Dyscalculia More Prevalent Than Dyslexia - A Report

A new study has claimed that dyscalculia, a disorder that renders people Numbers Scare Kids More Than Wordsunable to understand arithmetic or numbers is more common in kids than dyslexia or ‘word blindness.’

The results are based on the study in which the researchers at University College London analyzed 1,500 school children in Cuba through a simple screening test.

The study authors discovered that while 2.5 and 4.3% of kids suffer from ‘dyslexia’, a higher number - 3 and 6 per cent of kids suffer from its mathematical equivalent ‘dyscalculia.’

Study’s lead author Brian Butterworth, professor of cognitive neuroscience at University College London, said the condition had nothing to do with how a child was taught.

He said that children lacking a proper “sense of numbers” require special education in the same way as dyslexia.

Prof. Butterworth said, “Increasingly, the evidence shows that dyscalculia is just as common as dyslexia and yet it is not recognised nearly as widely by teachers, parents, schools, local authorities or central government.”

“Individuals may be unaware they have this condition. If they discover that they do, there are no dyscalculia charities to assist them as there are for dyslexia. The Cubans have recognised this as a real and serious problem for a child’s future. Low numeracy affects life chances in employment and health.”

“Schoolchildren are made very unhappy by it and teachers often feel they are failing these children because they do not know how to help them,” he added.

Now, Prof. Butterworth is conducting studies in the UK in order to develop educational techniques, which will assist children with dyscalculia overcome their problems.

He has also formulated a simple screening system to discover the core disability at the root of dyscalculia, and believes screening should be carried out early in a child's life so specific interventions can be used.

Last month, the government launched a review of the teaching of dyslexic pupils in England's schools.

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