Dyscalculia what is it and how to help your child
In today’s article we will look at what is dyscalculia, give 5 tips to help your child with dyscalculia and, at the end of the post, you can find a link to a free test to help in its identification.
Dyscalculia what is it?
Dyscalculia is a learning disorder characterized by difficulties in understanding and using the number system, which can affect a person’s ability to perform mathematical calculations and understand basic mathematical concepts. These difficulties are not due to a lack of attention, motivation, or reading skills, but to an innate difficulty processing and understanding numbers and mathematical relationships (University of Oxford, 2018).
Dyscalculia is a relatively common disorder, affecting approximately 4% of the population (Harvard University, 2019). It often occurs in conjunction with other learning disabilities, such as dyslexia or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, dyscalculia can also occur in isolation.
Symptoms of Dyscalculia
Symptoms of dyscalculia can vary and may include difficulty with:
- Performing basic mathematical operations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
- Understanding basic mathematical concepts, such as place value of numbers and addition and subtraction of decimal numbers.
- Organizing and using numerical objects, such as beads or coins.
- Understanding and using concepts of time and measurement, such as hours, minutes, and inches.
Children with dyscalculia may have difficulty following mathematical instructions and may take longer to complete mathematical tasks. They may also have difficulty understanding math problems and may have difficulty organizing and planning math tasks.
How can parents help children with dyscalculia?
If you suspect your child may have dyscalculia, it is important to talk to a mental health professional or their teachers. They can perform tests to determine if your child has dyscalculia and can recommend strategies and resources to help your child overcome these difficulties.
5 tips to help your child with dyscalculia
- Provide a positive, no-pressure learning environment. Children with dyscalculia may feel frustrated or overwhelmed by math tasks and it is important to provide a stress-free, pressure-free learning environment.
- Use visuals and manipulatives. Children with dyscalculia may benefit from the use of visuals and manipulatives, such as beads, counters, or rulers, to help them understand math concepts.
- Practice reading and writing numbers. Children with dyscalculia may have difficulty reading and writing numbers, so it is important to practice reading and writing numbers and using a number scale to help them understand the place value of numbers.
- Use fun games and activities to teach math. Fun games and activities can make learning math more engaging for your child and can help improve your child’s math skills in a playful way.
- Work with a tutor or therapist. A tutor or therapist can provide individualized support and specific strategies to help your child overcome difficulties with math.
Now you know what dyscalculia is. This learning disorder can be challenging, but with the right help and support from parents and professionals, children with dyscalculia can overcome these difficulties and succeed in math and in life.
These activities to improve dyscalculia, adapted to each child’s profile, can help your children in mathematics.
Smartick’s free dyscalculia test is essential for early detection of your child’s risk of dyscalculia. Do not hesitate to complete it and find out how to proceed based on the results. It is free of charge and includes a very complete report, sent via e-mail, with a risk assessment (to be confirmed by a professional), detailed profile of the child in different mathematical areas and information on how to interpret the results.