Dyscalculia Awareness Day 2024

With Dyscalculia Awareness Day just around the corner, we explain what dyscalculia and we look at helpful tips and tricks to support people who struggle with maths…

What is dyscalculia?

The SpLD Assessment Standards Committee (SASC) defines dyscalculia as:

‘Dyscalculia is a specific and persistent difficulty in understanding numbers which can lead to a diverse range of difficulties with mathematics. It will be unexpected in relation to age, level of education and experience and occurs across all ages and abilities. Mathematics difficulties are best thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category, and they have many causal factors. Dyscalculia falls at one end of the spectrum and will be distinguishable from other maths issues due to the severity of difficulties with number sense, including subitising [perceiving a number of items in a group without counting them], symbolic and non-symbolic magnitude comparison, and ordering. It can occur singly but often co occurs with other specific learning difficulties, mathematics anxiety and medical conditions.’

Around one person in 20 has dyscalculia.

The Dyscalculia Network and Jane Emerson and Patricia Babtie in their book ‘Understanding Dyscalculia and Numeracy Difficulties’ states that indicators include:

  • Inability to subitize (recognise up to 4 or 5 counters without counting)
  • Counting errors
  • Miscounting objects
  • Lack of one-one correspondence
  • Sequencing errors
  • Inability to count backwards
  • Not understanding the count 70, 80, 90, 20, 21 / 48, 49, 51, 52
  • Calculation difficulties
  • Persistent counting in 1s
  • Cannot remember number facts
  • Uses unstructured dots or makes tally marks to do calculations
  • Difficulty with mental arithmetic
  • Cannot remember times tables facts
  • Misunderstanding of maths language
  • Errors writing numbers
  • Reversing digits
  • Not understanding zero as a place holder
  • Inaccurate estimations
  • Inability to recognise if an answer is reasonable
  • Weak reasoning e.g.. inability to see number relationships
  • Weak at making connections e.g. 4 + 4 = 8 therefore 14 + 4 = 18
  • Problems with money and time
  • Lack of place value understanding
  • Errors when completing formal calculations

Tips for maths difficulties:

    1. Use imagery: Link mathematical facts and equations to images to help build memory. For example, an octagon has eight sides like how an octopus has eight arms.
    2. Use mind mapping: For example, create a mind map with the word ‘circumference’ in the middle. You could draw initial arms on this mind map to help the person, the arms could be labelled ‘write an equation’, ‘draw it’, ‘define it’, ‘write a question involving it’ – this encourages the person to interact with the information in different ways whilst acting as a revision tool. For the ‘write a question involving it’ arm, this is a good chance to talk through language by discussing how the person could have made the question clearer and correct mathematical terminology to use, whilst of course celebrating anything they do well! Then, you as the person teaching could use the question that they wrote to demonstrate how to approach problems, which links to the next tip …
    3. Think aloud: When demonstrating how to answer a question, speak aloud every step of the process: reading, annotating the question, making notes from the question, trialling an approach, trying a different approach, reaching a final answer and finally checking. Watching somebody do the whole process really makes it clear to the person you are helping.
    4. Build confidence: When assessing the person, don’t only ask questions that push the person to the limits of their capability but also ones that you know that they can answer – no matter how easy! The person can then see that they have remembered some knowledge that they didn’t know before!

Dyscalculia and maths resources and books

We have many resources and books in our shop that can help teach maths and numeracy. These include:
dyscalculia products in the shop

Fraction segments

Tabletop number lines

Awesome Games and Activities for Kids with Numeracy Difficulties

GCSE Maths for Neurodivergent Learners

All About Dyscalculia 

 

Want to understand more? We were joined by Dyscalculia Network’s Rob Jennings for a Spotlight webinar on the subject. We offer dyscalculia top-up assessments, and we offer specialist maths tuition and maths Personalised Learning in the Easter and Summer holidays to children.

By |2024-04-24T09:29:58+01:00March 1st, 2024|Homepage featured, Latest news, Team blog|0 Comments

New Spotlight session: Intro to Dyscalculia and Maths Difficulties

Approximately 6% of the British population have dyscalculia. And research suggests that around 24% of the population of OECD countries (The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development- Skills for life study 2013) have problems with maths.

This online session from Dyscalculia Network’s Rob Jennings will help educators help their students with checklists, screening and intervention plans and it will help parents with tips on how to support your child at home.

Online, Monday 25 September, 6 pm. Includes a Q&A session. Recordings will be available.

Find out more and book.

By |2024-04-24T09:32:49+01:00September 19th, 2023|Course news, Homepage featured, Latest news|0 Comments

Reasons to be cheerful podcast – listen to CEO Andy and co discuss dyslexia

Brain Power: Disentangling the narratives around dyslexia

Reasons to be Cheerful with Ed Miliband and Geoff Lloyd

If you have the opportunity, please take the time to listen to the Reasons to be Cheerful latest podcast on dyslexia and dyscalculia and how we need to improve recognition in society and understand the contribution people with neurodiversity can make.

The podcast is hosted by Former Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, and Sony Award-winning radio host Geoff Lloyd and, as well as Andy, features Kate Griggs from Made by Dyslexia and Rob Jennings from the Dyscalculia Network.

Find out more and listen here.

By |2024-04-24T09:36:19+01:00August 6th, 2020|Latest news|0 Comments

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