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Dyscalculia – (Math Disability)
Many children have trouble with math; it doesn’t mean they have a disability. The difficulty with recognizing it stems from the fact that sometimes you see it and sometimes you don’t. Perhaps you’ve had the experience in which you’re helping your child with her math problems one night and she seems to understand them fairly well. Then the next night you’re helping her with very similar, almost identical problems and she doesn’t appear to have a clue. The problem is that she is not able to keep the rules for problem-solving in her head all the time.
Here are two types of problems we see in this area:
Children with Dyscalculia have significant problems understanding and using the numbers or symbols necessary to solve math problems. It is not a motivation problem. It simply means that your child is not able to keep the rules consistently in his head. Signs to look for:
- Reversing “+” and “-” adding when the problem calls for subtracting and vice versa
- Getting “lost” during complex computations
- Coming up with answers that are not even “in the ballpark” and being oblivious to how far off his answers actually are
The sooner Learning Disabilities are detected and treated the better. Do not wait until your child’s grades begin to drop off, because by that time his attitude towards school along with his self-esteem may already be suffering.
Learning disabilities frequently coexist, or are co-morbid with ADHD and ODD. This is why a thorough diagnostic assessment is the key to understanding the challenges your child faces. The evaluation should also act as a guide to providing your child the help he or she needs both in school and at home.