Dyscalculia, a learning disability also known as “Math Dyslexia” is a difficulty in understanding numbers, learning mathematical facts and also performing mathematical operations.
A Czechoslovakian researcher, Ladislav Kosc defined dyscalculia as “a structural disorder of mathematical abilities”. This definition brought about recognition for the disability though it had been around for long and was given its name in the 1940s.
At it’s simplest level, Dyscalculia is a disability affecting the normal development of arithmetic skills. These skills are expected of children to be able to comprehend the systems of mathematical analysis like addition and subtraction. In other cases, people may live with Dyscalculia into adulthood thereby making it hard to do everyday tasks. Everyday tasks such as cooking, grocery shopping which involve math skills will be done with little or no exactitude.
Dyscalculia may come in different forms, such as:
*Verbal Dyscalculia*: This is characterized by difficulty in naming and understanding mathematical concepts verbally.
*Practognostic Dyscalculia*: This is characterized by difficulty translating an abstract mathematical concepts into real life.
*Lexical Dyscalculia*: This is characterized by trouble reading and understanding mathematical symbols.
*Graphical Dyscalculia*: Graphical Dyscalculia has to do with difficulty in writing mathematical symbols.
*Ideognostical Dyscalculia*: This is characterized by difficulty in carrying out mental operations.
*Operational Dyscalculia*: This type of Dyscalculia presents itself by a difficulty in complete written or spoken mathematical operations or calculations.
*Signs of Dyscalculia include*:
• Difficulty matching figures to their spellings.
•Difficulty counting money.
•Difficulty estimating time.
• Difficulty understanding the logic behind mathematics.
• Difficulty grasping meaning of quantity like biggest vs smallest.
*Treatment of Dyscalculia*
• Early Diagnosis:- The earlier the problem is identified, the earlier the affected child can learn the necessary tools to help him/her adapt to a new learning process.
• Engage such child in simple brain exercises and activities.
Children with Dyscalculia are to be motivated and shown that they can be successful with patience, practice and effort.