Dyscalculia is a brain-based condition that makes it hard to make sense of numbers and math concepts. Some kids have trouble learning to count, making connections between number symbols (5) and the word (five) and connecting number to a real-life situation. As students grow older, they have difficulties in recalling math signs (+, x, etc.), telling time and understanding math related words (greater than, less than, etc.). Other kids understand the logic behind the math but aren’t sure how and when to apply their knowledge to solving problems.
A person with this Dysgraphia or “impairment in written expression” may have problems including illegible handwriting, inconsistent spacing, poor spatial planning on paper, poor spelling, and difficulty composing writing as well as thinking and writing at the same time. As a preschooler, they may be hesitant in writing and drawing. As they move to grade school, they have trouble writing on a line and they write letters in different sizes. They also have trouble putting their thoughts on paper and may need to day words out loud when writing.
They generally have difficulty in putting ideas into language that is organized, stored and then retrieved from memory—these may all add to struggles with written expression.
Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that reflects a deficiency in the processing of the distinctive linguistic units, called phonemes, which make up all spoken and written words. A dyslexic child, who is usually bright, has a difficulty in segmenting the written word into its underlying phonological components.
People with Dyslexia have difficulty in phonological awareness, verbal memory, rapid serial memory and verbal processing speed.
MYTHS ABOUT DYSLEXIA
1. Mirror writing is a symptom of dyslexia.
In fact, backwards writing and reversals of letters and words are common in the early stages of writing development among dyslexic and nondyslexic children alike. Dyslexic children have problems in naming letters but not in copying letters.
2. More boys than girls are dyslexic.
Boys’ reading disabilities are indeed identified more often than girls’, but studies indicate that such identification is biased. The actual prevalence of the disorder is nearly identical in the two sexes.
3. Dyslexia can be outgrown.
Yearly monitoring of phonological skills from first through 12th grade shows that the disability persists into adulthood. Even though people with dyslexia learn to read accurately, they continue to read slowly and not automatically.
4. Smart people cannot be dyslexic.
Intelligence is no way related to phonological processing, as scores of brilliant and accomplished dyslexics—among them William Butler Yeats, Albert Einstein and John Irving—attest.