Some learning disabilities have received more attention than others. Educators are generally aware of dyslexia, autism, and ADHD. However many teachers and parents have never heard of dyscalculia, sometimes referred to as 'dyslexia with mathematics'. This is despite the fact that there might be as many as 3-6% of dyscalculics in the general population.
The result of this general lack of awareness means that many people with dyscalculia remain undiagnosed. A student can struggle with numbers all through life and simply think s/he is 'bad at maths'. A dyscalculic student might find that because mathematics is part of other subjects such as physics and chemistry, their entire future career could be in jeopardy.
If the signs of dyscalculia in a child go unnoticed, a student may continue through secondary school without receiving the support s/he/she needs. In fact, they may receive only blame instead. Students report being labelled as 'lazy' by their teachers, as well as experiencing deep feelings of inadequacy due to their lack of ability in handling basic number functions.
Dyscalculics who finally receive a diagnosis, even if not until secondary school, often experience a feeling of relief. Once the cause of their struggles with mathematics is known, dyscalculics can receive intervention and support. It is therefore critical that all teachers become more aware of the causes and signs of dyscalculia.
Download a dyscalculia resource for teachers, which outlines some of the main indicators of dyscalculia.
For more information on dyscalculia, see Christian Vögeli blog and software: