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Dyscalculia means having problems learning math. However, these are not the usual difficulties (e.g. learning the multiplication tables) that most students struggle with. People with dyscalculia have difficulty in such simple tasks as determining the number of objects or naming numbers and numbers. Check what are the causes and symptoms of dyscalculia and what is the treatment of this ailment.
Dyscalculiameansproblems with learning math . However, these are not the ordinary problems most students face, and are usually resolved with the help of the teacher and the mental effort of the child. Dyscalculia isspecific difficulties in learning math . You can talk about them when a child hasdisturbances in mathematical abilities , i.e. predispositions needed to understand mathematical problems. Consequently, it cannot cope with even the easiest tasks. It should be noted that the low level of math skills is not related to the intellectual development of the child - it is usually correct.
It is estimated that the problem of dyscalculia affects 3-5 percent. students.
Dyscalculia - causes
The cause of dyscalculia is genetic (ie congenital) abnormalities in the part of the brain where mathematical abilities are concentrated. Then the development of mental processes involved in acquiring mathematical skills is slower. Hence the significant differences between the child's current mathematical abilities and those that are appropriate for his age.
Discalculia is distinguished frompseudodiscalculia , which occurs when a child is unable to demonstrate his / her potential math ability due to emotional disturbance, physical illness, fatigue or missing news.
Dyscalculia - symptoms
The symptoms of dyscalculia vary depending on the type of math impairment:
- verbal dyscalculia(verbal) - the ability to name concepts and mathematical relations is disturbed. There are also difficulties with determining the number of objects and naming numbers and numbers;
- lexical dyscalculia- manifested by a disorder in reading symbolsmathematics (digits, numbers and mathematical signs +, -, x,:, etc.). As a consequence, mistakes are made when dialing a telephone number or counting on a calculator, bus, tram or platform numbers are wrong;
- graphic dyscalculiais characterized by problems with writing mathematical symbols, and in more severe cases also numbers;
- operational dyscalculiais manifested by the impairment of the ability to perform mathematical operations. Instead of addition, subtraction is performed, and instead of multiplication, division, etc.;
- ideognostic dyscalculia(conceptual-executive) means a disturbance in understanding mathematical ideas, relations necessary to make memory calculations, difficulties in perceiving numerical relationships (e.g. not understanding that 6 is half of a number 12 that 6 is the same as 2x3);
- proctognostic dyscalculia(executive) is a disorder of the manipulation of specific or pictorial objects for mathematical purposes. There are difficulties with arranging objects in ascending or descending order, problems with indicating which of the objects is smaller, larger and which objects are of the same size;
Dyscalculia - diagnosis
A doctor (usually a neurologist or neuropsychologist) asks the patient to perform a simple mathematical task, e.g. to add or subtract numbers in his memory (or on his fingers), count some objects, find out which set has more numbers. Other tests for dyscalculia include a request to write down sequences of numbers dictated by the doctor, text tasks, etc. If the subject has problems with solving them, and it is assumed that these difficulties are caused by dysfunction of certain areas of the brain, it can be referred to as dyscalculia.
During the diagnosis, neurological and mental disorders as well as visual and hearing defects should be ruled out. Inadequate teaching methods, teaching neglect, and retarded mental development also rule out dyscalculia. There are also reading and writing tests. If the test results remain within the normal age range, also rule out specific problems with learning maths.
Dyscalculia - treatment
Corrective and compensatory classes are necessary. Parents must also work with their children at home. When doing homework, show your child that the task can be solved in different ways. It may be helpful to write different actions in different colors so that your child can associate them later. During homework, the child cannot be forbidden to use additional aids (a calculator or even a multiplication table). You should also be patient and givemore time for the child to solve the tasks.
In addition, you should encourage your child to perform mathematical activities in everyday situations, e.g. you can ask them to count how many drinks are on the shelf, how much change should be dispensed by the lady in the store. You can also ask to read the time or timetable at the stop.