Dyslexia is a neurological condition in which the signals from the eyes are interpreted differently by the brain. One of the most prominent dyslexia symptoms is problems in reading. When reading problems show up in school age children, they are routinely sent for dyslexia testing.
Researchers now believe that dyslexia is significantly prevalent, affecting between 10% -15% of the population. While school age children are now routinely screened for dyslexia, this has only begun in the last 15 years or so. Probably 95% of adult dyslexics have never been tested and do not know they are dyslexic.
Now, recent research is showing us that children who have trouble with mathematical questions may be suffering with developmental dyscalculia. Dyscalculia is somewhat similar to dyslexia, according to researchers at the University of Western Ontario in Canada.
It appears that children with dyscalculia often have difficulty understanding numerical quantity. They find it hard to make the connection between abstract symbols, such as a number, to the numerical magnitude it represents.
That is, children with dyscalculia can not see the connection between four fingers held up and the number “4” or the word “four”. This is similar to the problem that children with dyslexia have with connecting letters with sounds.
Researchers are concerned that neither parents nor teachers understand that developmental dyscalculia is as common as developmental dyslexia. And that the two are frequently related. There is a strong need for increased public awareness of developmental dyscalculia.
Often many children have both dyslexia symptoms and dyscalculia symptoms. They are now exploring what brain differences there are between those who have just math problems, those who have just reading problems and those who have both.
Researchers gained more insights and info by using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). They found that children with developmental dyscalculia showed non-typical activation patterns in the part of the brain called the parietal cortex.
They hope that in the future this will help in finding and designing remedial tools. Such tools could drastically improve the lives of both children and adults with dyscalculia.
Math skills, especially in this age of all-pervasive technological advances and information technology, are very important to success in life. Children with math difficulties that they have not updated may well avoid career paths that might otherwise have been a great “fit” for them.
For more information on dyslexia symptoms, dyslexia testing and dyscalculia, just click on the links below …