Dyscalculia: More Than a Math Struggle

 by brain Balan Cecenters

Original Here


Many students struggle with school because of learning disorders. While one of the most well-known is dyslexia — a learning disorder that makes it challenging for students to learn how to read — a lesser known, but equally severe, disorder calleddyscalculia challenges some students around learning math skills. While many students find math challenging, people who struggle with dyscalculia have a marked difficulty learning how to compute and solve mathematical problems and retaining that information.

What Is Dyscalculia?

Dyscalculia is a specialized learning disorder that affects a student's ability to learn or retain math skills. The disorder presents itself in a range of ways, including an inability to memorize number-based facts, difficulty understanding the logical steps needed to solve a math problem and aversion to completing numerical daily tasks like telling time, scheduling appointments or calculating finances. The severity of dyscalculia varies among those afflicted. Some students may only be affected by math and dyscalculia in the classroom while others may find the learning disorder affects their interactions with numerical concepts throughout their lives.

How Does Dyscalculia Affect a Child's Life?

Children with dyscalculia find learning math in the classroom particularly difficult. They have trouble adding and subtracting, memorizing times tables and tackling more challenging word problems. Also, the learning disorder presents manychallenges that affect a student's daily life beyond the classroom walls. School-age children with dyscalculia often have trouble memorizing symbols, making it difficult for them to remember the meaning of signs and signals such as stop signs. They also tend to be chronically late, since it is difficult for them to learn how to tell time or read a watch. Finally, children with the learning disorder struggle with strategy games that their classmates enjoy; sufferers often have trouble playing childhood games like chess, checkers or card games.

Dyscalculia can make life and learning more difficult for a child. However, children with dyscalculia can learn how to tackle math in a way that works for them. With individual help for dyscalculia, specialized instruction and dedicated time, sufferers can learn to function well in a math-based world.

If your child struggles with math or has been diagnosed with dyscalculia, contact us online or find a center near you to learn more about how the Brain Balance Program can help.

5 Strategies for Managing Dyscalculia

Many students struggle with math and math anxiety, but for those with dyscalculia, a math-related learning disability, math classes and tests present seemingly insurmountable obstacles that can affect academic success and lower self-esteem.

People with dyscalculia have a deficit in the brain’s ability to process number-related information. They may have trouble with math operations, memorizing multiplication tables and understanding math concepts. In a broader sense, they have difficulties with sequencing information, budgeting time and keeping schedules.

Grounding abstract mathematical information in the physical world can help dyscalculic students succeed. Here are five strategies for making math concepts from basic arithmetic to advanced algebra easier to understand and remember.

1. Talk or Write Out a Problem

For the dyscalculic student, math concepts are simply abstracts, and numbers mere marks on a page. Talking through a problem or writing it down in sentence form can help with seeing relationships between the elements. Even restating word problems in a new way can help with organizing information and seeing solutions.

2. Draw the Problem

Drawing the problem can also help visual learners to see relationships and understand concepts. Students can “draw through” the problem with images that reflect their understanding of the problem and show ways to solve it.

3. Break Tasks Down into Subsets

Dyscalculic students can easily get overwhelmed by a complex problem or concept, especially if it builds on prior knowledge — which they may not have retained. Separating a problem into its component parts and working through them one at a time can help students focus, see connections and avoid overload.

4. Use “Real-Life” Cues and Physical Objects

Relating math to the practicalities of daily life can help dyscalculic students make sense of concepts and see the relationships between numbers. Props like measuring cups, rulers and countable objects that students can manipulate can make math concepts less abstract.

5. Review Often

Because dyscalculic students struggle to retain math-related information, it becomes hard to master new skills that build on previous lessons. Short, frequent review sessions — every day, if necessary — help keep information fresh and applicable to the next new task. Creating written or drawn references such as cards or diagrams can help with quick reviews.

Like other learning disabilities, dyscalculia affects student success both in and out of the classroom. Study strategies that bring the abstract world of mathematics down to earth with visual and verbal cues and physical props can help dyscalculic students overcome obstacles to making sense of math.

If your child struggles with math or has been diagnosed with dyscalculia, contact us online or find a center near you to learn more about how the Brain Balance Program can help.

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