Learning Disabilities: Dyscalculia

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Yesterday, we talked about the most commonly known learning disability, dyslexia, and how to accommodate it in the workplace. However, there are many types of learning disabilities beyond dyslexia. Whereas dyslexia is largely associated with difficulties involving reading and writing, there are many learning disabilities associated with math. This group of disabilities is largely referred to as dyscalculia.

As a starting point it is important to remember that dyscalculia isn't a specific disability, it is simply a general term applied to wide range of different disabilities involving math. There aren't any single forms of math disability and the experience of each person who has a math disability can vary dramatically. Different aspects of math can be problematic depending on the specific disability. Some people can struggle with sequencing equations, others with visual-spatial relationships or ordering, and others may face challenges related to language processing. Additionally, arithmetic and mathematics is frequently taught using visuals and textbooks which can create difficulties for students who have problems learning in this style.

As dyscalculia refers to a wide variety of different math disabilities there is an equally large amount of possible symptoms. These may include:
  • Difficulty with tables (multiplication, subtraction, etc.)
  • Difficulty with doing mental arithmetic
  • Problems conceptualizing time and judging the passing of time
  • Problems with budgeting or financial planning, such as not being able to correctly estimate the cost of purchases on a shopping trip
  • Difficulty with reading musical notation
  • Difficulty with remembering formulas or mathematical rules
  • Problems with estimating distances and sizes
  • Difficulty reading map directions and scale

Treatment is similar to other forms of learning disabilities. Extra time, tutors, and specialized instruction can help people with dyscalculia learn math skills in ways that utilize a person's strengths. As each person experiences their math disability differently, as well as having a unique personal skill set, a customized learning programme with one on one teaching is essential.  


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]