|My struggles with these two things, and numbers
in general sometimes makes me wonder if I have
dyscalculia as well as dyslexia.
Since I have dyslexia, that’s what I tend to blog the most about, but there are many other LDs out there. One of the other most common, and closely related, is dyscalculia.
You may have heard of it referred to as “math dyslexia”, “mathematics learning disability”, “mathematics disorder” or other similar names.
Dyscalculia is a math based learning disability/difference that impacts the following areas:
- Number concepts
- Remembering number orders
- Problems with sequences
- Inability to measure quantities well
- Distance estimation
If it’s math related, it’s difficult for someone with dyscalculia. Unlike dyslexia, however, this group of people won’t necessarily struggle with literary concepts, outside of equating number symbols with their words, such as 3 and three.
Because so many of the non-academic challenges are so similar to dyslexia’s, such as organization, reading clocks and right/left confusion, it’s possible that many children identified as dyslexic are dyscalculic, but their math struggles aren’t as readily addressed.
Although the term dyscalculia may not have been in use before the late 1960s, academics have known of it since at least the 1800s. It simply wasn’t given a single, formal name until the 1960s.
Studies involving brain scan imagery indicate those with dyscalculia have subtle, unique differences in their visual and language centers. While scientists don’t know what causes those differences, they do know that genetics do have an impact, as can severe enough brain trauma. There may also be links to problems at birth, heavy metal poisoning and interruptions in brain development.
It’s important to remember that in order to be identified as dyscalculic, you also need to have average or above average intelligence. The majority of people with dyscalculia can lead productive lives and effectively pursue their dreams, just like those without it.
For more in depth information, steps to take if you suspect your child has dyscalculia and tips on how to help them cope with it, check out this excellent article from Understood.com.