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DyscalculiaSEN

Understanding and Supporting Individuals with Dyscalculia

Understanding and Supporting Individuals…

It’s heartening to acknowledge the recognition of Dyscalculia Awareness Day. Over the past two decades, our understanding of dyscalculia has evolved significantly. I remember when the concept of subitising gained prominence, highlighting a pivotal area of focus. It’s truly gratifying to witness the dissemination of subitising knowledge throughout primary schools. There was a prevailing belief that maths difficulties stemmed from a singular brain region. It was surprising to observe a uniform intervention approach for all children grappling with maths challenges – a one-size-fits-all method. During my school visits, I noticed a spectrum of maths difficulties, each child exhibiting unique behaviours, almost like a class of individuals. Precision teaching became instrumental in fostering automaticity, tailoring interventions around improving outcomes based on surface behaviours. However, while the process of automaticity may have delivered correct paper-based or verbal responses, maths was not meaningfully understood. Pockets of specialists led the work on dyscalculia –…
Case StudyDyscalculia

Supporting Children with Mathematics Learning Difficulties

Supporting Children with Mathematics Lea…

In this blog post, I will summarise the research by Dr. Ann Dowker, St. Hilda’s College, University of Oxford; Esmeralda Zerafa, PhD Student, University of Malta into Supporting Children with Mathematics Learning Difficulties: An Intervention Programme with primary school children (2017) Outline to the research: Over the course of eight weeks, the researchers wanted to discover: Do the participants show any improvement in the Dynamo Assessment after 8 weeks of following Dynamo Intervention? If subjects have improved, what has contributed to this improvement?   Which components have improved and therefore are most malleable?  Is there a difference between the progress made in the components intervened upon and in those not intervened upon? Participant Selection: The participants were selected with the help of the classroom teachers. All the participants were identified as struggling with maths. The sample size selected was composed of 10 participants. 5 were selected as the intervention group. The…
Dyscalculia

The overlooked challenge of dyscalculia – An insight for SENCos

The overlooked challenge of dyscalculia…

Dyscalculia, often overshadowed by its more recognised counterpart, dyslexia, deserves our urgent attention. Dyscalculia isn’t just about the occasional difficulty with numbers but a persistent and specific difficulty with arithmetic. The overlooked challenge of dyscalculia – An insight for SENCos Dyscalculia, often overshadowed by its more recognised counterpart, dyslexia, deserves our urgent attention. Dyscalculia isn’t just about the occasional difficulty with numbers but a persistent and specific difficulty with arithmetic. In a society heavily reliant on data and numerical literacy, tasks we consider routines, such as giving directions, reading a clock, or following a recipe, can evoke considerable anxiety for those grappling with dyscalculia. What is dyscalculia? Dyscalculia is a specific and persistent difficulty with arithmetic and in understanding and applying numbers. It’s a complex maths difficulty that can lead to various challenges. Dyscalculia can occur singly but often co-occurs with other specific learning difficulties and medical conditions. The impact…
Dyscalculia

Maths Challenges in 7-11 Year-Olds

Maths Challenges in 7-11 Year-Olds

Maths Challenges in 7-11 Year-Olds In this article I summarise the case study carried out by Dr Ann Dowker, Department of Experimental Psychology, Oxford University; Karima Esmail, Dynamo Maths BSRLM: British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics Date: 04 March 2017, into dyscalculia and developmental delays in components of mathematics in 7‐to‐11‐year‐old children using The Dynamo Assessment. What Is The Dynamo Assessment? The Dynamo Assessment represents an online tool designed to assess the componential aspects of mathematics, as articulated by Dowker (2005). Developed within the framework of NumberSenseMMR™, Dynamo Assessment serves to identify specific developmental mathematical components that may pose challenges for children under  three main groups of tests. It breaks down maths into individual components,  identifying the processing challenges for each child which could be attributed from interdependent factors such as;  biological condition, co-occuring difficulties, motor and sensory processing barriers, environmental deprivation, poor teaching and the child’s unique contribution…
Dyscalculia

Navigating the Complex And Invisible Landscape of Dyscalculia

Navigating the Complex And Invisible Lan…

Within the intricate tapestry of educational challenges, few hurdles are as subtle and challenging as dyscalculia. Distressingly, even at the tender age of 6, learners who express negative attitudes towards mathematics might hear adults respond with, “It doesn’t matter, look where I am today and I was never good at maths either.” Should it be acceptable to have 4 Million people desperately seeking assistance due to an outbreak that impairs cognitive abilities and hampers the grasp of basic numbers?  Mathematics illiteracy is presently causing and will persist in significantly hindering both present and future generations. In the UK, over 4 million individuals are at risk of dyscalculia, a complex maths difficulty. This complex difficulty often hides in plain sight on the faces of children, rich and poor, who muster the strength to memorise number facts but cannot carry out simple tasks of giving the right amount of coins when purchasing sweets…
Dyscalculia

Can DiGeorge syndrome and dyscalculia co-exist?

Can DiGeorge syndrome and dyscalculia co…

DiGeorge syndrome, also known as 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, is a genetic disorder caused by a missing piece of chromosome 22. It can cause a range of physical and developmental differences, including an increased risk of learning difficulties such as dyscalculia. Research has shown that individuals with DiGeorge syndrome may experience challenges with mathematics related tasks.  Studies have found that individuals with DiGeorge syndrome tend to have weaker visuospatial skills, which can make it more difficult to understand geometric concepts and mental maths. Individuals with DiGeorge syndrome may also experience challenges with working memory, which is an essential cognitive function for performing maths calculations. Working memory allows us to hold information in our minds temporarily and manipulate it as needed, such as when we need to perform mental arithmetic. DiGeorge syndrome itself may not directly cause dyscalculia, it can increase the risk of developing maths related learning difficulties. Early diagnosis and…
Dyscalculia

Can Duchenne Muscular dystrophy (DMD) and dyscalculia co-exist?

Can Duchenne Muscular dystrophy (DMD) an…

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a genetic disorder that affects the muscles and is caused by a mutation in the dystrophin gene. While DMD primarily affects the muscles, it can also impact cognitive function, including maths-related abilities such as dyscalculia. Research has shown that individuals with DMD may experience challenges with  mathematics-related tasks that require working memory, spatial awareness, and problem-solving skills. Overall, while DMD itself may not directly cause dyscalculia, it can increase the risk of developing maths related learning difficulties due to the impact it can have on cognitive function. Children with DMD and dyscalculia can be supported. No child with dyscalculia should ever go unnoticed! https://www.duchenneuk.org/
Dyscalculia

Turners syndrome and Dyscalculia can they co-exist?

Turners syndrome and Dyscalculia can the…

Turner syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects females and is caused by a missing or partially missing X chromosome. This can result in a variety of physical and developmental differences, including an increased risk of learning difficulties such as dyscalculia. Research has suggested that girls with Turner syndrome may have difficulty with mathematics-related tasks. Some research tudies have found that children with Turner syndrome tend to have weaker visuospatial abilities, which can make it more challenging to understand spatial relationships and perform mental maths. Children with Turner syndrome may also experience challenges with working memory, which is an essential cognitive function for performing  calculations. Working memory allows us to hold information in our minds temporarily and manipulate it as needed, such as when we need to perform mental arithmetic. Overall, while Turner syndrome itself may not directly cause dyscalculia, it can increase the risk of developing maths-related learning difficulties.…
Dyscalculia

Developmental Language Disorders (DLD) and Dyscalculia can they co-exist?

Developmental Language Disorders (DLD) a…

Developmental language disorder (DLD) affects approximately 1 in 14 children in kindergarten. It is a communication disorder that interferes with learning, understanding, and using language. The language difficulties are not explained by other conditions or the lack of exposure to language. Individuals with DLD demonstrate poorer performance, specifically in tasks that involve greater verbal demands. DLD can affect a child’s speaking, listening, numeracy, reading, and writing. DLD is a risk factor for learning difficulty since problems with basic language skills affect classroom performance.  Difficulties with language comprehension can make mathematical word problems challenging. While DLD primarily affects a person’s ability to understand and use language, dyscalculia primarily affects a person’s ability to understand and work with numbers. Children with dyscalculia may have difficulties meaningfully applying numbers, symbols and maths, which can significantly affect their everyday learning tasks. Children with DLD and dyscalculia can be supported. No child with dyscalculia should…