Gaining a Clearer Understanding of Dyscalculia

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Gaining a Clearer Understanding of Dyscalculia

Dyscalculia meddles with your child’s ability to understand numbers.

You may already be familiar with the learning disability known as dyslexia. Dyslexia often interferes with reading and spelling abilities. So if you or your child struggle with this exceptionality, you know all too well how difficult it can be to overcome. However, there is a second, similar learning disability that isn’t as well-known. This learning disability is called dyscalculia, much like how dyslexia disrupts the ability to process letters, words, and symbols, dyscalculia meddles with your child’s ability to understand numbers.

Interesting Facts About Dyscalculia

First Identified in the 1940s: Although this disorder was first identified in the 1940s, it wasn’t until over thirty years later that research into it advanced. In 1974, the Czechoslovakian researcher Ladislav Kosc redefined it. His definition essentially meant (in plain English) that your struggles with math are rooted in your brain being wired incorrectly for it. Two other common terms used to describe dyscalculia include “math dyslexia” and “math learning disability” – both of which are employed by some parts of the research community.

Two Primary Types: Developmental dyscalculia is the variant where people are born with this condition. However, it is possible to acquire dyscalculia as well; acquired dyscalculia is the term for the form of dyscalculia that can appear later on in life, especially after a stroke or some other severe brain injury.

A Possible Cause: The most accepted theory for what causes dyscalculia is difficulty determining quantities, a sense that is located in the parietal lobe of the brain. This is the sense that allows us to understand that four is greater than three, and to make connections, comparisons, and grasp the significance of orders and quantities, especially just by looking at a number puzzle without being told or otherwise instructed.

It Appears in Pop Culture: Whether it’s on TV or in comic books, there are a handful of characters who represent dyscalculia. However, they’re nowhere as numerous as characters with dyslexia – even so, two notable examples are Liberty Van Zandt from the Canadian teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation and Jubilee from the X-Men comics.

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