A child facing difficulties with math and estimating things, time or any other aspect repeatedly may have a learning disability called Dyscalculia. It is a specific learning disorder that results in learning difficulties and struggles with understanding or comprehending numbers. This is not caused by a lack of educational opportunities but can be caused due to genes or heredity. It directly affects the ability to obtain arithmetical skills and they may have obscurity in simple number concepts. Dyscalculia, also known as “developmental dyscalculia”, has another variant called “acquired dyscalculia” which is found in adults due to brain injury or stroke.
Signs Of Dyscalculia In School
Children of various age groups can have inconvenience and distress in solving calculations and understanding content that has been taught in school. A major sign of dyscalculia can be people getting frustrated or reacting strongly to activities involving mathematics and related concepts.
Signs of Dyscalculia vary from generation to generation. Children in preschool may show symptoms like :
– facing trouble in counting numbers and battling while connecting numbers to an object.
– feeling uneasy in waiting for their turn as understanding the passage of time is difficult.
– facing hassles in recognizing patterns like tallest to shortest or smallest to largest.
– having issues in sorting things according to shape, size, color, or type of object.
Primary school children often show signs of dyscalculia by having difficulty in:
– recalling the basic number concepts and using fingers to count instead of more advanced strategies like mental math.
– they would face issues in telling time on an analog clock.
– they may also show signs of complexity with placing numbers and having a poor understanding of recognizing signs.
– they may have trouble keeping up with the scores and understanding the basic math language in primary school children and would fall behind their peers in math.
– they also may try to avoid situations that might include activities related to mathematics or playing with numbers.
Signs of Dyscalculia might occur or show at a stage when a child is in secondary/middle standard.
– they won’t understand and find it difficult to explore different solutions to a word- math problem.
– they won’t look for a solution but would try to avoid and ask their peers about it.
– children in secondary school have charts and multi-step calculations, which would be a load on their shoulders to understand.
– they would have issues in recalling their math basics and would have difficulty understanding patterns.
– they won’t be able to measure items and would lack confidence in activities involving calculations of speed, time, or distance.
High school students would show major signs of dyscalculia by:
– not showing up on time in school and being late for their classes frequently.
– they would be bothered and would feel nervous about keeping track of their classes and the time they had to be in.
– teenage students might use a calculator for calculations of basic math facts.
Signs Of Dyscalculia At Home
Dyscalculia differs from realizing that math is boring or math is difficult. It is a specific learning difficulty, with which children and teens struggle in understanding and solving it. These difficulties do not appear suddenly in a child’s life when they are in a higher grade but are present throughout a child’s life.
Pre-school-aged children at home might be :
– unable to remember their own or someone else’s address and phone number after continual practice shows signs of dyscalculia.
– they would have difficulty in understanding the flow of time and would complain that they have been doing a particular task for so long.
– they would also be unable to bind numbers and objects to each other.
Signs of dyscalculia in primary age children show that they would :
– run away from the games that include math calculations or are number-based.
– they would spend long hours solving a single math question or doing homework including math problems.
– they would feel hassle with handwriting and after revising still stay confused on basic directions like left and right.
Middle-aged children would feel trouble in :
– remembering the scores of a cricket or a football match they might be watching and would struggle in playing games involving math calculations.
– they would spend long hours which they won’t be able to judge on homework and assignments and won’t understand the passage of time.
Dyscalculia signs may be shown in high school-aged children if they :
– toil with their curfew timings.
– teenagers would be unable to budget their allowances
– they would avoid any math-related calculations or questions in their daily routine.
– they won’t be able to judge the time taken by them in an activity.
Converting Their Weakness Into Their Biggest Strength
The biggest sign that can be seen under Dyscalculia is a noticeable disparity between ability and attitude. Dyscalculia is a learning disability that can also be confused with other learning issues such as math anxiety and dyslexia. At times, children might have a combination of more than one learning disability, hence proper evaluation should be done to identify the issue and resolve it timely.
Many schools and teachers are aware of the signs of dyscalculia and help in evaluating students regularly. However, as a parent, it is essential to know and understand all the difficulties your child experiences with math. Math is a part of our daily lives and students facing issues with these concepts can hit their self-esteem. Giving them an affirmative reminder that they can succeed in math with constant practice and support would encourage them and will help them in overcoming dyscalculia.