Dyscalculia Symptoms – What Are They?
There are many symptoms which can point to a person suffering with dyscalculia. To recognise the symptoms its first necessary to understand what Dyscalculia actually is.
Dyscalculia has been described by the DFES as:
“A condition that affects the ability to acquire arithmetical skills. Dyscalculic learners may have difficulty understanding simple number concepts, lack an intuitive grasp of numbers, and have problems learning number facts and procedures. Even if they produce a correct answer or use a correct method, they may do so mechanically and without confidence.”
Practically speaking, ability in numeracy means being able to understand what numbers are and how they relate to one another, as is necessary when counting, adding and subtracting. A subject who displays trouble in remembering which numbers follow on from one another may be said to have symptoms of dyscalculia. The same may be true of a student who thinks of numbers purely as different sounds or noises.
Dyscalculia symptoms also include the inability to understand the relationship between numbers in terms of their value, for example an inability to recognise that 7 is more than 6. Some dyscalculics have trouble understanding that a number can be made up of a combination of two or more seperate numbers. They may see a number such as 7 as a single unit, and have trouble understanding that it can also be made up by the bond of the numbers 3 and 4, or 5 and 2.
Further dyscalculia symptoms include difficulty in grasping numerical operations (adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing) and a struggle to remember how to carry out each operation.
Identifying Dyscalculia Symptoms
Often diagnosing or even recognising symptoms of dyscalculia can be quite difficult. Many teachers struggle to pick up the signs for some time. Fortunately there are several helpful guides available to help parents, teachers and loved ones correctly identify symptoms of dyscalculia so that an appropriate programme
can be put in place to address weaknesses and build confidence.
Probably the most comprehensive of these guides is The Dyscalculia Assessment by Jane Emerson, Director of the Emerson House Centre for Dyscalculia, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia.
The Dyscalculia Assessment provides assessors with a suggested script to work through with a subject to ascertain their level of numeracy and to identify where their weaknesses lie. It is essentially a test to identify dyscalculia in a subject.
The Dyscalculia Assessment provides the assessor with detailed guidelines on how to carry out the test, forms to record the results, an explanation of how to interpret the results and examples of dyscalculia symptoms to look out for. It also provides the reader with advice on how to plan an appropriate programme to address the issues identified in the assessment, and the author has subsuquently released a new book called The Dyscalculia Solution which follows on from that point.
The Dyscalculia Assessment can be completed in just one hour. It can also be spread across several sittings and does not actually have to be completed for a diagnosis to be made.
Anna J. Wilson, Lecturer in Learning , University of Canterbury and Honorary Research Associate, University of Auckland, New Zealand, described The Dyscalculia Assessment as: “essential to anyone working with children with dyscalculia, providing a comprehensive guide to individual assessment.”
And Sue Gifford, PGCE Programme Convenor, Roehampton University, London described it as: “an accessible assessment tool with a detailed guide to children’s possible responses, based on current research about significant aspects of knowledge and understanding.”
The Dyscalculia Assessment
The Dyscalculia Assessment by Jane Emerson averages 4.5 stars out of 5 on review and is available at Amazon.co.uk where it is currently REDUCED from £39.99 to £26.74 with FREE DELIVERY.