Dyscalculia

DYSCALCULIA 8

TheIntroduction to and definitions

Theresearch on dyscalculia is not extensive this being a new condition.There are also different definitions given to this condition. Thereare those who define it as the mathematics problem. Due to braindysfunction, the person with the condition has difficulties insolving mathematical problems. This is brought about by cerebraldisease or injury that makes solving simple mathematical calculationsa hard task. The children with this problem are of normalintelligence but when it comes to numbers, they experiencedifficulties (James 2012). The children with this problem canrecognize numbers when they see them, but they cannot make sense ofwhat these numbers mean.

Thechildren suffering from this condition may know the procedures to useto get a solution in a math problem, but they may not understand whythey are doing so, or rather, they do not understand the logic behinda mathematic formulae or procedure. There is also the category ofchildren that understands the logic, but when it comes toapplication, difficulties arise. Children with this problem needencouragement from both their parents and teachers. They often havelow self esteem, but the parents and teachers can help them boosttheir esteem as well as boosting their comprehension of arithmeticproblems. There are different strategies that parents and teacherscan use to help the children overcome this difficulty, but one needsto understand what works best for a particular child. This conditionaccording to Kosk, occurs when a specific part of the brain that isresponsible for mathematics cognition gets impaired (1974).

Characteristicsof

Thereare those professionals who use the term acalculia to refer to thecomplete inability to comprehend mathematical symbols and dyscalculiato refer to the less severe problems, and for the youths and adultssuffering from this condition, some call it developmentaldyscalculia.

Themajor characteristics of this condition include the failure to noticemath symbols and signs. There are also those cases where a child cancorrectly solve a problem, but because the child does not understandthe strategy followed, may not arrive at a solution when given adifferent problem that applies the same procedure. The children withthis impairment fail to transfer the knowledge to a differentproblem.

Thereare also other characteristics that the children with this conditionexhibit. These children tend to find it hard to pay attention when itcomes to math steps, they may lose place in the worksheets and failto comprehend symbols, numerals, clock hands and coins. They alsohave problems in aligning numbers, and moving them in the correctdirection in the number line. This condition is also characterized bymemory loss problems where a child forgets the steps used inalgorithms and basic math facts.

Onecan also tell that a person has this condition if they are anxiouswhen it comes to solving mathematical problems. They tend to avoidany tasks involving numbers. The reason this comes to be is that oncea child has had a bad experience with mathematics in the past, theytend to carry the mentality that they are not good in mathematics.

Thereis also the condition where a child may have difficulties in solvingparticular problems in mathematics though not all. There are alsothose with a general bad attitude towards mathematics as they feelincompetent when it comes to solving math problems, and end updisliking mathematics.

Prevalenceof dyscalculia

Itis estimated that every one person in twenty suffers from thiscondition, and this amounts to 3-6 % of the population. Thisfrequency is similar to that of ADHD and dyslexia. The prevalencelevels may differ depending on the population that forms the subjectof the study, as well as the age group studied. This condition iscommon in both genders without exception. is moreprevalent in children with lower SES meaning that environmental andsocial factors can lead to the disorder (Shalev,Auerbach, &amp Gross-Tsur, 1995).

Causesof dyscalculia

may be caused by various factors including behavioral problems andproblems arising out poor teaching methods. These problems could beas a result of environmental factors as well as genetic factors andthe interaction between both factors. The major cause of dyscalculiais a dysfunction in the cognitive part of the brain that isresponsible for cognition of mathematical problems. The children withthis condition suffer from a developmental learning disorder thatblocks the processing of numerical information.

Genetically,this condition could be due Fragile X Syndrome, Turner’s syndrome,William’s Syndrome, and Velocardiofacial Syndrome. Research alsoshows that there are genes in the general population responsible foran increase in the risk of acquiring this condition. It is possibleto find that in the family of a child with this condition, either oneof the parents or siblings suffer from dyscalculia. Research pointsto factors such as thickness, volume, and surface area of the braincould cause this problem.

Theenvironmental causes that could bring about this condition arepremature births, and alcohol consumption during pregnancy. These twoconditions can lead to underdevelopment of the brain that leads toimpairment of the brain part responsible for comprehendingarithmetic.

Psychologicaland behavioral implications

Thosechildren with show more behavioral problems as comparedto normal children. These children tend to have difficulties inpaying attention when it comes to learning and solving mathematicalproblems (Shalev,Auerbach, &amp Gross-Tsur, 1995).

Thekids suffering from this condition are often anxious when it comes todealing with numbers. Psychologically the children get affected, andsuffer from low self esteem issues. If this condition is not checkedin time, it could even lead to depression. One may also find that achild with dyscalculia solves a problem in arithmetic and gets theright solution. The problem here is that such a child lacksconfidence in doing the arithmetic, and may thus not repeat the sameprocedure to get the right solution in a different problem. When achild fails in mathematics they tend to feel that failure isinevitable, and end up failing even in other areas. Such a child maybe affected and even refuse to participate in sports and otheractivities.

Educationalinterventions

Childrenwith dyscalculia are not beyond help. With the necessaryintervention, the children with this condition can still understandand perform well in arithmetic. Denying them these strategies isdenying them the chances of success in arithmetic. It is important tofirst assess the child to know where they belong, and how severetheir condition is. It is during assessment that one may realize thatwhat they classified as dyscalculia is not, and the child just hasdifficulties in mathematics that can be solved using other means. Ateacher should have individual sessions with the child to assessthis.

Thesecond phase is the intervention phase where the teacher guides thechildren suffering from this condition by showing them the areas thatthey need to improve on. There is then the need to constantlyevaluate the child to be able to tell whether the interventions usedare working for the child or whether other interventions should bechanged.

Oneof these interventions is the effective wave 1 teaching that is basedon the use of yearly transition data and information. There is alsowave 2 that is wave 1 plus intervention tailored support programs. Itincreases the progress rates and makes the learning of groups oflearners effective. This intervention is necessary for putting thelearners back into track to enable them to compete effectively withthe rest of the learners. This program is delivered by teachers andtheir assistants, to groups of students. It can occur within theclass or outside the mainstream classes.

Critiqueof dyscalculia.me.uk

Thiswebsite gives a breakdown of the problem dyscalculia. Being thedyscalculia centre, there is the expectation that one will get allthe information about this condition from its development to how itshould be handled. I feel that the information in this websitefocuses on testing for the condition, and not how all those who getinvolved with a child with this condition may understand it in orderto help the children. But if am I am looking for general informationon dyscalculia, I believe that I can get it in this cite.

Critiqueof dyscalculia.org

Thiswebsite is good for general information dealing with dyscalculia. Butwhen it comes to deeper analysis about this condition, I feel thatthe website needs to include much more, and give the person seekinginforming from the website more information. The author of theinformation in this website does not give conclusive information.This reason I feel that this is the case is because, there is a trendin the article on dyscalculia, where the author makes a claim andthen distances herself from the position by stating that research inthe area of dyscalculia is still in the infancy stages.

Reporton the roles of the teachers in meeting the educational goals of thestudent in the inclusive classroom

Everystakeholder has a role to play in helping the child to overcome thischallenge. The general teacher is responsible for ensuring that he orshe identifies children with this condition, and that the studentgrasps all that the teacher teaches. The general teacher also has theresponsibility of ensuring that the child with dyscalculia fits intothe group of other students. The teacher should ensure that the childdoes not suffer from self esteem issues due to dyscalculia.

Thespecial educator also has a role to play in the development of thechild with dyscalculia. The special educator should deal with thepsychological development of the child, as well as ensuring that thegeneral educator is using the right procedure. The general educatormay feel like he or she is helping a child with dyscalculia by givingthe child special treatment. The special educator should devise themeans that the child will not feel like they are given preferentialtreatment as this treatment might affect the child emotionally.

References

Gillum,J. (2012). : issues for practice in educationalpsychology. Educational Psychology In Practice,28(3),287-297.

kosc,L. (1974). Developmental.Journal of learning disabilities, 7, 164-177.

Gillum,J. (2012). : issues for practice in educationalpsychology. Educational Psychology In Practice,28(3),287-297.

Shalev,R. S., Auerbach, J., &amp Gross-Tsur, V. (1995). Developmental Behavioral and Attentional Aspects: A Research Note.JournalOf Child Psychology &amp Psychiatry &amp Allied Disciplines,36(7),1261-1268. doi:10.1111/1469-7610.ep11664413

The Centre. (n.d.). Retrieved December 9, 2014, from http://www.dyscalculia.me.uk/teacher.html

Wilson,A. (n.d.). EDU CERI – OCDE. Retrieved December 9, 2014, from http://www.oecd.org/fr/sites/educeri/dyscalculiaprimerandresourceguide.html