Ever feel like your child isn't understanding even the simplest form of maths? Could your child be battling with a case of dyscalculia? Read more to find out what dyscalculia is, what the symptoms are, and if there's a cure for it.
Is your child having trouble with maths or perhaps even an aversion to all sums and equations? Before you call the tutor or nag at your child for being lazy, consider if they are suffering from dyscalculia.
What is it?
Dyscalculia is a learning difficulty that affects a person’s ability to understand and/or manipulate numbers and mathematical symbols.
Dyscalculia presents itself in many ways but common symptoms include – confusing mathematical signs and the variable ‘x,’ difficulty with everyday tasks like checking change and reading analogue clocks, having trouble differentiating between left and right, having the inability to read a sequence of numbers as well as differentiating between numbers (for example 12 and 21).
Here is a video of an expert discussing the symptoms of dyscalculia
It’s not the end
Fortunately like all learning difficulties, dyscalculia can be improved with patience, repetition and specialised help. Here are some strategies that you can incorporate at home to help your child with dyscalculia.
- Use any visual information that may be provided (picture, chart, graph) or make your own.
- Since maths is essentially a form of language, which uses numbers instead of words, communicate frequently and clearly with your child on what is required when working on a mathematical problem.
- Get your child to draw a picture to help understand the problem
- Celebrate small accomplishments, especially since these are big mental challenges for your child to have overcome
- Spend extra time with children in memorising maths facts. You can consider using mnemonics or even music or rhyme to help with the memorising
- Consider going to a dyscalculia specialist who can teach your child specific strategies to cope with the learning difficulty
I’m not stupid
The most important thing to remember is to never make or let your child feel stupid. After all, this condition does not mean your child can’t do maths, it just means he has to learn it a different way. We say, don’t get disheartened but get creative in the way you teach your child those basic mathematical concepts.
Share your child’s story if they have had dyscalculia. Tell us how it was and what you did to help them overcome it!