The KidsHealth.org blog has this short but very effective fact sheet on Dyscalculia for schools and it gives warning signs for teachers but also options on what to do with children who have Dyscalculia.
We have said it often; early detection is key to great remediation. So in our link for today the writers make the case to start testing in Kindergarten. This goes very well with the initiative we launched with the DyscalculiaScreener.org site
They still exist the Dyscalculia deniers and we also get reports from Parents that some teachers, even after having been given the psycho educational report outlining the learning disability, are still stuck in the equality phase and cannot see that if you put a child who needs crutches in a varsity team, you’ll need to make some adjustments. Teachers if nothing else please visit https://DyscalculiaAwareness.org
A great article by Donna Boucher where she lists a number of categories of students who all at some time receive intervention for math, the question however is how effective that is and if there are better or different solutions that may be tried.
Researchers seem to have found the place where to look for dyscalculia, here is their abstract:
Mathematical learning deficits are defined as a neurodevelopmental disorder (dyscalculia) in the International Classification of Diseases. It is not known, however, how such deficits emerge in the course of early brain development. Here, we conducted functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) experiments in 3- to 6-year-old children without formal mathematical learning experience. We followed this sample until the age of 7 to 9 years, identified individuals who developed deficits, and matched them to a typically developing control group using comprehensive behavioral assessments. Multivariate pattern classification distinguished future cases from controls with up to 87% accuracy based on the regional functional activity of the right posterior parietal cortex (PPC), the network-level functional activity of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), and the effective functional and structural connectivity of these regions. Our results indicate that mathematical learning deficits originate from atypical development of a frontoparietal network that is already detectable in early childhood.
Recommendations from recent research in Nigeria are listed below. Please read the full report in our link for today:
Based on the discussions of the findings, the following recommendation were made:
Dyscalculia test should be adopted by parents, school administrators and counselors to assess students who may be having difficulty in mathematics or arithmetic for proper diagnosis
Assessment instruments used within the school system be it at primary, secondary or higher institutions should be subjected to the DIF analysis for bias item analysis as this would provide the necessary statistical evidence that a particular assessment instrument is not bias.
Finding out I’m neurodiverse and coming to terms with my learning disability brought me comfort. It made all those years of confusion and frustration make sense. I also felt less lonely knowing so many others out there share my struggles. I’m more kinder on myself when I “can’t math” in a given moment and take my time instead of quickly giving up. There’s still a low awareness of dyscalculia, but I hope in due time, it’ll be as widely known as other learning disabilities such as dyslexia so that those like me can get diagnosed early and provided the proper assistance in overcoming challenges to excel in life.
Some people will dismiss their or their children’s problems and mistakes with math as “oh just a careless mistake”. The truth is that these mistakes may actually be a sign that you or your child has a math learning disability, dyscalculia.
Don’t delay and get it diagnosed properly so you’ll know what is really happening and can find the help you deserve for the condition.
Research shows that children who have trouble recognizing and working with Arabic numerals (our regular number system) most likely will have trouble with arithmetic later in their school career. This means that we could already recognize math learning difficulties in KG and thus be proactive with our interventions.
The process of having your child evaluated for learning difficulties, meeting with the school, interpreting test results, and deciding how to help your child is daunting. And it’s one countless parents will have to navigate. One in five students face learning and thinking difficulties such as dyslexia, ADHD, trouble with written expression, dyscalculia, and others”. The school can evaluate your child for free. Or you can hire a private evaluator, which costs $1,000 to $5,000, depending on where you live and the specialist doing the test.
The purpose of this study was to examine how spatial abilities as measured on the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (K-ABC) could be used to predict dyscalculia.
Spatial abilities were found to be most closely approximated on the Spatial Memory subtest in the ability battery. This subtest was examined in relationship to the Arithmetic subtest on the achievement battery, and a high correlation was demonstrated.
This is interesting because there was critisism about the traditional way of assessing Dyscalculia by comparing ability (IQ) with achievement and this was a great measure to serve as an alternative.
It only takes one teacher to recognize that you have a problem and do something about it. We have now made it easier for teachers to screen for possible dyscalculia by introducing the DyscalculiaScreener.
Oh, and the kicker here? The reason I got diagnosed with dyscalculia in the 4th grade was because my 4th grade teacher saw me struggling in the exact same way and recommended that I be tested for a learning disability instead of calling me dumb in front of God and everybody.
The YourHealthMagazine.net has a nice overview of how to detect learning disabilities. It is important to detect learning disabilities as early as possible, to get the remediation started early and give the children the support they deserve.
Yes new research has shown that parents can assess numeracy but are not so great when it gets down to rating the actual cognitive skills. Yet this is important research as it shows us a way to be able to assess numeracy in large groups of children when other means of researching them in a timely matter would not be available.
The additudemag blog comes with a self test for adults to see if their math related troubles could be a sign of dyscalculia. They have used a checklist from the dyscalculia.org blog as a basis for this.
So how are those with dyscalculia diagnosed? Diagnostic professionals may look for a number of symptoms. A person with this disorder may . . .
have spatial problems and difficulties aligning numbers into columns.
have trouble with sequences of numbers and concepts (left/right orientation).
confuse similar numbers (in sound or appearance).
have difficulties understanding word problems.
have difficulties using a calculator.
have difficulties with abstract concepts of time and direction.
have difficulties recalling schedules or keeping track of time.
lack “big picture/whole picture” thinking (like the ability to grasp or picture mechanical processes).
produce inconsistent results in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
be unable to grasp concepts, rules, formulas, sequences, orders of operation, and basic addition.
have difficulties with memory (e.g., long-term memory or concept mastery).
The Difficulty of Diagnosis
Still, dyscalculia is not often the first designation a psychologist or a special educator may give a person with this condition. If it can be proven, a person may be diagnosed with a learning disability such as visual processing disorder (since it appears that this condition may be associated) or something else. When there’s nothing else there to definitively prove it’s one of those learning disorders, dyscalculia may be written down as the person’s learning disability if the one area affected happens to be math skills.
The post in our link for today is interesting as the writer makes a connection between symptoms for Dyslexia and Dyscalculia. The point being that both learning disabilities are related and often are both present. By looking at these symptoms and realizing that they may be in indication for both, you’ll be ahead of the game for detection.
The study evaluated the classification accuracy of: The Numeracy Screener, a 2‐min test of symbolic (Arabic numerals) and nonsymbolic (dot arrays) discrimination ability. A sample of 222 children who demonstrated persistent deficits (n = 55), inconsistent deficits (n = 51), or typical performance (n = 116) on standardized tests of math achievement over multiple observations was tested. The Numeracy Screener correctly classified children in all three groups. Notably, the symbolic condition has greater sensitivity in discriminating children with persistent DD from the other two groups. Screening tools that assess early numeracy skills may be promising for identifying children at risk for developing severe mathematical difficulties.
Due to the pandemic there seems to be a long wait to get testing for learning disabilities done.
It is important for children to get tested swiftly for a couple of reasons:
The remediation needs to start quickly
The child can develop anxiety
The child is at risk of bullying for not being able to keep up
The article in the link then goes on to note how expensive testing through private resources. Our mother site Dyscalculia Services has realized this and now can offer affordable assessments for Dyscalculia online without the exorbitant wait times.
Check this page for more information CLICK HERE about online assessments
Visit us at http://DyscalculiaHeadlines.com A service from Math and https://DyscalculiaServices.com Trouble with Math? https://DyscalculiaTesting.com Online Become a Dyscalculia Tutor. http://DyscalculiaTutor.org
Understood partnered with the American Academy of Pediatrics on Take N.O.T.E., an initiative that aims to help parents identify learning and thinking differences in children. It includes a simple, four-part memory device — notice, observe, talk, engage — to help families make sense of their child’s difficulties.
Signs of dyscalculia are not always easy to spot. Keep in mind that all kids have trouble with maths from time to time. But children with dyscalculia struggle a lot more than other children the same age. Dyscalculia is not the same as math anxiety because the latter involves strong emotions around Math.
The Eblity blog gives a great overview of the signs of Dyscalculia and the accommodations possible in class
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