Dyscalculia Illustrated shows a young woman's confusion with numbers, symbols, clocks, calendars, combination locks, and math books. by Jo-Ellen Bosson, 2020.

Video

Saying dyslexia, dyscalculia, & dysgraphia in schools

an Interview with Michael Yudin, Assistant Secretary of Special Education & Rehab Services (2015)

National Institutes of Health on Dyscalculia Diagnosis & Management (2012)

Definitions

Dyscalculia is a math learning disorder that makes mathematical reasoning and computation difficult, in spite of adequate education, average or greater intelligence, and proper motivation.
It appears as poor memory for numbers, time, sequences, directions, layouts, and visual-spatial information, as well as a confounding inability to manage these things.
Dyscalculia is believed to affect 3% to 7% to 26% of the population.
For people with dyscalculia, performing number-related tasks produces mental confusion, anxiety, and distress.
Dyscalculics often display a lack of academic progress in mathematics, accompanied by average or advanced skills in speech, reading, writing, and other areas.

DSM-V:

Specific Learning Disorders (SLDs) are defined in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association.
"Specific Learning Disorder-- with impairment in Mathematics (315.1), Reading (315.0), or Written Expression (315.2). SLD is "a neurodevelopmental disorder of biological origin manifested in learning difficulties and problems in acquiring academic skills markedly below age level and manifested in the early school years, lasting for at least 6 months, not attributed to intellectual disabilities, developmental disorders, or neurological or motor disorders."
Boy in school showing understanding of math work. Got it! by Jo-Ellen Bosson of NY, Dyscalculia Illustrated, 2020
 Decimal Point Head and body Place Value Chart by Renee Newman, 2020.

Accommodations


1. CALCULATOR A calculator allows the student to focus on problem solving.
Calculation is hindered by poor and inconsistent retrieval, and unconscious errors in thinking and writing.
A calculator cannot mitigate unconscious errors in reading, writing, and reasoning (ex. number and sign mix-ups).
2. MONITOR An editor or monitor catches and points out unconscious errors.
3. 1:1 PERFORMANCE Because of the need for a monitor, it is essential to have the student perform individually with the instructor, instead of in a group situation.
4. AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENTS Instead of traditional paper math tests, the dyscalculic should demonstrate understanding by teaching the concepts adequately and successfully.
Demonstrations show what, why, how, and when: verbal (focus on key vocabulary), visual (color, illustrations).
Examples: video, illustrated study guide, book, show-and-tell.
5. REMOVE TIME CONSTRAINTS The dyscalculic is quickly overwhelmed by compounding demands.
The awareness of time running out, adds additional stress, and further impairs functioning.
Deficiencies that compound to impair performance: retrieval of learned facts and procedures; ability to apply learned facts and procedures to new situations; processing speed; working memory; visual-spatial-directional-sequential processing; procedural memory; and monitoring.

Academic Adjustments


When accommodations don't result in success, after earnest effort is demonstrated, an instructor may grade on work attempted, time on task, persistence, and attitude.
Ultimately, the instructor should document the experience, citing the learning difficulties, student characteristics, interventions, and results and performance data; and then recommend a waiver of a requirement (and all prerequisites).

Math Ed Improvement Courses

YouCubed @ Stanford University Visual, Creative, Math Instruction by Dr. Jo Boaler
Mahesh Sharma's Language of Math Blog & Free Webinar on April 6, 2021 Dyscalculia Workshops
Judy Willis, MD, MEd Neurologist & Teacher RAD Learning, Author of Learning to Love Math
Learning How to Learn by Dr. Barbra Oakley at University of California-San Diego [TedTalk]
Dr. Steve Chinn's Math Visualizations
Karismath Grades 1-5 Math Lessons for Dyscalculics
Introduction to Mathematical Thinking by Dr. Keith Devlin at Stanford University
Dyscalculic woman experiences confusion reading an analog clock. Dyscalculia Illustration by Jo-Ellen Bosson of NY. 2020

MLD Videos

MLD Signs

  1. random number and symbol mixups when reading, thinking, copying, writing, speaking, and remembering
  2. unreliable memory of numbers, math facts, rules, and procedures
  3. exerts inordinate effort, buts gets disappointing results
  4. unable to do mental figuring
  5. uses fingers or marks to calculate
  6. quickly experiences frustration, tears, mind-freeze, distress, anxiety, panic, trauma, and avoidance
  7. struggles with handling money
  8. struggles to make change, figure tax, tips, discounts, and conversions
  9. poor money planning, and management
  10. avoids cash
  11. struggles with telling time, tracking and managing time, and punctuality
  12. experiences directional confusion during math tasks, when navigating inside buildings and across town, and during physical sequences (dance steps, sports, playing music, playing games,combination lock, following physical directions).
  13. can follow patterns and complete math work, but quickly forgets
  14. operates from short-term memory, but lacks deep understanding
  15. reasons aloud to keep ideas in mind
  16. has difficulty imagining abstractions, quantities, layouts, clocks, faces, numbers, and figures
  17. difficulty processing more than 4-5 visual items
  18. visual-spatial processing difficulties
  19. experiences brain static with number lines, equations, large numbers, decimal numbers, graphs and coordinates, clocks, ten frames, abacuses, Cuisenaire rods, Unifix Cubes, and manipulatives.
  20. needs small recognizable patterns
  21. struggles with keyboarding, learning to play an instrument, sight-reading music, cards and dominos with more than 5 dots
  22. impaired feedback from fingers (finger sense)
  23. inefficient motor-sequencing
  24. insufficient working memory for simultaneous processing, compounding task demands, retention of serial information (ex. counting, listening to and following directions, keeping track during math work)
  25. imperfect sequential memory, especially when distracted, and beyond 5 items

Dyscalculic Errors


  1. Reading one number but saying a different one.
  2. Copying errors.
  3. Reading errors.
  4. Operational mix-ups (seeing the subtraction sign, but adding anyway).
  5. Reasoning errors (finding the difference between two digits, instead of subtracting).
  6. Knowing exactly which number to write, but writing a number not intended (ex. writing 1,000 instead of 100,000).

Dyscalculia in Children


Young children struggle with:
  1. left and right
  2. directionality
  3. counting reliably
  4. number-amount associations
  5. memory of numbers and quantitative information
  6. memory of instructions
  7. short-term memory
  8. working memory
  9. time awareness
  10. telling time
  11. time management, schedules
  12. organization
  13. sequencing
  14. procedures for arithmetic
  15. place value
  16. memory of addition and multiplication facts
  17. memory of math rules
  18. mental arithmetic
  19. calculation
  20. visualization
  21. name-face memory
  22. visual memory
  23. visual-spatial discrimination, interpretation, processing, and memory.
  24. unconscious errors with numbers and symbols when reading, listening, thinking (reasoning), copying, writing, and speaking.
  25. think slowly and carefully, and operate without confidence.
  26. When tasked in their deficit areas, may demonstrate agitation, distress, anxiety, anger, avoidance, and resistance.
  27. Children grow into dyscalculic adults who exhibit the same problems, but become better at hiding and managing their difficulties.
Student confusion in math class. Dyscalculia Illustrated by Jo-Ellen Bosson, NY, 2020.

157 Books on Dyscalculia


Dyscalculia Books

Untether by JT Metsdagh- learn how JT triumphed over severe dyslexia and major health threats to graduate college, climb mountains, and write a book!

Untether:

Inspiration for Living Free and Strong, No Matter What the Challenge by JT Mestdagh (2019)
JT graduated college, wrote a book, and climbs mountains, in spite of severe dyslexia and serious health problems!

It Just Doesn't Add Up:

Explaining Dyscalculia and Overcoming Number Problems for Children and Adults - The author goes from number-blind to college professor. by Paul Moorcraft

Why is Math so Hard for Some Children

by Daniel Berch and Michele Mazzocco

Dyscalculia From Research to Education

by Brian Butterworth (2018)

Limitless Mind

by Jo Boaler

Mathematical Mindsets

by Jo Boaler

Learning to Love Math

by Judy Willis, Neuroscientist and Classroom Teacher

A Mind for Numbers:

How to learn Math and Science, even if you flunked Algebra by Barbara Oakley.

Mindshift:

Break through barriers to learning and discover your hidden potential by Barbara Oakley.

USA Math Stats 2019

Source: Nation's Report Card NEAP Results

12th Grade

2015 NEAP
  • 75% NOT PROFICIENT

  • 22% PROFICIENT

  • 3% ADVANCED

8th Grade

  • 66% NOT PROFICIENT

  • 24% PROFICIENT

  • 10% ADVANCED

4th Grade

  • 59% NOT PROFICIENT

  • 32% PROFICIENT

  • 9% ADVANCED