Numberphile: Dyscalculia Explained

Numberphile: Dyscalculia Explained

Read about dyscalculia on the Numberphile website.

At first glance the Numberphile website seems both charming and a tad overwhelming. The site is dedicated to numbers and explanations of math problems and math research by means of short videos. The videos are linked to via illustrations which are engaging but don’t give a casual visitor many clues as to where they are navigating. It is great for exploring though: click around and see which page you land on and then watch the video to learn something new about math.

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Maths Apps and Aids, Tools and Tutoring

Maths Apps and Aids, Tools and Tutoring

Child using Dybuster Calcularis on ipad with teacher checking progress remotely

A diagnosis of dyscalculia or other math learning difficulties can feel overwhelming. Parents of a child with recently diagnosed dyscalculia may find themselves asking, “What should I do next? What can I do next?”

Fortunately, both awareness of and support for dyscalculia are increasing. To give you a first look at what resources for dyscalculia are out there, we’ve put together a short list of online and offline aids for math difficulties.

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What causes dyscalculia

What Causes Dyscalculia?

According to sources listed on both and, there is no universal consensus on the causes of dyscalculia. However there have been studies on what happens in the brains of dyscalculics while solving math problems. To understand this let’s first have a look at how children develop mathematic abilities in general.

By the time they are just three months old, babies are able to differentiate between large and small quantities. When they get to preschool, children learn number words to enable them to describe these quantities. In elementary school, they learn Arabic numerals, which will not make any sense without those number words from the previous stage. Finally, children develop a mental conception of numbers – an internal number line – which automates such judgments as large vs. small, and estimations. Read more

Educate yourself on the signs of dyscalculia

Signs & Symptoms Of Dyscalculia

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Dyscalculia receives less press than does dyslexia. Parents and teachers may not even be aware that dyscalculia exists, much less recognise what could be signs of the learning difference. We’ve put together a list of things to watch out for if you think your child may have a learning disability in math. Read more

What is it like to have Dyscalculia?

Dyscalculia affects around 5% of children, a smaller proportion than those affected by dyslexia (the rate of occurrence for dyslexia in the United States is approximately 15%). This has resulted in dyscalculia remaining relatively unknown; many people are not even familiar with the term.

What effect could this have on children with dyscalculia? Imagine struggling every day at school with number problems that your peers master far more quickly than you do. Your teacher is beginning to lose patience with you and your parents think you are just not trying hard enough. They don´t understand that you are trying hard every day, but even basic arithmetic concepts make no sense to you. You are called lazy or stupid or both.

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Famous dyscalculics

Dyscalculics: The Famous, The Successful, The Inspiring

As the condition is rarer than dyslexia, dyscalculia is less present when it comes to information and resources on websites and blogs. Dyslexics, for example, can find extensive lists of famous people who have or were reported to have had dyslexia. Dyscalculics are left more on their own when looking for such sources of encouragement and inspiration.



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