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Dyscalculia: An Impairment in Mathematics

Dyscalculia (dis*cal*cool*ee*ah)...what is it?


The term Dyscalculia is no longer used in the DSM-V, but I will use the term in this post. It is an impairment in mathematics which falls under the Specific Learning Disability category in IDEA.


None of our children have been diagnosed with Dyscalculia yet, but our oldest daughter has been evaluated for it and will be rechecked this year.


How did this show up on our radar? Here are some of the signs we have observed in her:

-counting on fingers -unable to memorize math facts -significant difficulty with math concepts -math anxiety -aversion to math -Difficulty immediately sorting out right from left -Inability to remember math skills long-term


Sure, there are many children who don't like math, but the aversion our daughter exhibits is on a much higher level than one would deem "typical." Truth is, math is incredibly difficult for her and the older she gets, the more she is aware how behind she is compared to her peers. The anxiety is palpable.


So why has she not been diagnosed yet? The answer is two-fold. While she was formally evaluated 2 years ago, her scores was borderline and the educational psychologist wanted to wait to see if age would help.


Secondly, we have learned she has visual motor integration challenges (more on this another day!). Her eye muscles fatigue quickly and don't work well together. This challenge with vision can present as a variety of learning disabilities and Attention Deficit Disorder. We would like to try vision therapy to see if it alleviates any of her struggles before her next formal assessment.


If your child struggles with math and you can't quite seem to put your finger on the problem, check out this video from ADDitude.


One area my daughter struggles with significantly is remembering the steps needed to solve problems. In this example, we created process cards to assist with her unit on fractions.