What is Dyscalculia?
Although some people love Maths, some might not count it among their favourite subjects.
However, just like dyslexia can affect a person’s ability and enjoyment of reading, dyscalculia is a specific learning difficulty that affects a person's ability to develop mathematical skills.
Affecting approximately 4-6% of the population, it can have a negative effect on everyday aspects of life, such as:
- reading clocks
- managing time
- dealing with money
- estimating quantities
- following directions on a map.
Dyscalculia also causes difficulties with:
- simple number concepts, like ‘larger’ and ‘smaller’
- basic number facts and procedures
- mathematical calculation and reasoning
- patterns and symbols
These are frequently present in people with dyscalculia:
- Errors in counting objects
- Using finger counting and other immature strategies
- Lack of confidence in the value or worth of a number
- Problems with metrics (10s base) and decimals
- Problems using a number line or measuring
How should they be taught?
Multisensory teaching of mathematics is critical for people with dyscalculia. They may calculate or use maths procedures correctly, but will do so mechanically and without robust confidence.
This means our teachers must work with concrete materials before moving to pictorial and then abstract representations, as students with dyscalculia can experience extreme maths anxiety.
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