Many people may experience difficulty with maths. However, when these difficulties persist despite effective learning and teaching and supportive interventions, there may a specific learning difficulty.
As yet there is no universally agreed terminology to indicate Dyscalculia. However, East Ayrshire has adopted the following definition.
Dyscalculia may affect a pupil’s ability to:
- acquire arithmetical skills
- understand simple number concepts
- gain an intuitive grasp of numbers
- learn number facts and procedures
Even if they produce a correct answer or use a correct method, they may do so mechanically and without confidence.
(Adapted from Department for Education and Skills, 2001)
Dyscalculia is associated with a difficulty with two numerical concepts:
- Subitising: the ability to identify how many objects there are without counting them
- Number sense: the ability to determine whether one group has more objects, or is bigger than the other
Possible indicators of Dyscalculia
- Poor number sense, for example: 4 bananas being counted as 5
- Poor understanding or confusion of mathematical symbols such as + - x =
- Difficulty with times tables
- Difficulty understanding place value
- Difficulty with everyday tasks such as dealing with money and working out change
- Low self-esteem and anxiety resulting from maths
Identification and support
Identifying and assessing dyscalculia is an ongoing process.
Information is gathered over a period of time through classroom observations, looking at the child’s/young person’s work and class based assessments rather than a single test.
Discussion and working together is a key part of the assessment process and participants may include school ASN co-ordinator, class teacher, parents, East Ayrshire Support Team (EAST) and the education psychologist.
Gathered evidence is discussed and appropriate supports are put in place.
Progress is reviewed regularly.