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Dyscalculia is a learning disorder that affects an individual's ability to do math. Early diagnosis can help to avoid poor school performance
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Oct23

Dyscalculia diagnosis: How to identify specific difficulties in learning mathematics

Childhood dyscalculia is a specific learning disorder that affects mathematical skills and can have a significant impact on the academic performance and self-esteem of those who experience it. Obtaining an early and accurate diagnosis is a crucial first step in understanding and addressing these difficulties. In this article, we will explore the importance of diagnosing dyscalculia and how this process can make a difference in the lives of children facing this challenge.

dyscalculia diagnosis

What is dyscalculia and why is the diagnosis important?

Dyscalculia is not simply a common difficulty in mathematics; it is a learning disorder that affects the ability to understand and manipulate numerical concepts. People with dyscalculia may have difficulty performing basic operations, understanding concepts of quantity, and understanding the relationship between numbers. Early and accurate diagnosis is critical for several reasons:

  • Early Identification: an early diagnosis allows for the identification of challenges with mathematics in the initial stages of education, allowing for specialized interventions and support from an early age.
  • Personalized Interventions: with a diagnosis in hand, educational and therapeutic interventions tailored to the specific needs of the individual can be designed. This includes specialized pedagogical strategies and personalized learning approaches.
  • Reduced Psychosocial Impact: Dyscalculia not only affects academic performance, but also self-esteem and self-confidence. Early diagnosis can help mitigate the psychosocial impact by providing emotional support and appropriate resources.

Test to detect the risk of dyscalculia

If there is any concern about a child’s mathematics performance, Smartick’s dyscalculia testis a very useful tool for early detection of the risk of dyscalculia. It is a free online test and includes a comprehensive report, sent via e-mail, with:

  • A risk assessment, which must be confirmed by a professional.
  • Detailed profile of the child in different mathematical areas.
  • Information on how to interpret the results.

It is important to note that the Smartick dyscalculia test does not provide a dyscalculia diagnosis, but is a standardized screening test used to tell whether a person is at risk for dyscalculia. In the case of a positive result, visiting a specialist to confirm the assessment and establish an intervention programme for improvement is recommended.

Professionals involved in the diagnosis of dyscalculia

The process of diagnosing dyscalculia is usually carried out by specialized professionals who have expertise in the field of educational and developmental psychology. Some of these professionals include:

  • Neuropsychologists, experts in assessing cognitive functions, including those related to mathematical skills.
  • Educational diagnosticians, specialized in identifying and addressing learning difficulties, including dyscalculia.
  • Educational Psychologists, professionals who apply psychological principles to the educational environment and evaluate mathematical skills in the school context.

These professionals can conduct a comprehensive evaluation that along with specific math tests should include psychological tests of intelligence, attention and reading. As well as the child’s medical and educational history, and observations and evaluations of the child’s behavior in the classroom and in daily life.

Dyscalculia diagnosis: what challenges can one encounter in this process?

Despite the importance of diagnosing dyscalculia, there are several challenges that can arise in the process:

  • Lack of Awareness: dyscalculia often goes unnoticed, as math difficulties may be mistakenly attributed to lack of effort or interest.
  • Comorbidities: dyscalculia may coexist with other learning disorders, such as dyslexia, which complicates assessment.
  • Heterogeneity: dyscalculia manifests itself differently in each individual, making it difficult to establish a single profile.
  • Limited Assessment in the Educational Context: traditional assessments may not fully reflect mathematical skills in a real educational setting.

Conclusion: Diagnosis as a bridge to success

In conclusion, a dyscalculia diagnosis is essential in order to unlock the academic and emotional potential of those facing this challenge.. Early identification and specialized intervention enable individuals to develop effective strategies to overcome math difficulties. In addition, it fosters a supportive and nurturing environment that recognizes and values the unique abilities of each student. Dyscalculia does not define a person, and with the right diagnosis, a path to educational and personal success can be built.

Hiwet Costa

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