Signs Your Child is Struggling with Dyscalculia
Can you spot the signs of dyscalculia?
How do you know if your child is struggling with dyscalculia?
Consider these three mini-sketches:
Joey is a preschooler, full of life, has the gift of the gab, and struggles mightily with sorting and counting.
Libby is a delightful 3rd grader who is a pro at gymnastics but in the classroom struggles with math fact recall no matter how much she practices at home with her mom.
Sean is an athletic 10th grader, who excels in Culinary Arts, but is overly dependent on the calculator for basic operations and suffers from high anxiety when taking mathematics tests.
These three mini-sketches begin to answer the question: What do dyscalculia struggles look like?
Signs of dyscalculia fall into three categories:
The struggles are not silos either but rather interplay. Your child could have severe issues in one category and only a few in another or possible delays in all three.
Deep dive into our webinar about dyscalculia here where the signs of dyscalculia are discussed in length!
How do you get dyscalculia assessed?
Steve Chinn created a quick dyscalculia screener for teachers and parents to use to help identify if the child is showing enough signs of dyscalculia. View it here.
To receive a diagnosis, you’ll need to work with a professional that does evaluations for learning disabilities. These professionals are trained to look closely for the signs of dyscalculia and will use tools like WISC-V, WIAT, or the FAM. Usually, this means working with a neuropsychologist or psychologist with a focus on evaluations.
Three places to look for a professional evaluator:
- Child Nexus
- Marker Learning (check out their screener as well!)
- IDA Directory (look for “assessment/evaluation”)
How does remediation for dyscalculia look?
Those with dyscalculia benefit from Multisensory Math Instruction (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile).
Read More | What is Multisensory Math Tutoring?
To address these signs of dyscalculia, here are some jump start ideas:
- Procedural accommodations: Visual vocabulary cards “co-created” with the students help the mathematical terms become more “brain sticky.”
- Verbal accommodations: Narrow the math fact family you are working on with a student. For example, if you focus on four facts, let everything about the lesson come back to utilize four facts.
- Semantic Accommodations: Hands-on math using blocks, popsicle sticks, or other manipulatives to help students grasp the order and magnitude of numbers.
Severe dyscalculia can be profoundly debilitating without uniquely tailored instruction. In this case, severe signs of dyscalculia can look like not being able to gauge how much time has gone by, getting lost even with provided directions, being unable to calculate change at the cash register, having a sense of the cost of an item in the store, or being overwhelmed by calendars.
That’s why, at Made for Math, we’ve united a collective of craftswomen & men who serve as “Math Specialists.” These “math artisans” craft custom-tailored lessons that match the unique wiring of children with Dyscalculia. Each specialist goes through weeks of training and receives ongoing mentoring by senior math specialists. Our goal is to make sure every student can be successful in mathematics. This is who we are and what we do.
Joey, Libby, Sean, and all the children they represent, can become confident in their ability to take learning into their own hands (literally)! This is not wishful thinking to see that their difficulty is a door, and they can approach future learning obstacles with grace.