Dyscalculia Symptoms

 
 

Typical Dyscalculia symptoms across all ages :

b33f517ba523205c4f24a7adf74f6c0a.jpg
  • Difficulty counting backwards.

  • Difficulty remembering 'basic' facts.

  • Slow to perform calculations.

  • Weak mental arithmetic skills.

  • A poor sense of numbers & estimation.

  • Difficulty in understanding place value.

  • Addition is often the default operation.

  • High levels of mathematics anxiety.

Basically if you have a Dyscalculia brain anything to do with Numbers, Money, Time is HARD. Below is more details description of Dyscalculia symptoms depending on age.

slide_37.jpg

Dyscalculia symptoms 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 :

Dyscalculia signs in Pre School Children

images-1.jpeg
  • Has trouble learning to count

  • Struggles to connect a number to an object, such as knowing that “3” applies to groups of things like 3 cakes, 3 cars, or 3 friends

  • Struggles to recognise patterns, like smallest to largest or tallest to shortest

Dyscalculia signs in Primary School children

images-2.jpg
  • Has difficulty learning and recalling basic number facts such as number bonds, e.g. 6 + 4 = 10.

  • Still uses fingers to count instead of using more advanced strategies (like mental maths)

  • Poor understanding of the signs +, -, xx and x or may confuse these mathematical symbols

  • Struggles to recognise that 3 + 5 is the same as 5 + 3 or may not be able to solve 3 + 26 ‒ 26 without calculating

  • Has trouble with place value, often putting numbers in the wrong column.

  • May not understand maths language or be able to devise a plan to solve a maths problem.

  • Finds it difficult to understand maths phrases like greater than and less than

  • Has trouble keeping score in sports or games

  • Has difficulty working out the total cost of items and can run out of money

  • May avoid situations that require understanding numbers, like playing games that involve maths.

  • Develops maths anxiety


Dyscalculia signs in Secondary School Children

images-2.jpeg
  • Struggles to understand information on charts and graphs.

  • Has trouble finding different approaches to the same maths problem, such as adding the length and width of a rectangle and doubling the answer to solve for the perimeter (rather than adding all the sides).

  • Struggles to learn and understand reasoning methods and multi-step calculation procedures

  • Has trouble measuring items like ingredients in a simple recipe or liquids in a bottle.

  • Lacks confidence in activities that require understanding speed, distance and directions

  • Has trouble applying maths concepts to money, such as calculating the exact change

  • 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

  • Has problems time keeping

  • Learning to drive

  • May gets lost easily

  • Problems planning time keeping and often late or misses appointments.

  • Math anxious

Dyscalculia signs in Adults

Typical symptoms include:

images-4.jpeg
  • difficulty counting backwards

  • difficulty remembering ‘basic’ facts

  • slow to perform calculations

  • weak mental arithmetic skills

  • a poor sense of numbers & estimation

  • Difficulty in understanding place value

  • Addition is often the default operation

  • High levels of mathematic anxiety

  • 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

  • gets lost easily

  • Problems planning and time keeping. Often late or misses appointments

 

Is Dyscalculia 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.

slide_37.jpg

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!

Unknown-5.jpeg

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

DYSCALCULIA SOLUTIONS :

PRACTICE IDEAS TO GROWN YOUR DYSCALCULIA BRAIN - MAKE SURE YOU HAVE FUN

NO.1 PROBLEM : DIFFICULTY REMEMBERING BASIC FACTS

SOLUTION : SWAP 5 MINS OF SOCIAL MEDIA FOR SORTING OUT YOUR MATHS PROBLEMS. LOOK AT OUR 7 DAY FUNNY MATHS PROGRAM TO START IMPROVING YOUR MATHS ANXIETY.

The most important thing you need to know are your Times Table and Dividing facts. I know they are impossible to remember for those that suffer from Dyscalculia (I know - I have Dyscalculia) but you muddle through somehow but imagine how INTELLIGENT you would feel if YOU were the one splitting the bill at the end of the night at the restaurant, if you weren’t terrified when a boss or friend asked you a maths question!

Try www.tablefables.net which uses FUNNY, RUDE animations to teach times tables and dividing. You also win £50 if you complete the 17 days challenge. Smart and rich in 17 days! It’s WIN WIN.

Start NOW not tomorrow.

NO.2 PROBLEM : SLOW TO WORK OUT CALCULATIONS

SOLUTION : TALK TO FRIENDS ABOUT YOUR Dyscalculia /NUMBER DYSLEXIA ISSUES.

Make fun of yourself and friends that you need to grow this part of the brain so from now on you need to be the one splitting the bill.

Don’t let anyone help you, it may take a bit longer but use mental arithmetic and your times tables you learnt on Table Fables and you will get there.

You’ll feel like a superhero after you have done it a couple of times, I promise.

Younger children who struggle with numbers and Dyscalculia should check out our children solutions.


No. 3 PROBLEM : DIFFICULTY COUNTING BACKWARDS

DYSCALCULIA HELP FOR ADULTS : THIS ISN’T A MASSIVE PROBLEM IN LIFE UNLESS YOU ARE AN ASTRONAUT! HOWEVER IF YOU EXERCISE THIS AREA OF YOUR BRAIN THEN OTHER AREAS OF YOUR MENTAL MATHS WILL MASSIVELY IMPROVE.

Eg: stretching for an athlete won’t make them faster but it will make sure they don’t get injured so they can run faster.

It’s the same with maths, stretch this area of your brain and your mental arithmetic will become faster.

Counting backward game :

When walking to work start this game at the same spot everyday : count backwards from 100 and see how far you get before you get muddled. Keep doing it every day until you get faster and more accurate. Your aim is to be counting backwards from 100 - 0 so you are very fast and very accurate. You can record your time by how far you have managed to walk.

Once you have mastered this, challenge a so called ‘Normal’ brained person to see if you can do it faster than them.

Children also love playing this game.

No. 4 PROBLEM : WEAK MENTAL ARITHMETIC

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR TIMES TABLE AND DIVIDING SKILLS DOWN. NEXT WE NEED TO PUT THEM INTO PRACTICE.

Game 1 : Find out how much your friends spend on food each month

Ask your friends how much they spend in a month on food. Now multiply that by 12 and see how much they spend in a year.

It’s a great game for being nosy about how much people spend on food. It might also inspire you to cut down your food bill and save some money, not something those who suffer from Dyscalculia are known for!

Game 2 : Rent / Mortgage game

Ask your friends how much they pay in rent or mortgage a month.

Again multiply that by 12 and work out how much it is costing them a year.

If you are paying too much rent, club together and buy a flat/ house to share!!


Game 3 : Car Number plate game

Look at two number plates, ignore the letters and look at the numbers. Now add them together. Eg M694 VBL & Y551 FRE

Now add the 694 + 551

“How the hell do I do that!!” I hear you cry.

Helpful hint : I always thought when doing mental maths you had to start adding from 👉 right hand of numbers as you do with written calculation.

However when someone enlightened me (thank you Steph) that it’s way easier to count from the LEFT 👈 when doing mental maths, Life became a lot easier.

Below is my thought process :

694 + 551

1. Take the LEFT numbers 6 + 5 = 11

Now you have  11(00) in your head.

2. Now take the MIDDLE number 9 + 5 = 14

Now you have to add the two middle 1’s together and you have 124(0) in your head

eg 11(00)

+ 14(0)

—————

124(0)

3. Last take the RIGHT hand number 4 +1 = 5

Now you add the 5 to the end of the sum and it makes 1245

Jesus, hope that hasn’t completely thrown you but it works for me!

  • Recap : Start at the far left number when doing mental addition don’t start at the right.

Now you’ve practiced and mastered those. Look at Dyscalculia Help For Adults part 2

No. 5 Problem : Poor sense of estimating numbers

Another area of life that is tricky is working out percentages %. God how I used to hate those.

% Game :

So you need to work out the 15% tip in a restaurant and the bill is $70.

Step 1

Work out 10% which is $7

Step 2

Divide $7 in half to work out 5%, which is $3.5

Step 3

Add the 10% & 5% together eg $7 & $3.5 = $10.5

Example 2

Now work out 17.5% of $400

Step 1

Work out 10% of $400, which is $40

Step 2

Now divide $40 by 2 to work out 5%. Which is $20

Step 3

To work out 17.5% you need to divide the 5% in half to work out the extra 2.5%

Divide $20 in half to work out the last 2.5%, which is $10

Step 4

Add them all together

$40 + $20 + $10 = $70

You are a GENIUS you just worked out 17.5% of $400

*It will take some practice but your brain will grow and you will be very proud of yourself.

Go conquer the world and no longer feel stupid

Problem - Remembering pin numbers and phone numbers.

Dyscalculia Help For Adults - When pregnant I suddenly thought jesus I had better remember my husbands telephone number incase I go into labour.

But how the hell do I do that when I have dyscalculia?

Neurosurgeon Larry McCleary says “Anything that has no meaning to you is tough to remember”. So you have to make things memorable.

Eg you can remember the word CAT very easily as we know what that looks like, you may have owned a cat or at least stroked one. But try and remember 8743, in half an hour or even 10 mins and you probably can’t as it has no meaning to us.

So how to remember a telephone number?

Tel no : 07814921945

Idea 1 :

Look for patterns eg there are two dates in the number above 1492 and 1945.

In 1492 Christopher Columbus Discovered America

In 1945 the second world war ended

All you have to remember is the 078 at the front. Which could be my Grandfather is 78 and he loves history.

Voila you have just remembered the whole number “My grandfather is 78 and he loves history and Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492 and the WW2 ended in 1945.

Repeat this a couple of times and you will remember it. Now you have a number memory like an elephant!

Idea 2 : How the hell do I remember a telephone number?

Tel no : 07814921945

Most brains can only hold a few numbers at a time and dyscalculia ones have more difficulty than most.

So we have to break them down into smaller chunks and makeup funny stories until you remember them eg

07 - when I was 7

81 - I ate 81 sweets &

49 - 49 pieces of dog food and vomited everywhere.

21 - When I was 21

99 - I released 99 balloons in the air but

45 - 45 of them burst and I cried

So the whole story would be - ‘When I was 7, I ate 81 sweets and 49 pieces of dog food vomited everywhere. Then when I was 21, I released 99 balloons into the air but 45 of them burst and I cried.’

*repeat that a couple of times and you will easily remember that.

**You must make your stories rude, funny or unfortunately violent as that’s what our twisted brains remember the best!
















Problem : Remembering Pin Number

Dyscalculia Help For Adults : Remember the pattern not the numbers

Have you ever gone to the bank teller machine and completely forgotten your pin number. I’ve definitely did it quite frequently until someone told me to remember the pattern of the numbers not the actually numbers themselves.

Examples

2563 - Looks like a small u on the keypad

1478 - looks like an L

4569 - looks like an L on it’s side

1379 - Are all the numbers in the corners

Problem : Maths Anxiety

Dyscalculia Help For Adults : The more you make people aware of NUMERICAL DYSLEXIA, the easier it will be to open up about your maths anxieties and begin to fix them.

Talk more about Dyscalculia or numerical Dyslexia so it becomes a normal topic of conversation like Dyslexia.

Joke about your maths problems so you feel less embarrassed / anxious about it.

PRACTICE MORE mental maths eg your Times Table, dividing and addition so you grow more CONFIDENT in your mental maths abilities.

Remember - your brain is PLASTIC and can be reshaped. Check out our section on NEUROPLASTICITY. Primary Schoo