Check Your Math Disability Symptoms:
Symptoms Established By Research
The following are seen in primary school, and well established by educational researchers:
1. Delay in counting. Five to seven year-old dyscalculic children show less understanding of basic counting principles than their peers (e.g. that it doesn't matter which order objects are counted in). [1-3]
2. Delay in using counting strategies for addition. Dyscalculic children tend to keep using inefficient strategies for calculating addition facts much longer than their peers. [2, 4, 5]
3. Difficulties in memorizing arithmetic facts. Dyscalculic children have great difficulty in memorizing simple addition, subtraction and multiplication facts (eg. 5 + 4 = 9), and this difficulty persists up to at least the age of thirteen. [6-10]
These symptoms may be caused by two more fundamental difficulties, although more research is needed to be sure:
1. Lack of “number sense”. Dyscalculic children may have a fundamental difficulty in understanding quantity. [11, 12] They are slower at even very simple quantity tasks such as comparing two numbers (which is bigger, 7 or 9?), and saying how many there are for groups of 1-3 objects. The brain areas which appear to be affected in dyscalculia are areas which are specialized to represent quantity.
2. Less automatic processing of written numbers. In most of us, reading the symbol "7" immediately causes our sense of quantity to be accessed. In dyscalculic individuals this access appears to be slower and more effortful. [13-15]. Thus dyscalculic children may have difficulty in linking written or spoken numbers to the idea of quantity.
The Following May Sometimes Be ASSOCIATED With Dyscalculia, But Not In All Cases:
1. Dyslexia, or difficulty reading
2. Attentional difficulties
3. Spatial difficulties (not good at drawing, visualisation, remembering arrangements of objects, understanding time/direction)
4. Short term memory difficulties (the literature on the relation between these and dyscalculia is very controversial)
5. Poor coordination of movement (dyspraxia)