Dyscalculia or numlexia is a disability that prevents a child from learning or understanding arithmetic. About 3 – 6% of the population is estimated to suffer from the disability or to manifest dyscalculia symptoms. Dyscalculia symptoms may fall into the general category of difficulty dealing with numbers or numerical concepts. Click here to know some of the symptoms that depict that a child is suffering from dyscalculia.
1. The earliest symptoms for this disability, to manifest itself is difficulty in “subitizing”. From birth, humans have an innate ability to subitize, that is to know without counting how many items there are in a small group, using only a brief glance. Infants can usually subitize 3 objects. As the child grows, the number of objects increases and a typical adult can subitize 5 or even more objects. When a child can subitize fewer objects or take longer to do so than other children its age, you may be looking at dyscalculia.
2. Other extreme symptoms for this condition may be a child’s inability to read analog clocks, identify which of two numbers is the larger one, differentiating between left and right or being late or early chronically.
3. In young children, the symptoms mostly consist of difficulty in learning how to count; problems in recognizing printed numbers; difficulty relating a number in the abstract to a number in the concrete difficulty remembering numbers and problems organizing things in a logical way.
4. Among teenagers, symptoms for this disability may be difficulty understanding math concepts beyond the basic addition, subtraction operations; problems estimating costs, balancing a checkbook or approximating time and sticking to a schedule.
By identifying these symptoms early enough, parents and teachers can work with the child to devise strategies and programs that can help the child overcome the disability, first in school and later on in that person’s career.