Pronounced DIS-KAL-KOOL-EE-AH, ‘dyscalculia’ comes from Greek and Latin and means ‘counting badly’.
Developmental Dyscalculia is a specific learning disorder that affects 5-6% of the school population. This small group of pupils work significantly below their peers in maths and are therefore not making age-appropriate progress. They process numbers differently from their typically developing peers and use a wide range of approaches: inefficient and laborious methods, rely on using their fingers whilst counting, unable to tell which of two numbers is larger, have difficulty estimating and use uneconomical methods to solve problems. No two children with developmental dyscalculia present the same profile of strengths and needs. Students with developmental dyscalculia show difficulties in the acquisition of core foundational number skills. It is therefore important to identify their unique area of specific learning difficulty (SpLD) so that targeted intervention can be offered.
The developmental building blocks of acquiring, recalling and applying numbers in their symbolic and non-symbolic forms requires the efficient coordination of numerous cognitive and sensory pathways involved in supporting number development: working memory, auditory and visual processing, attention and visuospatial perception. Furthermore, people who experience deficits within their cognitive and sensory systems find that this interferes with processing numbers.
A person with pure dyscalculia presents their difficulties exclusively in processing numbers, whilst in other subject areas they may progress in a similar way to typically developing students.
It is important to differentiate dyscalculia from maths developmental delays. Environmental deprivation, poor teaching or a curriculum that is moving too rapidly may lead to maths developmental delays, whereas dyscalculia relates to difficulties with acquiring the developmental building blocks of mathematics. Often a student with dyslexia can show difficulties with mathematics due to slow processing speed and weak working memory, so a full diagnostic assessment can be carried out in order to ascertain the true cause of the difficulties.
The team at Blue Sky Dyslexia have experience in teaching English and Mathematics so please take the Dyscalculia screener and then get in touch with us to decide the best course of action for you or your child.
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