two given integers is larger from the other. Difficulty in checking change, balancing checkbooks, budgeting and mental arithmetic. Difficulty in reading analog clocks. Difficulty in conceptualizing time and inability to judge the passing of time. Problems with ‘left’ and ‘right’ and inability to judge directions such as ‘north’, ‘south’, ‘east’ and ‘west’ even with the help of a compass. This may cause difficulty in reading and understanding maps. Inability to keep score during games. Rotating numbers. For example, 36 may become 63. Difficulty in athletic co-ordination such as in dance steps, or aerobic exercises.

The probable causes of Dyscalculia are: Although a lot of research has been conducted to find out the reasons for this disorder, no cause has been identified for Dyscalculia. However, the research does point out that Dyscalculia has its origins in lesions to the area between the junction of the temporal and parietal lobes of the cerebral cortex. There have also been indications that this may be a congenital or a hereditary disease, but there is no concrete evidence to support these indications. Whatever the cause of this disorder, it is most certainly something that the patient can learn to handle. With the right kind of teaching, the person suffering from Dyscalculia can learn how to cope with the problem and tackle these basic tasks efficiently and effectively. By Madhavi Ghare, http://www.buzzle.om/articles/dyscalculia.html

subtraction. Young children with learning disabilities can have difficulty learning the meaning of numbers (number sense). but have difficulty putting them down on paper in an organized way. Learning to count. Language processing disabilities can make it hard for a person to get a grasp of the vocabulary of math. where a person may understand the needed math facts. the effects they have on a person's development can be just as different. They struggle to remember and retain basic math facts (i. Teenagers & adults If basic math facts are not mastered.spatial relationships.e. size or color.Dyscalculia By: National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) (2006) What is dyscalculia? Dyscalculia is a term referring to a wide range of life-long learning disabilities involving math. There is no single form of math disability. What are the effects of dyscalculia? Since disabilities involving math can be so different. 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. School-age children As math learning continues. many teenagers and adults with dyscalculia may have difficulty moving on to more advanced math applications. trouble with tasks like sorting objects by shape. recognizing numbers and matching numbers with amounts can also be difficult for these children. times tables). and have trouble figuring out how to apply their knowledge and skills to solve math problems. Difficulties may also arise because of weakness in visual-spatial skills. Early childhood Building a solid foundation in math involves many different skills. multiplication and division. Visual-spatial difficulties can also make understanding what is written on a board or in a textbook challenging. a person who has trouble processing language will face different challenges in math than a person who has difficulty with visual . Without the proper . recognizing groups and patterns. For instance. and comparing and contrasting using concepts like smaller/bigger or taller/shorter. and difficulties vary from person to person and affect people differently in school and throughout life. school-age children with language processing disabilities may have difficulty solving basic math problems using addition.

and writing. it may be hard to visualize patterns. or recalling numbers in sequence Good with general math concepts. It is meant to reveal how a person understands and uses numbers and math concepts to solve advanced-level. and particularly among young people. easily disoriented and easily confused by changes in routine Poor long term memory of concepts-can do math functions one day. How is dyscalculia identified? When a teacher or trained professional evaluates a student for learning disabilities in math. All students learn at different paces. However. but an evaluation needs to accomplish more. The evaluation compares a person's expected and actual levels of skill and understanding while noting the person's specific strengths and weaknesses. but difficulty reading numbers.vocabulary and a clear understanding of what the words represent. but is unable to repeat them the next day Poor mental math ability-trouble estimating grocery costs or counting days until vacation Difficulty playing strategy games like chess. subtract. multiply. Below are some of the areas that may be addressed: Ability with basic math skills like counting. For individuals with learning disabilities. it takes time and practice for formal math procedures to make practical sense. If a person has trouble in any of the areas below. different parts of a math problem or identify critical information needed to solve equations and more complex problems. but slow to develop counting and math problem-solving skills Good memory for printed words. adding. it is difficult to build on math knowledge.knowing when to add. divide or do more advanced computations Ability to organize objects in a logical way . as well as everyday. multiplying and dividing Ability to predict appropriate procedures based on understanding patterns . problems. the signs that a person may have a difficulty in this area can be just as varied. but frustrated when specific computation and organization skills need to be used Trouble with the concept of time-chronically late. Good at speaking. having difficulty learning math skills does not necessarily mean a person has a learning disability. reading. difficulty remembering schedules. Pencil and paper math tests are often used. What are the warning signs? Since math disabilities are varied. the student is interviewed about a full range of math-related skills and behaviors. Success in more advanced math procedures requires that a person be able to follow multi-step procedures. subtracting. bridge or role-playing video games Difficulty keeping score when playing board and card games. trouble with approximating how long something will take Poor sense of direction. additional help may be beneficial.

parents. Other strategies for inside and outside the classroom include: Use graph paper for students who have difficulty organizing ideas on paper. taking pressure off moving to new topics too quickly. Help students become aware of their strengths and weaknesses. Practice estimating as a way to begin solving math problems.org/article/13709 .ldonline. so if 16 is doubled. i. 8 x 4 must = 32. teachers and other educators can work together to establish strategies that will help the student learn math more effectively. http://www.e. erasers and other tools on hand as needed. Ability to measure-telling time. Following identification. For language difficulties. explain that 8 x 2 = 16. Repeated reinforcement and specific practice of straightforward ideas can make understanding easier. Help outside the classroom lets a student and tutor focus specifically on the difficulties that student is having. Introduce new skills beginning with concrete examples and later moving to more abstract applications.. instead of just memorizing the multiplication tables. Understanding how a person learns best is a big step in achieving academic success and confidence. Provide a place to work with few distractions and have pencils. explain ideas and problems clearly and encourage students to ask questions as they work. using money Ability to estimate number quantities Ability to self-check work and find alternate ways to solve problems. Treating dyscalculia Helping a student identify his/her strengths and weaknesses is the first step to getting help. Work on finding different ways to approach math facts.

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