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Dyscalculia

Research summary & links to further information about dyscalculia.

Overview

Dyscalculia is a term that’s used to refer to various conditions that cause people difficulties with learning maths. Research into dyscalculia is at an early phase. There’s not yet a standard definition of what dyscalculia is or what causes it. Because of this, it’s difficult to say how many people suffer from it, but it’s thought that around 5% of school-age children have dyscalculia.

Learners with dyscalculia may have difficulty counting and understanding the relationships between numbers (eg. that six is one more than five, or that there are two twos in four). They may also struggle to understand the four operations (adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing).

People who have dyscalculia can still improve their maths skills – they might just need to take a different approach. A structured approach using real objects and lots of discussion is the best way for someone with dyscalculia to learn maths.

Dyscalculia isn’t the same thing as maths anxiety. Many people suffer from maths anxiety without having dyscalculia. But it’s certainly true that many people with dyscalculia also experience anxiety around maths.

 

Links to more information on dyscalculia

A brief explanation of the signs of dyscalculia: https://www.dyslexia.uk.net/specific-learning-difficulties/dyscalculia/the-signs-of-dyscalculia/

An introduction to the conditions of dyslexia and dyscalculia: https://www.parliament.uk/documents/post/postpn226.pdf

This article from the Nursing Times looks at the issue of dyscalculia in a healthcare setting: https://www.nursingtimes.net/Journals/2012/09/07/p/g/x/110912-Dyscalculia--awareness-and-student-support.pdf

The extracts included on this link from the book ‘The Dyscalculia Assessment’ give information on what dyscalculia is and how it can be identified: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=ml83-wxMtH8C&printsec=frontcover&dq=The+Dyscalculia+Assessment&hl=en&sa=X&ei=MZIcUsLjJoKd0QX0k4C4CA&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=The%20Dyscalculia%20Assessment&f=false

The book ‘More trouble with Maths: A complete guide to identifying and diagnosing mathematical difficulties’ suggests that maths learning difficulties are on a spectrum, with the view that learning difficulties at the ‘severe’ end of the spectrum could be labelled as dyscalculia: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=wTpXrRnn4aYC&printsec=frontcover&dq=more+trouble&hl=en&sa=X&ei=8jztUb-oNeys7QbZ9IDgDA&ved=0CDgQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=more%20trouble&f=false

The extracts here from ‘Mathematics for Dyslexics: Including Dyscalculia’ look at different factors that contribute to maths learning difficulties: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=0kOJvLyf55wC&printsec=frontcover&dq=mathematics+for+dyslexics+and+dyscalculia&hl=en&sa=X&ei=zz3tUdmfHYrb7AaBvoCYAw&ved=0CD0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=mathematics%20for%20dyslexics%20and%20dyscalculia&f=false