Basically if you have a Dyscalculia brain anything to do with Numbers, Money, Time is HARD.
Dyscalculia causes are very similar to Dyslexia but with numbers. It might make school hard but if you can keep the self confidence up it could serve you very well in adult life. Dyscalculia and Dyslexia brains tend to function differently and can be better at problem solving, creative thinking and processes.
So what are the basic Dyscalculia causes? There’s an area in the brain that controls maths and English, the part of the brain that controls maths in Dyscalculia children or adults, hasn’t developed in the same way as others. However this doesn’t mean you will always be bad at numbers, brains are elastic and scientists believe brains are able to change, grow and learn until you die. Also - your brain CAN understand numbers, it just needs to be taught in a less traditional way. Education for most things has been created around the Neurotypical. Check out tablefables.net if you’ve ever wanted to learn your times tables but haven’t managed. This is a clear example of being able to learn when taught in a visual way. Visual learning is appealing to the Dyscalculia brain.
Dyscalculia can occur with one or more conditions such as Dyslexia, (40-60% of children with Dyslexia are also Dyscalculia) or dyspraxia or ADHD/ ADD.
Dyscalculia is the presence of difficulties with mathematical procedures and not caused by lack of educational opportunities. However here at Dyscalculia.me we believe if the information was presented differently in school and life, children and adults would find accessing mathematical procedures a lot easier.
Below are a few areas that Dyscalculia learners may find hard :
Understanding simple number concepts
Lack’s an intuitive grasp of numbers
Problems learning number facts and procedures
Even if they answer correctly or use correct method they do so without confidence
Are Dyscalculia Causes Common?
Dyscalculia causes are under researched and under resourced compared to Dyslexia. Scientist believe roughly 3 - 6 % of the population suffer from Dyscalculia but actual numbers are expected to be a lot higher.
Until now, most of the research has been in special types of children, eg those with Turner syndrome, foetal alcohol syndrome or those born prematurely. The majority of these studies show less brain activity in what scientist describe as the mathematical processing area in the brain. Basically Dyscalculia causes are down to one area of the brain not functioning as well.
As for children who show signs of Dyscalculia but not for any other medical reason, the finding are very similar eg the same mathematical area of the brain isn’t functioning as it should.
If you have a Dyscalculia brain are you doomed for life?
Most people believe you are born the way you are and there’s nothing you can do about it! This is a misconception which scientist are discovering is completely untrue. Every bit of information you learn or new skill you pick up changes the cell structure in your brain and it grows. If you practice a new skill lots your brain can show quite large changes. Scientist call this ability to change "plasticity". As a child your brain is more plastic but that doesn’t mean it’s not pliable while an adult - so you can teach an old dog new tricks after all!
So the Dyscalculia causes may not be completely know but scientist do know that the brain function of those who have Dyscalculia can be changed. School, home and intervention programs have all shown particular promise. Here at Dyscalculia.me we believe the best way to changing that brain function in children is through fun learning, check out sites like Table Fables which use funny and disastrous animation to teach maths.
But what are the root Dyscalculia causes?
There is no clear answer to the root causes of Dyscalculia but there is clear evidence that with some work that area of the brain can grow and we believe if you are laughing and learning you will learn faster and more effectively. So find something that amuses you and get learning, you could be the next Einstein - some say Einstein wasn’t initially great at his basic mental arithmetic but got round the problem then come up with his genius ideas precisely because his brain worked in a different way.
Take our Dyscalculia test to see if you have any symptoms.
***Note that here dyscalculia refers to what is strictly called “developmental dyscalculia” (DD). There is another type of dyscalculia called “acquired dyscalculia” (usually occurring in adults) as a result of brain injury or stroke