basically means difficulty performing mathematical calculations,
specifically, it means a learning disability which affects math.
Like dyslexia, dyscalculia can be caused by a visual perceptual
deficit and also along with dyslexia, its effects varies tremendously
in each individual. Also like dyslexia were there is no single
set of signs that characterizes all dyslexics, there is no one
cause of dyscalculia. Some of the main symptoms are:
problems and difficulty aligning numbers into proper columns.
sequencing, including left/right orientation. They may read numbers
out of sequence and sometimes do operations backwards.
mathematics concepts in word problems difficult to understand,
confusing similar numbers (e.g., 7 and 9; 3 and 8), and have difficulty
using a calculator.
with the abstract concepts of time and direction, the inability
to recall schedules, and unable to keep track of time.
If there is also a sensory defect, the mathematics deficiency
is worse than you would expect with it.
Not accounted for by another psychological disorder such as Mental
It is common
for students with dyscalculia to have normal or accelerated
language acquisition, verbal, reading, writing, and good visual
memory for the printed word.
be chronically late for appointments.
memory (retention & retrieval) of mathematical principles.
May be unable
to mentally calculate change due from purchases which may result
in a money or shopping phobia.
poor athletic coordination.
Some disorders have similar symptoms. The clinician, therefore,
in his diagnostic attempt, has to differentiate against the following
disorders which need to be ruled out to establish a precise diagnosis.
Helplessness in mathematics
has several underlying causes. One of the most prominent is a
weakness in visual processing therefore students with dyscalculia
have a difficultly visualizing numbers and often mentally mix
up the numbers, resulting in what appear to be "stupid mistakes."
Helping a student identify
their strengths and weaknesses is the first step to giving assistance.
Following identification, parents and teachers should work together
to establish strategies that will help the student learn mathematics
more effectively. Repeated reinforcement and specific practice
of straightforward ideas can make understanding easier.
and Psychotherapy [ See
Therapy Section ]: