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Dyscalculia - Anyone had experience of this?

(25 Posts)
Finbar Thu 14-Apr-05 21:09:20

Title says it all really. Have had nagging concerns about DD's maths abiltiy for a while now. School has not come up with any real solutions and I have now taken her to a tutor for some extra help. Tutor has spotted what we had - that some complex things DD grasps well , but then has huge dificulty remembering that 2 + 8 = 10 and 8+2=10 etc.

Have just discovered this term 'dyscalculia' and many of the indications seem to apply to my DD.

It's not very widely known about and so I would be really happy to hear of anyone else's experiences.

Finbar Thu 14-Apr-05 21:28:38

Have to bump this I'm afraid!

RTKangaMummy Thu 14-Apr-05 21:31:58

I know there is stuff about it on DYSPRAXIA website

My understanding is that is is like dyslexia but with numbers

Sure someone else will have more info soon

good luck

puddytats Thu 14-Apr-05 21:48:33

My sister suspects her son of having Dyscalculia. He is above average in English and reading, average in everything else except maths where he is very very slow (aged 9). After months of pushing she has finally got his school to agree to pay for the tests that will prove whether he has it or not - apparently bout £900 if done privatly.
She had to do a lot of research and pushing herself as school were loath to get involves saying he had a 'concentration problem', strange that it was only in maths!
Not sure that helps but wanted to let you know you are not alone

JanH Thu 14-Apr-05 21:48:53

Oooh, you want ggglimpopo!

Her DD2 (aged 14) has this or some version of it - eg, in a specific example I remember, when gggl was going to be out between 2pm and 6pm, DD2 told someone on the phone that yes, she could visit gggl at 4pm - she remembered 2pm and 6pm, but didn't grasp that 4pm was in any way part of this time equation.

cod Thu 14-Apr-05 21:57:33

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JanH Thu 14-Apr-05 22:23:43

I will, cod

SaintGeorge Thu 14-Apr-05 22:37:55

I will bump this again later tonight for BadgerBadger, she has dyscalculia so may be able to offer some advice.

Philly Fri 15-Apr-05 09:56:18

i have suspicions about my own ds(8) will post again but over Easter we have been working through "Prctical activities for children with Dyscalculia Parents Edition" by Tony Attwood .Really a lot of the stuff could apply to any child with maths problems It is avaliable from Amazon and we really seem to have made some progress.It goes right back to the beginning of maths and each day gives youa 10 minute task building on the day before,alos explanantion about how they learn number etc.
Will post again later when i have a bit more time!

cod Fri 15-Apr-05 18:11:22

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tiptop Fri 15-Apr-05 20:59:17

Thanks for giving the title of that book, Philly. It might help my children with their maths, as it is one of their weaker subjects.

ggglimpopo Fri 15-Apr-05 21:14:54

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allatsea Fri 15-Apr-05 21:27:22

there has been a little information on these issues given to school. try this

vkone Sat 16-Apr-05 01:43:59

I believe I had/have this and was not really addressed til it was way too late in my education. The best "selfhelp" I can offer is to encourage you daughter to practice basic maths all the time. I could not tell the time, still think 7+7 = 13 (it makes more sense to me!?) But everytime I see an analogue clock I take the time to work it out, everytime someone says the time I clarify it by repeating a different version eg. quarter to 9 is 8.45 and I add up stuff at checkout, etc. Also theres no shame in using a calculator!

I'm afraid if I stop I'll forget how to.

Not much help with current ed. I know, but it's worth a try

cod Sat 16-Apr-05 07:59:47

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ggglimpopo Sat 16-Apr-05 15:07:59

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ggglimpopo Sat 16-Apr-05 15:22:50

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ggglimpopo Sat 16-Apr-05 15:24:45

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Punnet Sat 16-Apr-05 16:13:56

I'm going to try to explain how dyscalculia affects me, but it's difficult to do so I apologise if I confuse you.

It's like my brain has a glass window in front of it that is permeable to most things, but some mathematical concepts don't get thrugh, or often get scrambled in translation. After too long, my brain actually seems to start hurting!

I can get some concepts (I just passed GCSE maths yesterday at last!) but sometimes my brain will scramble them after I do say six, and then the logic that comes back will be gobbledigook but seem sensible to me. Other times, I get a concept (this is true with algebra), but then hit a brick wall and cannot do any more.

Here are the tips that helped me, I can't guarantee they will work with your DD but worth trying:

1) Short (ten minute) spurts of number work only.
Dyscalculia tires your brain out.

2)If you can't get a concept, write it instead. For example, fifteen times seven plus the square root of one equals.
Be careful not to use any symbols or anything.

It may not work for anyone else, but it got me through the stats part of A-Level Psychology.

At school, I was top set for everything but bottom set for maths, which gave me problems socially (bottom set maths meant you had to take art / pe / sciences with a completely different set of friends) and did a lot of harm to my self esteem. It also harmed my prospects, in that I actually have a talent for sciences but coldn't do straight biology as I missed out at school as the decison to allow or not allow us to take it was based on our maths ability. However, I am now going to do a degree starting in September, and using the two techniques above have finally cracked my fear (which came as a direct result of struggling) of maths and succeeded.

I hope that helps.


SaintGeorge Sat 16-Apr-05 22:31:04


BadgerBadger Sat 16-Apr-05 22:52:35

Finbar, as SaintGeorge said, I do have dyscalculia.
This site is quite good, IIRC I related to a lot of it and it is what prompted me to seek further help.

I go to maths classes each week now, one to one with a fantastic tutor who tailors everything to meet my needs. At last I have a basic understanding of very basic maths. (That's not to say I will be able to remember it this time next week though!) We have to carry out a lot of repetition to enable me to grasp the most simple of concepts, then a lot more repetition to get it to sink in.

I find having Dyscalculia to be (rather than a learning difficulty) a learning difference. I can learn maths but I need the opportunity and help to find ways of learning which enable me to make sense of it.

As with a lot of people who have Dyscalculia, my exam results at school were all above average apart from my maths result which fell way behind.

It causes me problems in my day to day life when making appointments. My organisational skills (time wise) are awful, I'm also very very messy! On the plus side, I'm quite artistic .

If there are more specific questions I can answer for you, or anything you'd like me to ask my tutor, please say.

Punnet Sun 17-Apr-05 09:50:43

Very messy and quite artistic- yep sums me up too. Maybe theres a link there?

Peachyclair Sun 17-Apr-05 15:39:57


Have been reading a book about sn's re. my son,and found that it had a very good section indeed on dyscalculia, best I've seen.

It's details if you are interested are:

Solutions for specific learning difficulties identification guide
isbn. 1-901544-00-1
Jan Poustie et al
Next generation Uk 1997

I'd offer to lend you it, but mine is a borrowed copy. It may well be worth tracking down though.

Hope the isbn number is right.. sorry if not.. nature of the beast!

Finbar Mon 18-Apr-05 21:33:08

Thank you all - it's really hlepful to know that there are others out there. I really don't know what it is with my DD - but there's clearly some difficluty and I find myself getting so frustrated that she's a bright girl in many respects adn can memorise chuks of film/book dialogue, but cannot remember the number bonds of 10. Will check out all the websites you recommended.

binkie Mon 18-Apr-05 22:20:53

Has anyone suggested using number rods - scroll down on this lovely site to see - they're just neatly made lengths of wood (1 - 2 - 3 up to 10 cm) in different colours for each number size, and every child I know loves making patterns with them without realising that at the same time they're soaking up number bonds to 10 (and more). I still like them, so your daughter probably isn't too old for them!

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