What is Dyscalculia? Top 10 Questions, Answered

Dyscalculia, a learning disorder that affects a person's ability to understand and perform mathematical tasks, is a complex condition with a range of symptoms and potential causes. While there is no cure, early diagnosis and intervention can help individuals with dyscalculia manage their symptoms and achieve success in Maths and other subjects.

1. What is dyscalculia?

Dyscalculia is a learning difficulty that affects a person's ability to understand and perform mathematical calculations. It is sometimes referred to as "maths dyslexia" because it can cause similar difficulties with numbers as dyslexia does with words.

2. What are the symptoms of dyscalculia?

Symptoms of dyscalculia can vary from person to person, but some common ones include:

  • Difficulty with basic maths operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division
  • Trouble understanding mathematical concepts like fractions, decimals, and percentages
  • Difficulty with memorising maths facts
  • Poor time management skills
  • Difficulty with spatial reasoning

Try this "Free Dyscalculia On-line Screening Test".

Do you know? Up to 60% of children with dyscalculia have dyslexia

To learn more about the differences and similarities between dyscalculia and dyslexia. See link below:

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3. What causes dyscalculia?

The exact cause of dyscalculia is unknown, but it is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some research suggests that dyscalculia may be related to abnormalities in the brain areas responsible for processing numbers and maths.

4. How common is dyscalculia?

Estimates suggest that dyscalculia affects about 5-7% of the population. It is equally common in boys and girls.

5. How is dyscalculia diagnosed?

Dyscalculia is diagnosed by a qualified professional, such as a psychologist or educational neuro-psychologist. They will typically conduct a comprehensive evaluation that includes testing of math skills, cognitive abilities, and academic achievement.

6. Is there a cure for dyscalculia?

There is no cure for dyscalculia, but there are treatments that can help individuals manage their symptoms and improve their maths skills. These treatments may include:

  • Special education: Special education teachers can provide individualised instruction and support to help students with dyscalculia succeed in maths.
  • Assistive technology: Assistive technology, such as calculators and maths software, can help individuals with dyscalculia complete maths tasks more efficiently.
  • Cognitive training: Cognitive training programs can help individuals with dyscalculia strengthen their maths skills, such as their ability to memorise maths facts and solve maths problems.

7. What can parents do to help their child with dyscalculia?

Parents can play an important role in helping their child with dyscalculia succeed in maths. Here are some tips for parents:

  • Talk to your child's teacher: Work with your child's teacher to develop a plan to support your child's learning in maths.
  • Provide a supportive learning environment: Create a quiet, distraction-free environment where your child can focus on their maths work.
  • Break down maths tasks into smaller steps: Help your child break down complex maths problems into smaller, more manageable steps.
  • Use hands-on learning activities: Use real-world examples to help your child understand math concepts.
  • Celebrate your child's progress: Praise your child for their efforts and progress, no matter how small.

8. Can people with dyscalculia succeed in school and work?

Yes, with the right support, people with dyscalculia can succeed in school and work. Many people with dyscalculia have gone on to successful careers in maths-related fields, such as accounting, engineering, and computer science.

9. What are some resources for people with dyscalculia?

There are a number of resources available for people with dyscalculia, including:

10. What is the future of research on dyscalculia?

Researchers are continuing to learn more about dyscalculia, including the causes, symptoms, and treatments. This research is helping to develop more effective interventions for individuals with dyscalculia.

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