In this article, I am discussing a learning difficulty in mathematics that is experienced by many students known as dyscalculia. Even parents are not aware of the problem but still expect their children to score higher marks in the subject. So, let's understand the problem to resolve it successfully.

Mathematics is one of the scariest subjects for students, and many students unfortunately fail in this subject due to unknown reasons. Yet many students are not able to just score minimum marks despite working harder. The students can memorize other subjects and languages and pass the test even without understanding the concepts, but students cannot memorize the concepts of mathematics but should understand them. However many students do not easily grasp the concepts due to some difficulties.

Common difficulties experienced by students in mathematics

Understanding pattern and sequence

Students cannot identify the pattern and sequence of numbers. They are not able to find out the next number in the sequence. E.g., 2, 5, 8 - They are not able to recognize the next number as 11 or identify that it is a sequence of numbers repeating after every two numbers.

Greater and lower numbers

Students cannot differentiate between greater and lower numbers as they are not able to visualise quantities effectively. If we ask a student if 32 or 25 has a greater value, they are not able to recognize it.

Application of addition, subtraction, etc.

Some are unable to apply the concepts of addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division to word problems. They have not understood that addition means an increase in value, and subtraction means a decrease in value. They are unable to understand the correlation of two or more numbers. So, they are unable to solve problems as they are not able to know the relationship between numbers.

Calculation difficulty

Although some students can understand the above concepts, they are not able to calculate quickly and, hence, are not able to resolve problems within the specified time. The information is not quickly processed, and hence it affects calculations as well. Even to calculate simple numbers such as 2 + 3, they use the concepts taught in lower class, such as 'Take 2 in mind and 3 in hand' After 2, come 3, 4, and 5.

Problems such as dyslexia

Students with dyslexic problems are most likely to have problems like dyscalculia as well. They are unable to identify basic shapes, numbers, symbols, etc. when they are learning mathematics as a beginner. Due to reading difficulty, they are unable to read and comprehend word problems. So, they cannot solve problems as quickly as the students in their age group.

Ways to resolve the problem of dyscalculia

If your child has dyscalculia, then you should use innovative methods for teaching. For any kind of mathematical difficulty, you should use pictures or explain it pictorially or in the form of graphics.

Teaching patterns or sequences of numbers

If your child is not able to understand the sequence of numbers, then begin with patterns. Your child should first learn the repetitive pattern of a design. Most simply, you can show the repetitive pattern of a square and a circle, and hence, after the square, you should insert a circle, which is next in the series. In this way, you can show the repetitive pattern of simple numbers and eventually complicated numbers.

Teaching lower and greater values

To teach them the greater and lower values, let your child first learn pictorially. Your child should be able to differentiate between taller and shorter figures or objects. Then you can draw a box filled with sweets. One box should be filled with many sweets and one box with fewer sweets. Then your child should count the objects in the boxes and identify greater and smaller numbers. After your child can learn pictorially, let your child learn to visualise numbers.

Teaching greater and lower values

To understand the concepts of addition, your child should understand two concepts: 'more' and 'total'. So, explain these concepts to your child patiently. For subtraction, your child should understand 'When objects become less' or 'remaining portion'. To teach multiplication, your child should understand 'becoming more' and 'number of times', while for division your child should understand the concept of 'sharing equally' for division.

Teaching calculations

You can improve the speed of your calculations through practice. Another way to improve calculations is by repeatedly counting numbers, going forward and backward, and learning tables.

Conclusion

You should identify the mathematical problems of your child and use the best methodologies to teach the subject. Your child may experience one, more than one, or all types of difficulties, as mentioned above.

Dyscalculia is a learning disorder. It will affect a person's ability to understand number-based information and mathematics. Their brains may not process math-related concepts like normal people. But they are equally intelligent as other people.

Generally, this may appear in children, especially during early ages when they learn basic mathematics. People with this disorder feel discomfort when they have to perform some calculation related tasks. They will get tensed and anxious.

The author has given a good account of the issue and how to solve it.

Teachers or parents have to take a lot of care and undertake special methods in creating interest in the subject in children suffering from dyscalculia. Mathematics is a logical subject and if it is taught in a proper manner in rudimentary steps then even these weak children will start liking and learning it. Use of riddles and puzzles is also a good way to attract these children and enhance their imagination.

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