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What is Dyscalculia?

By Moshe Elbaum of
In Disney's 1951 version of "Alice in Wonderland, one of the most memorable songs was sung by the White Rabbit and stated "I'm late, I'm late, I'm late."

By today's standards, White Rabbit may have suffered from a learning disability which affects roughly 5% of the world population: Dyscalculia.

What is dyscalculia?
Dyscalculia, coined from the Greek and Latin words which translated means to count badly. It is believed to be a genetically-linked learning disability which impacts a child's ability to remember, understand, and work with numbers (e.g. money, fractions/measuring, telling time) or number facts (e.g. addition/subtraction tables.)

What are some common symptoms of dyscalculia?

  • Frequent tardiness, inability to measure the passing of time, poor time management skills.
  • Confusing arithmetic signs such as those used in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division (e.g. +, -).
  • Difficulty recalling mathematical tables, especially during timed tests.
  • Confusing left and right.
  • Unable to remember mathematical concepts such as when carrying numbers over, inability to work with numbers in sequence (e.g. 2, 4, 6, 8).
  • Difficulty rounding numbers, especially when working with money or fractions.
  • Frequent transposing of numbers (e.g. sees 75 as 57) or can't read a sequence of numbers without mistakes.
  • May exhibit increased sensitivity to light, smell, sound.
  • May become easily distracted (e.g. can't filter distractions).

How is dyscalculia treated?
Like most learning disabilities, there is no cure, only treatment to minimize the symptoms. Some experts believe that providing the proper tools for learning at the beginning of a child's education may significantly reduce the odds of him becoming dyscalculic.

However, other experts such as Moshe Elbaum founder of Intelligence Integration (also known as the Elbaum Method have helped over 15,000 children by strengthening eye movements, improving visual perception, and working on the learning skills needed for mathematical and numerical understanding.

For example:

  • Visual perception can assist in spatial positioning such as understanding the visual location of the lines in a plus or minus vs. multiplication and division signs.
  • Logical thinking can be used to help children who struggle with sequences. Understanding the logic behind the sequence can help them work through the problem-resolution scenario to reach the correct answer.
  • Developing, through exercises, the physical spatial awareness that builds the neural networks necessary for good mathematical thought processes.

Moshe Elbaum, Founder and Developer of the method, , has taught and helped thousands of children, adolescents, and adults throughout the last 22 years in training centers, colleges, grade schools, and in his private practice in Israel and around the world.

Disclaimer: Internet Special Education Resources (ISER) provides this information in an effort to help parents find local special education professionals and resources. ISER does not recommend or endorse any particular special education referral source, special educational methodological bias, type of special education professional, or specific special education professional.


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