Dyscalculia – Mathematics Learning Disorder
There are several different types of learning disorders in mathematics. Children and adolescents with a learning disorder in mathematics are often competitive with their peers in other areas of academics (writing, reading, critical thinking), but struggle to understand and apply math concepts. Untreated and unidentified math learning impairments can lead to elevated anxiety, poor grades, a negative self-image, and resistance in school participation/homework completion.
Most parents have heard about dyslexia, a learning disorder that makes it hard for children, teens, and adults to process letters and words. But how much have you heard about dyscalculia?
Dyscalculia is similar to dyslexia, but instead of interfering with the brain’s ability to process letters, it interferes with the brain’s ability to process numbers. This math learning disorder can cause students endless problems in school, keep them from learning key concepts, and cause their grades to suffer.
If you think your child has a math learning disorder, visit the health professionals at NeuroHealth in Arlington Heights, IL. Our neuropsychologists can diagnose the condition and offer treatment options specific to your child’s situation.
How Math Learning Disorders Affect the Brain
Just as dyslexia is a generic term referring to a variety of possible disorders, dyscalculia is an umbrella term for several math-related learning conditions. However, most people with a math learning disorder have difficulty comprehending numbers. For instance, young kids with dyscalculia might not comprehend that four apples are the numerical equivalent of four oranges.
Since numbers are the basis of math, students who can’t comprehend or compare numbers struggle in school. They often become frustrated and have low self-esteem.
How to Identify a Math Learning Disorder
If your child scores poorly in math, you might think he or she has an attention disorder or even obsessive-compulsive disorder, which often keeps kids from excelling at school. But math learning disorders come with a few distinct symptoms:
- Your child can’t tell time.
- Your child can’t identify basic mathematical symbols (like + or -) or numerals.
- Your child uses his or her fingers to count even though he or she is older than five or six.
- Your child has difficulty distinguishing right from left.
- Your child can’t remember phone numbers, points in games, or other numbers unrelated to math classes.
Whether you notice these symptoms yourself or your child’s math teacher points them out to you, a professional at NeuroHealth AH can help make a diagnosis and give you the information you need to help your child succeed.
How NeuroHealth Helps
Unfortunately, even in the 21st century, some people believe that learning disorders are a mark of low intelligence. Nothing could be further from the truth—learning disorders aren’t something you can control, and they aren’t a measure of intelligence or of later success in life.
In fact, many kids who excel in areas like reading struggle with math. Other kids struggle with multiple learning disorders, like both dyslexia and dyscalculia, and they may feel depressed and anxious as they struggle to keep up in school through no fault of their own. With the right diagnosis and treatment, you and your child can understand how this learning disorder works and get the accommodations needed to overcome it.
If you’re concerned about your child, reach out to the experts at NeuroHealth. We serve Arlington Heights, IL and the surrounding Chicagoland areas including Schaumburg, Des Plaines, Palatine, Mt Prospect and more by providing neuropsychological treatments and assessments for patients of every age group. Reach out today by calling (847) 754-9343 or contacting us online.