Student confusion in math class. Dyscalculia Illustrated by Jo-Ellen Bosson, NY, 2020.

Evidence

Math achievement lags behind learning in other subjects, in spite of average or advanced skills in speech, reading, and writing. Number tasks produce confusion, anxiety, and distress. Students work earnestly in math and may receive "mercy grades" for advancement, however, standardized tests reveal deficits. Detailed score reports from benchmark tests document consistent under-performance over time.

Dyscalculia 6-26%

Dyscalculia is defined as consistent failure to achieve in mathematics commensurate with age, intelligence, adequate instruction, and effort. It is marked by difficulties with counting, working memory, visualization; visuospatial, directional, and sequential perception and processing; retrieval of learned facts and procedures; quantitative reasoning speed; motor sequencing; perception of time; and the accurate interpretation and representation of numbers when reading, copying, writing, reasoning, speaking, and recalling. Dyscalculia affects 6% to 7% of the population, and up to 26%, when including weaker forms.

Symptoms

  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. inordinate effort nets disappointing results

  4. poor mental figuring

  5. counting and calculation with fingers or marks

  6. is quickly overwhelmed- experiences frustration, tears, distress, anxiety, panic, and avoidance

  7. struggles with handling money

  8. See more in The Dyscalculia Checklist

Definition

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."

Math Doesn't Add Up

It Just Doesn't Add Up:

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

Why so Hard?

Why is Math so Hard for Some Children

by Daniel Berch and Michele Mazzocco

Mathematical Mindsets

by Jo Boaler

Math in Mind

A Mind for Numbers by Dr. Barbra Oakley at University of California-San Diego - [TedTalk]

Mindshift: - Break through barriers to learning

Coursera: Learning How to Learn

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!

USA 4th Grade 2022

NATIONAL MATH PERFORMANCE

25% BELOW BASIC

39% BASIC

29% PROFICIENT

8% ADVANCED

USA 8th Grade - 2022

NATIONAL MATH PERFORMANCE

38% BELOW BASIC

35% BASIC

20% PROFICIENT

7% ADVANCED

USA 12th Grade - 2019

NATIONAL MATH PERFORMANCE

40% BELOW BASIC

35% BASIC

21% PROFICIENT

3% ADVANCED