What Have Eyes Got To Do With Dyscalculia?

About a decade ago, a groundbreaking study found that eye pupils detect more than just light. New research by the School of Psychology of the University of Sydney in collaboration with the Universities of Pisa and Florence has revealed that eye pupils can also detect quantity and perceive the number of objects in a person’s field of vision.


Photo by v2osk on Unsplash

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‘Dancing with Dyscalculia’ aka dwdyscalculia


Hi dwdyscalculia! Could you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your Instagram?


Hi! My name is Isabelle, I’m 20 years old and I work as a qualified freelance makeup artist in New Zealand. I was diagnosed with severe Dyscalculia (Acalculia) when I was around 11 years old. My Dyscalculia is not genetic, as I was born premature (25 weeks) and suffered a brain bleed, thus causing me to have Dyscalculia as a result. I was able to get specific tutoring for my Dyscalculia, in order to help me learn numeracy skills (this aided in me passing NCEA – similar to GCSE’s) Since being diagnosed, I have been a strong advocate for Dyscalculics.


Posts from dwdyscalculia’s Instagram

I created my Instagram ‘Dancing with Dyscalculia’ when I was around 15 years old (also known as dwdyscalculia), to help educate and raise awareness of Dyscalculia. What better way to educate and raise awareness, create a discussion about certain topics in this day in age, than social media? I create and post textual descriptions with snippets of information about Dyscalculia, in order to help raise awareness. I will sometimes post questions relating to Dyscalculia and answer them. I also often answer questions relating to Dyscalculia in comments as well.

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The Dyscalculator: An App That Helps Dyscalculics Calculate

A guest article from Elisheva Seeman the creator of the Dyscalculator.

I first became aware of Dyscalculia when I noticed that my friend couldn’t read numbers. I couldn’t understand why she would always ask the people around her to tell her what number was written down or why she would repeatedly ask what time someone said they were picking her up. When I realised how much Dyscalculia affected her daily and how much it caused her to struggle in many areas, I decided to find her an app or website to do the calculations for her. I figured that she was not the only one with this issue – someone must have developed a program to help with that.


I was wrong – all the apps I found when searching were geared toward teaching math instead of offering tools to help people. So, I created an app specifically to help her with numbers – and she loved it! She used it every day in different ways, building up her confidence and helping her become less reliant on other people.

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Dyscalculia – Spot The Signs

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Signs of Dyscalculia

It’s important to take signs of dyscalculia seriously. At the beginning of school, all children experience occasional difficulties with math. If these problems fail to dissipate with supported homework sessions or additional hours of practice, parents and teachers should be alert for potential dyscalculia.

The following signs can indicate the presence of dyscalculia:


General well-being

  • …has anxiety about going to school

  • …has anxiety about taking tests

  • …has a negative perception of their intelligence

  • …is withdrawn

  • …expects to fail

  • …displays frustration and a reluctance to try (maths) in other subjects

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What is Developmental Dyscalculia?

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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.

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Dyscalculia & Maths Resources For Adults

It can be difficult to find much about or for adults on the subject of dyscalculia, previously we had a guest post from educator Sarah Jarvis covering the topic of Helping Adults with Mathematical Learning Difficulties, which is a great introduction to the subject if you have not read it yet.

We have decided to dig deeper on the subject and find more resources and more ways of overcoming this difficulty with maths and here it is:

Firstly its good to get yourself mentally prepared for the task of challenging your mathematical difficulties so please keep in mind these four things:

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Getting a diagnosis of dyscalculia means getting tested by a professional such as a psychologist

How To Get A Dyscalculia Diagnosis

Does your child constantly struggle with numbers? Perhaps they always need to count with their fingers or have difficulty telling time. Or cannot tell the difference between large and small quantities.

These could be signs of dyscalculia and if you notice them in your child or student it may be worthwhile to follow up with tests for math learning difficulties and perhaps a full diagnosis.

So, how do you go about getting your child tested for and, if necessary, diagnosed with dyscalculia?

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