What is Developmental Dyscalculia?

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

What is Developmental Dyscalculia?

Developmental dyscalculia can be either genetic or environmental, even interaction of the two and is present from birth. It is a specific learning difference that affects the acquisition of arithmetic skills. It is equally common in boys and girls and impacts 5-6% of the population.

Genetic Causes

Genetic causes include known genetic disorders such as Turner’s syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, Velocardiofacial syndrome, Williams syndrome. In addition, studies suggest that there are genes present in the general population which increase the risk of dyscalculia.

Environmental Causes

Known environmental causes include alcohol consumption during pregnancy and pre-term birth. Both of these can result in underdevelopment of the brain.

There is a common misconception that the brain cannot be changed. In fact, every time you learn a new piece of information or skill, your brain becomes modified. If you practice a new skill considerably your brain can show a significant modification. We call this ability to change “plasticity”. The brain is at its most plastic during childhood, nonetheless, recent studies have shown that the adult brain has much more plasticity than previously thought.

Therefore, even though dyscalculia is related to brain function, there is no reason why that function cannot be changed. Experiences in the home (an environment that encourages attention to number), teaching in school, and intervention programmes can all impact it. This principle of changing the brain to create stronger neurological links is why Dybuster developed Calcularis in collaboration with neuroscientists to help combat dyscalculia.

3 thoughts on “What is Developmental Dyscalculia?

  • August 23, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    I have undiagnosed Dyscalculia, but after dealing with my “problem” for 77 years, there is no doubt in my mind that I have figured out what is wrong with me.

    I just took your Free Test. I had a stomach ache in about 45 seconds. Is it a fake test? Nothing happened when I clicked on the box with the larger number. Then I panicked and started clicking on everything, and finally hit the X on my computer, shutting down your program and every other window I was using.

    What on earth was I supposed to learn from this test –?? How bad I already know I am?

  • August 26, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    The test was a sample of a program designed to help children re-train whatever part of the brain is responsible for creating this problem of Dyscalculia. Or that is how I understood it. Just as a matter of interest, as I took the test you asked about my heart began racing, I found myself panting and the end I was -and still am – slightly nauseated.

    I will try to get tested, though I am in America and tests like this are covered for schoolchildren, but not the elderly- which I am.


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