Many people in this world suffer from math learning disabilities. Math learning disabilities effect over 6% of people in this country, yet many people have never even heard of them. Two disabilities that I am going to be focusing on are dyscalculia and math anxiety. Upon hearing the term dyscalculia, many people think that I have just mispronounced the word dyslexia; dyscalculia is its own disorder specifically related to a disability in math, having nothing to do with reading. Math anxiety is a psychological disorder related to a fear or anxious feeling about math. It is a true disorder, and not just something a person says when they don’t like math. Today, I am going to go in to much more detail about these disorders and their treatments. Dyscalculia
Dyscalculia is defined as” a mathematical learning disability in which a person with normal or above average intelligence has unusual difficulty solving arithmetic problems and grasping math concepts.”(Paquette and Tuttle , 72). Dyscalculia can manifest itself in many ways. Some people have problems with calculations, others have problems with processing mathematical language, some have visual-spatial problems, some have memory problems that prevent them from remembering basic math facts, and some people have a hard time estimating. Although many people think girls have a harder time with math than boys research has shown that dyscalculia affects both girls and boys in equal amounts. (Paquette and Tuttle, 73). It is estimated that between 6 and 7 percent of the population has math disabilities. This number however only represents the number of people who are “purely” dyscalculic, meaning they only have math disabilities but have fine performances in other areas of learning. It is also known though that 50 to 60 percent of dyslexic people also suffer from dyscalculia. (British Dyslexia Association). Many people’s math disabilities may stem from their problems with language; because they have problems with language it makes it hard for them to process the language in mathematical questions. (British Dyslexia Association). Symptoms of Dyscalculia
There are many symptoms associated with dyscalculia. Dyscalculia just like any other learning disability manifests itself differently in every person. Not every person will have the same symptoms with the same level of severity. Dyscalculic people may have trouble with basic arithmetic, confusing math signs such as +,- ÷,×, and %. They may rely heavily on their fingers for counting rather than using more efficient mental math techniques. Many people with dyscalculia may have trouble with estimating measurements of objects and distance. They also may have trouble with concepts of time and direction. Another symptom of dyscalculia is the inability to remember mathematical concepts, rules, formulas and sequences. (Unicorn maths)
Dyscalculic people don’t only have problems that are specifically mathematical; they also may have difficulties with everyday life skills that require some basic fundamental understanding of math concepts to complete. Many have trouble with activities that involve sequential processing; this can include anything from dance steps to reading, writing and putting things in order. They may have trouble with checking change and reading an analogue clock. Many of them have difficulties with comprehending financial planning and budgeting. Many have a hard time balancing a checkbook. Understanding the concept of time and judging the passing of time are often difficult for dyscalculic people as well. Telling between left and right can also be difficult. Another symptom of dyscalculia is having a bad sense of direction. They may also have trouble keeping score in a game. Dr. David Geary, a psychologist and expert on math learning disabilities at the University of Missouri said that you could categorize all these symptoms into three areas of trouble: semantic memory, procedural, and visual- spatial. (Paquette...
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