What is Dyscalculia?
Is it something related to calculations?
Yes, you guessed it right! Dyscalculia is basically the difficulty faced by some people to understand the numbers. For such people, carrying out any kind of calculation is a real mammoth task. Now, such calculations could be out of some school/college exercise book, or they could be something in the real life.
Most of us do get afraid of numbers and arithmetic at some point of our school/college lives, and that is okay. Such fears vanish as soon as we understand the basic formula behind such mathematical calculations. However, for people suffering from Dyscalculia, the fear remains as an integral part of their lives and they can never overcome it. Such people never feel easy with numbers; they have no control over manipulating numbers and find it really difficult to learn the different facts and formulae of mathematics.
What does Dyscalculia mean?
The word Dyscalculia has its origins from the Latin and the Greek vocabularies. In simplest of terms, Dyscalculia means ‘to count badly’.
Why does Dyscalculia happen?
Very little is known about the reason for Dyscalculia to happen. However, through the different researches/studies that have been taken up in this area, it has been established that Dyscalculia is a condition that happens to a person from birth, i.e. Dyscalculia is congenital. It has been found that Dyscalculia happens due to some kind of damage to the a specific portion of the human brain that looks after the mathematical things.
According to one research, it has been estimated that the condition of Dyscalculia affects around six percent of the total world population.
Difficulties faced by a child affected Dyscalculia
Following is the list of difficulties faced by a child with Dyscalculia. The affected person faces difficulty in:
- Making out the greater of any two numbers.
- Computing or adding things/numbers.
- Making out the time from an analog clock.
- Estimating the distances or numbers.
- Remembering and applying mathematical formulae.
All such difficulties make it difficult for the affected person to carry out his/her studies properly. Normal day-to-day functioning of the person is also severely affected.
Symptoms of Dyscalculia
The person affected with Dyscalculia :
- Finds it difficult to learn numbers and count the same. Has difficulty in counting money.
- Has difficulty in carrying out even simple mathematical procedures like addition, subtraction or multiplication.
- Takes too much time to perform simple calculations.
- Cannot tell the time accurately.
As such, no fool proof ways for controlling Dyscalculia exist at present. However, with certain special/alternative learning methodologies, it is possible to control the degree of its impact on a person’s daily life. Certain therapies that target the neuro-sensory part of our body have also been found to be effective in controlling Dyscalculia and increase the functioning of the brain.
Is Dyscalculia same as Dyslexia?
No. There is difference between Dyslexia and Dyscalculia. Though both seem related but Dyslexia is a wider learning disability of children where as Dyscalculia only refers to difficulties faced by a person in understanding numbers i.e. problem in understanding basic maths like counting, learning tables etc.