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About dyscalculia

How is dyscalculia different from other maths learning difficulties?

Dyscalculia is at the severe end of the maths learning difficulties

Characteristics that are found with people with dyscalculia are:-

  • Difficulties with maths are persistent and will have been present since the learner was young.
  • Difficulties apply to arithmetic but not necessarily to other areas of maths such as geometry and algebra.
  • Difficulties in maths but not subjects like English and subjects which do not involve numbers.
  • Lack of an intuitive understanding of numbers and simple number concepts, for example the relationship between multiplication and repetitive addition.
  • Lack of a fundamental understanding of how numbers relate to each other, for example 6 can be made from 5 + 1, double 3, 4 + 2 (flexibility of number) as well as a visual concept of the magnitude of numbers. They cannot make sensible references to numbers. For example, if asked if a pair of trainers (not a designer make) should cost £4,000.
  • Young children have difficulties with subitising, knowing how many items there are in a set. They need to count them one by one.
  • Learners rely on following procedures which they may not understand, rote learning and simple ways of working out answers like counting on their fingers.
  • Extreme difficulties spotting patterns in numbers and making generalisations.
  • High levels of maths anxiety.