This is a guest article from Special Education Teacher Monise Seward, you can find out more about her work on her website – http://www.moniseseward.com/
For the last 8 months, my IG and Twitter posts have focused on two main goals; find (a) Dyscalculia and Dyslexia training; and (b) Math Apps and/or curriculum designed with my students’ needs in mind. Both proved to be challenging and time-consuming endeavours, eventually I found one.
Dyscalculia is the Learning Disability you’ve probably never heard of, despite the fact that 5-10% of the population has it. Based on the challenges non-identified students experience, I believe there are more kids (and adults) with Dyscalculia. We simply characterize their struggles as ‘Math anxiety’; at least, in this country. Based on conversations had with U.S. teachers, few are aware of the existence of Dyscalculia. They are unable to identify the characteristics exhibited by students who may have it. Compounded by a lack of training on Dyscalculia, many teachers adhere to a pacing guide that does not allow time for remediation or accommodations.
Most children find mathematics interesting and to encourage their interest is simpler than you think, as mathematics is a big part of everyday life. In this article, we are offering you some ideas, how to create a playful link between mathematics and daily routine.
The word “dyscalculia” is a tad unwieldy. It’s difficult to pronounce and plenty of people have never come across the term and don’t really know what it means.
But plenty of people have come across dyscalculia itself; they just know it under a different name. For our first time readers, dyscalculia is a learning difference that affects the ability to do basic math functions. (Learn more by reading What is dyscalculia? on our blog.)
What are the words we use to refer to dyscalculia? Well, some people know dyscalculia as “dyslexia with numbers” or “math dyslexia”. They know that it’s not just a matter of being “bad at math”. Dyscalculics process numbers differently than do people without dyscalculia. As most children develop number skills they automate certain math tasks so that they can focus on more advanced ones. Dyscalculics don’t do this, which slows down any problems they need to solve that involve numbers. Read more →
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. Read more →
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.
A search for famous dyscalculics does turn up a few names. American actor Henry Winkler is mentioned as having both dyslexia and difficulty with math. Singers Cher and Mick Hucknall are both dyscalculic. Actress Mary Tyler Moore is also included on lists of celebrities with dyscalculia. These lists however are much shorter than comparable ones dealing with dyslexia. Read more →