Weekly roundup: dyscalculia

Headlines

Researchers of the MathBrain project at Stanford University have published a new study in Nature Communications examining the effects of individual tutoring on children with math disabilities. The study compared two groups of children, one with math disabilities and one without. Both groups received individual math tutoring and were given MRI brain scans before and after the study. Pre-tutoring, the scans showed differences in areas of the brain associated with solving mathematical problems between the two groups. The scans made at the end of the study, after both groups had received tutoring, showed that these differences had disappeared.

Professor Roi Cohen Kadosh. Photo: Oxford University website.

Professor Roi Cohen Kadosh. Photo: Oxford University website.

These findings demonstrate the power of one-on-one tutoring to help children with math disabilities. A previous study by the same group showed that individual tutoring also reduced math-related anxiety in children who struggle with numbers. Read more.

We´ve written before about ongoing research at Oxford University, funded by the European Research Council and conducted by Professor Roi Cohen Kadosh, into the causes of dyscalculia. A recent update on the Oxford Today website reveals that the project is also focusing on a short-term intervention program to help children currently struggling with dyscalculia. Professor Kadosh´s remarks on the intervention attempts will resonate with many dyscalculics:

There are heart-breaking accounts of children with dyscalculia – how people mock their inability to understand very basic things, they call them stupid and they feel they are stupid.” Read more.

Resources

Not sure if your child may have dyscalculia or another learning disorder, such as ADHD? Have a look at this article on attitudemag.com written by a mother describing her daughter´s struggles with math and the possible causes considered before a diagnosis of dyscalculia was reached.

For a more in-depth look at a range of math disabilities check out Math Learning Disabilities by Kate Garnett on ldonline.org. The article gives an overview of the different types of difficulties students with math disabilities may experience when facing numerical or mathematical problems.