What Are The Dyscalculia Symptoms?– A Brief Note And Tips For Parents
A difficulty to understand the use and application of numbers is called numlexia or number blindness. It is important to know the Dyscalculia Symptoms and pay early attention to the problem, or else it would interfere in everyday life. This learning disability affects a person’s ability to do simple mathematics like adding numbers or subtracting them etc. Let us try and understand this condition in simple words.
What Is Number Dyslexia?
Dyscalculia or Number Dyslexia and is a learning disability that affects simple calculations of arithmetic. The person or the child finds it very difficult to understand, sequence the numbers, do the mathematics, and reach the answer. This interferes and adversely affects the regular life of these individuals.
These individuals are bad with money, counting change or coins, and doing other simple calculations. This does not mean that he or she has below average IQ level. On the contrary, they have average to above average intelligence, and they do very well in fields that do not involve numbers.
What Causes Numlexia?
Though there is no one clear and specific answer to this question, many scientists believe that the any or combination of the following reasons are majorly responsible for the condition.
- Impaired or reduce short term memory. In a study it was found that memory deficit is also responsible for the problem.
- Heredity plays an important role in determining if a child will have this disorder or not.
- Congenital condition. A situation that is present before or at the time of birth.
- Gerstman syndrome like agraphia, finger anomia, etc.
- Lesions on the parietal and temporal lobes of the brain can lead to this type of dyslexia.
- Damage or injury to the brain. An impaired ability to deal with numbers due to injury or damage to the brain is called Acalculia etc.
Since the age of 1 to 12 kids learn very well with hands on experience. They tend to manipulate the numbers, decrease, increase, and learn. This lays a very strong foundation. In children who do not have this kind of experience often find it hard to understand and apply numbers. The following signs of this disorder will help you understand it better and the difficulties these people face.
- They confuse between the basic arithmetic signs like +,-, /, *,etc, and have difficulty understanding these addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication symbols.
- They also have hard time understanding the words ‘plus’, ‘minus’, ‘add together’ etc.
- It is very difficult for these number dyslexic individuals to do simple arithmetic problems. For instance, to them 4 + 1 = 6 or 7 but 5. Or 5 – 2 = 4 but not 3 and so on.
- They are very bad with mental mathematics. They cannot count or know how many objects are there in a small group of items. This is called subitizing. People without this form of dyslexia are good are subitizing.
- They can memorize multiplication tables but will not understand how it works.
- They memorize the concept, steps, formulas, and sequence to reach the answer but they are never confident of the answer.
- They are not good with money, coins, investments, managing check book and other financial dealings.
- Writing numbers in reverse order or understanding them in the reverse order is very common. 456 can be read and understood as 564, 654 etc.
- They may not remember the correct order or sequence of the numbers.
- Calculating time is not easy.
- They are equally bad at measuring distance, speed, and other calculations.
- They tend to avoid sports or games that are score based. Keeping a track of scores again involves numbers. For example Poker, a card games needs to be scored.
- In some cases using calculator is also problematic because they may not understand what exactly is to be calculated and how it is to be calculated.
- They are over sensitive to certain smells, touch, light, and noises.
- Their sense of direction is weak and they tend to confuse between right and left side.
Reading, understating route maps is also difficult.
- They may not remember the names, faces, and may also use some other name starting with the same letter to address a person.
- These kids are average to excellent in other fields that are not number based.
Tips For Parents:
It is always easy for anybody to raise a finger at the other person and point to his or her faults, but it is very difficult to stand with that person and rectify the errors. But, family, siblings, and teachers are meant to do just that and provide immense support. They are called the pillars of strength, truth, trust, anchor, and mentor. The following recommended steps should be useful.
- Do not label the number dyslexic children. They are not idiots! They are smart and are excellent in some subjects while they lack the same strength with numbers. Accept them and support.
- Help the kid understand the concept rather than look for the results. Explain why 2 + 2 = 4 and not 5. Allow them to experience these number games hand on.
- Be very patient and do not give up easily while teaching them. They take more time than others in understanding numbers, and the related applications.
- Present a digital watch to know the time. Then, slowly introduce the concept of reading and calculating time.
- Take the help of calculator simultaneously to teach the use of this device and also how to sequence the numbers.
- Do not limit the child to only money, coins, additions, and so on. Motivate them to pursue other interests too.
These dyscalculia symptoms should aid parents, teachers, and friends understand that these kids or adults are not lazy, dull, or dumb but mere have a problem with numbers which can be corrected. Extra attention from parents and teachers and patience while teaching and encouragement should motivate these kids to pick up the basics.