Developmental Dyscalculia

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

What is Developmental Dyscalculia?

Developmental dyscalculia can be either genetic or environmental and even an interaction of the two. It is a specific learning disability that affects the normal acquisition of arithmetic skills. It is equally common in boys and girls and impacts on 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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Weekly Roundup: Dyscalculia & The Need For Augmented Reality In Education

Dyscalculia By Any Other Name…

Dyscalculia is often mislabelled as dyslexia in math even though this nickname is inaccurate. While they can occur together and share some brain-based weaknesses such as poor working memory, the connection between them has not been defined. This article takes you through where the name dyscalculia comes from and why it is important we use it.

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Weekly Roundup: Dyscalculia Explained & Neurodiversity in the Workplace

Numberphile: Dyscalculia Explained

In this article we share a video presented by Professor Brian Butterworth on one of our favourite websites called Numberphile, where he explains what dyscalculia is. Numberphile hosts videos from researchers from universities around the world as well as its own quirky range of films all about numbers and maths.

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Weekly Roundup: The Wonders of Nature & Famous Dyscalculics

“The Wonders of Nature” – How Nature Strengthens our Well-being and Provides our Brains with the Necessary Rest

A new post this week is all about the incredible benefits a trip into nature can have on our bodies and our brains. Not only is it a place of tranquillity that provides us the necessary rest from our busy city lives; it also gives space for those that have the added stress from a learning difficulty or ADHD. In this article we list these benefits and share with you how one person with ADHD found a way to use nature to train his brain and control his sensory stress and attention.

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“The Wonders of Nature” – How Nature Strengthens our Well-being and Provides our Brains with the Necessary Rest

School, homework, music lessons, ballet, football training, an evening class…

All family homes are busy and active spaces, as we perform everyday life tasks in a growing family. Everything is run on a tight schedule, appointments are squeezed in and the children are busier than ever. However a recent study shows that over-organized activities can negatively affect children’s brains. That’s why many professionals are calling for a return to a more free and relaxed way of educating your child – a more outdoor and natural way.

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Weekly Roundup: Dybuster Calcularis & Dyscalculia

Have you tried Dybuster’s Calcularis?

Last week we shared on social media the introduction video to Dybuster’s Calcularis, it was so popular that it’s here again in the weekly roundup! Calcularis is Dybuster’s mathematics learning software developed in collaboration with neuroscientists and computer scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. Promoting the development and coordination of areas of the brain responsible for processing numbers, amounts and mathematical tasks and can be used from the first year of school up to adulthood.

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Hands Up! Why We Should Promote Visual Arithmetic

Photo by bady qb on Unsplash

It is well known that schools tend to put mental arithmetic skills above the visual ones, as something like counting with your fingers is seen as a weakness in one’s calculation abilities. Educators and scientists have been tackling this obsolete cliché with research and scientific reports that seem to prove that visual aids are more than just helpful in the learning process.

Indeed, visual aids, such as the use of fingers, have a key role in children’s understanding of mathematics. This form of visualisation gives the abstract world of numbers a real side and establishes a connection to something tangible. This results in the creation connections from the prefrontal cortex (main memory / data centre) to the visual and motor cortex. Thus, when visual aid is used, thinking becomes outsourced to other brain areas generating a more efficient use the brain’s capacity.

However, these findings do not mean that you child will forever use their fingers to count. Over time a mental image of the fingers will become connected to the mental processes of counting, making the physical counting unnecessary. This is proven by numerous studies with primary school children that measured increased activity in the visual cortex while children were solving complex math tasks, even when they did not use their hands.

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Dyscalculia Resources For Those Going To High School

Now I’m sure every parent goes through the stressful shift from primary school to high school and the fears of this change being to much for their child, but there is extra pressure for those with children that have learning difficulties. This is because there will always be a difference between the support your child received at primary school and what’s available at the high school. So we have prepared a list of recommended resources that are suitable for this transition period and for supporting your child throughout their time in high school.

  1. ‘TES’ is always a good place to look for any resource you may need, but this collection is also especially for those with dyscalculia. These are not just for teachers; they are useful for those homeschooling or even just that little bit of extra after school or weekend boost for your child.

  2. ‘Helping With Math’ is another good site for all your mathematical resources, this site is especially great because of huge collection of exercises available for free, and while the resources may not be the most beautiful, they are extremely useful.

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Weekly Roundup: Dyslexia, Dyscalculia & EdTech

What is Dyslexia and how can Technology Help with its Symptoms?

This article is a favourite of ours as it guides you through everything you should need to know to recognise the symptoms of dyslexia in yourself or in a child and how to get a real diagnosis. Understanding how much technology can help you or your child with dyslexia is key, as the majority of these technologies are widely and instantly available and on occasion free.

To find out how EdTech can help click here.

Maths Apps and Aids, Tools and Tutoring

As we highlighted in the text above technology can help with learning difficulties like dyslexia, this article covers what Apps and Aids, Tools and Tutoring are helpful for those with mathematical difficulties, such as those with dyscalculia. The article is concluded with a great list of resources!

Read more here.

In the weeks coming we will be releasing a new article listing resources helpful for those with math difficulties / dyscalculia who are on their way to High School or at High School Level.

 

The Complete Guide To Safe Internet Use For Seniors With Dyslexia & Dyscalculia

If you are not online, you can forget about keeping in touch with your grandchildren. That is just the reality we are living in. However, for seniors living with dyscalculia or dyslexia, using the internet can be incredibly stressful and even dangerous. To help you with this necessary form of communication, we have put together a comprehensive guide to make the experience less stressful and more fun.

How Dyscalculia and Dyslexia Affects People Later in Life

Most of the media attention on dyscalculia and dyslexia is focused on how these maladies affect youngsters. Yet, older adults also have trouble living a normal life and performing specific activities when they are afflicted by these disabilities. In turn, this can cause undue frustration and stress.

Seniors who acquire dyslexia and dyscalculia later in life often do so through trauma, dementia, stroke, or brain injury. For dementia and stroke, stress is typically a contributing factor. When stress is the source of dyslexia or dyscalculia, a dangerous cycle develops.

As dyscalculics and dyslexics put in extra effort to deal with numbers, math, and reading, they get frustrated and mentally-exhausted. This added stress can lead to other health issues or worsen the condition. Unfortunately, trying to use the internet is one of the more stressful experiences for seniors, especially with all of the scammers out there trying to prey on your inexperience. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to stay safe on the internet and avoid the added stress.

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