Dyscalculia can describe any type of learning disability involving math. Dyscalculia is different for each person and can vary over his or her lifetime. There are two major areas where dyscalculia presents itself most: visual spatial difficulties and language processing difficulties. Adults and children with dyscalculia will struggle in different ways with math, and their difficulties will determine the effect dyscalculia has on their ability to learn and the treatment that is implemented.
Warning signs for dyscalculia range from difficulty learning to count to problems memorizing math functions. Warning signs can appear in all stages of life. The most common symptoms include problems remembering simple math facts and difficulties with problem-solving skills.
Prevalence, Diagnosis, and Treatment
About 7% of all students experience dyscalculia. The cause of dyscalculia has been the subject of much research. It appears that numerical processing is independent of other abilities in the brain. It is possible that dyscalculia is inherited or that it occurs with problems in brain development. Dyscalculia can be diagnosed through math assessments, student’s work, and other assessments that test cognitive functioning. Treatment for dyscalculia will depend on the area in which a student is struggling. For example, if he or she is having trouble organizing math problems, it may be helpful for him or her to use graph paper to keep their work structured.
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