Dyscalculia: “Numbers Dyslexia”

 
What is dyscalculia

What is dyscalculia?

Dyscalculia is a learning disorder that affects the ability to learn and understand math. Some people refer to dyscalculia as math dyslexia, as people who suffer from this disorder have similar difficulties as those who have dyslexia. This disorder affects between 3-6% of school aged children, with an equal dispersal between boys and girls. 

What are the causes of dyscalculia?

Dyscalculia is associated with the parietal lobe, which is the part of the brain that is in charge of numeric processing. This, along with other parts of the brain, help to promote the proper processing of mathematical and mathematics skills. It is a congenital condition, meaning that it has a genetic component. In most cases, one of the parents of a child with dyscalculia also had trouble learning math.

Neurological brain disorders, psychomotor failures, and neurological maturation failures, may also be some of the reasons for this disorder.

What are some characteristics and symptoms of dyscalulia?

Dyscalculia is a disorder that lasts a lifetime. While it seems to be most predominant in young children, it can follow an individual into their adult life. While symptoms may be different for each child and age range, here are a few signs to look out for:

  • Difficulties learning how to count (young children)
  • Problems recognizing symbols associated with numbers (young children)
  • They have a hard time classifying objects by shape and size (young children)
  • Problems recognizing mathematical symbols (elementary school)
  • They often use their fingers to count (elementary school)
  • Difficulties doing basic math in their head (elementary school)
  • Have trouble applying math to their day-to-day (high school)
  • Poor orientation, they get lost easily (high school)
  • Have trouble understanding graphs (high school)

 

For a more complete list, check out the CogniFit dyscalculia page.

Not all children who display these symptoms suffer from dyscalculia, so a proper diagnosis is essential for the effective treatment of this disorder. Dyscalculia does not have to be a burden, there are tips, games, and activities to help students and families overcome this disorder. To see if your child may have dyscalculia, try the online dyscalculia test which will tell you if your child should see a specialist or not. 

How does dyscalculia affect the brain?

Dyscalculia affects the part of the brain that is used in number processing. Some important functions are affected, and cognitive deficits can make learning more difficult for a number of reasons. Here is a list of the skills that are often affected by this disorder:

Focus, divided attention, working memory, short-term memory, naming, planning, processing speed

The key to overcoming dyscalculia is an early diagnosis. In most cases, it is up to parents and family to notice any deficits as many schools do not have systems in place to catch dyscalculia early on. It is, however, possible to overcome and live a normal life. By learning and strengthening the deficient cognitive areas, you will be able to see changes not only in the previously mentioned skills, but in all neurocognitive skills. CogniFit helps by developing the deficient cognitive skills, using fun games and activities which both children and adults alike enjoy.

Molly is a writer specialized in health and psychology. She is passionate about neuroscience and how the brain works, and is constantly looking for new content from interesting sources. Molly is happy to give or take advice, and is always working to educate and inspire.

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