Interesting article from the Centre for Neuroscience in Education. Their view:
Overall, there is substantial evidence to suggest that there is no unique functional impairment at the heart of developmental dyscalculia, but that several cognitive functions may be implicated. Consequently, at the CNE maths group we adopt a multi-computational view of dyscalculia; rather than focusing on the search for a unitary underlying cause of dyscalculia, we aim to identity whether the condition can be related to individual variability in specified components of several cognitive functions such as memory and attentional processes.
It is concluded that difficulty with “number sense” results from the extended demands on executive
control in learning inverse dynamics models associated with cerebellar inner speech related to the second tier of
abstraction (numbers) of the infant’s primitive physics.
New research confirms that the sequence is indeed reading, writing and then arithmetic.
results of our analysis confirmed the role of preschool phonological ability as a domain-general predictor of later achievements. Phonological ability had a positive direct and indirect effect (via reading fluency) on the subsequent reading and math performance.
While Alfred Binet is credited with the first intelligence test, that was far from his intent when he and his colleague developed the Binet-Simon scale in 1908. The purpose was not to predict future performance, but simply to identify students who were in need of alternative educational approaches.
Spoiler alert: not much! Read the study that has been done among secondary school math teachers about how much they know about Dyscalculia. The researchers conclude we have some ways to go. Here is where they can start www.DyscalculiaAware.org
Great article in Today’s Parent encouraging parents to find out if their child has dyscalculia. They encourage working through the school system or go private with a hefty price tag…..
Let us add to the options provided the FREE dyscalculia screener by Dr. Schreuder on her website dyscalculiaservices.com (free registration required)
or for a more elaborate report goto DyscalculiaTesting.com where you get a low priced option to do a Math and Dyscalculia Screening Test that will provide you with a multiple pages report with gaps identified.
It is not recent but this article gives great insight in exactly what is going on in the brains of children with developmental dyscalculia. Share this article with those people who “do not believe in dysalculia” or who “do not subscribe to that” (actual quote from a school counselor!).
As a method of organizing efforts to help students who are struggling academically, response to intervention has seen widespread adoption. But as an improved method of identifying students with learning disabilities, RTI shows far less clear benefits, researchers are finding.
Breast Cancer Patients Need to Know the Numbers for Treatment Decisions Risk calculations, treatment evaluations, and assessing the odds of a medication’s side effects are all part of the process of deciding which treatment is best for breast and other cancers.
But not everyone is good at math, and sometimes this process can be intimidating. For these patients, decision science research can offer well-founded advice on how to evaluate the information and make knowledgeable decisions.
New research has been done in the theory that number, space and time might be part of a generalized magnitude system and that deficits in that system could explain Developmental Dyscalculia. It is quite a good read but their main conclusion is:
Deficits in number processing and arithmetic cannot be explained with a general magnitude deficiency. Our results further indicate that multiple neuro-cognitive components might contribute to the explanation of developmental dyscalculia.
Well one Dutch professor thinks so and points at a study where pupils got 6 weeks of arithmetic drilling and that put them 18 months ahead. The question is for how long that advantage stayed and if those pupils had been rightfully diagnosed with dyscalculia
Martin Saunders writes a good story about the role of language in children’s learning of Mathematics. His conclusion (but you really need to read the whole piece in our link for today):
In summary, it is clear that language is a requirement for mathematical cognition, if not higher cognition in general. Where language is a component of understanding it must also be a requirement for the learning process. A symbiotic relationship exists where dialogue, and in particular creating explanations, aids to build understanding but also to apply this understanding in ever more complex ways. As the ability to consider multiple conceptual areas collectively grows and with number facts readily available a proficient mathematician develops who is able to reason and problem solve with fluency.
Neurodiversity. It’s not a term that rolls off the tongue easily but it’s a concept where neurological differences are to be recognized and respected as any other human variation. These differences can include those labeled with Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Dyscalculia, Autistic Spectrum, Tourette Syndrome, and others. Now organizations such as Microsoft and EY are piloting programs to recruit individuals who have neurological conditions such as Asperger’s which comes under the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a range of conditions that affect the way a person sees the world, processes information and interacts with other people.
Devon, 14, and Trevor, 11, Langley representing a team from Terre Haute, Indiana, harnessed the power of the rainbow to help dyslexic students learn mathematics. This innovative young team developed the ROY G. BIV Math System, an app designed to improve the way children challenged with dyslexia learn new math concepts. A color-coded system keeps digits in place when children do any kind of math operation. The system uses the rainbow color order so children will recognize if they unintentionally move digits because the familiar ROY G. BIV pattern will also be out of order. By assigning a unique color to each place value, the system makes mathematical operations easier for a child with dyslexia to follow, and also offers learning benefits for children with dysgraphia or a more serious math disorder called dyscalculia. The team’s colorful innovation earned them the FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award.
It has been known that children who were born with a very low-birth-weight often have developmental issues and can struggle with math. The study in the link emphasizes the issues with working memory when the children are 11 years of age.
To continue to achieve nationwide excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and workforce development, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has invested $61 million in new awards.
Check out the list of projects and see a few dedicated to Dyscalculia! One is about Neurocognitive underpinnings of dyslexia and dyscalculia!
Smart people at the Linköping University have found out that the brain really focusses only on one thing at a time. So if you are doing one thing, chances are that the brain will reduce some other activities.
The results show that brain activity in the auditory cortex continues without any problems, as long as we are subjected to sound alone. But when the brain instead is given a visual task, such as a written exam, the response of the nerves in the auditory cortex decreases, and hearing becomes impaired.