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Testing for Dyscalculia
It is important to know if a child is only weak in math or suffering from a serious disorder called dyscalculia. This is important to ensure that they are getting the right education through the right teaching strategy and methods.
A child suffering from dyscalculia must be taught in a systematic manner. A step-by-step approach must be undertaken to explain each and every concept. Apart from this multi-sensory computer technology must be used by the child. This is very important in higher classes. Each child must be taught like this with additional support and one-to-one help.
Most people have not heard about this disability. Thus, testing an adult for the disorder would not help in a very big way. It would definitely not mean higher chances of getting a job or salary. As this is not a recognized disability, there is absolutely no advantage of being labelled as dyscalculic.
Apart from the fact that many adults find it satisfying to discover that they suffer a disorder because of which they cannot perform well in tasks, there is absolutely no other advantage related to this disorder.
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The first type of test is a simple and quick test. For this, take a quick look at the points listed below.
- My child writes numbers in the wrong order.
- My child dials the number in the wrong order when using the phone.
- My child cannot remember any numbers.
- My child finds additions and subtraction or finds it difficult.
- My child cannot understand fractions at all.
- My child does not understand concepts like odd/even numbers.
- My child does not understand any math related concepts.
- My child cannot count money.
- My child cannot understand how much change needs to be given.
- My child cannot read the clock.
- My child cannot work with large numbers.
- My child cannot remember tables.
- My child cannot understand mathematical signs.
- My child cannot use a calculator.
- My child cannot understand geometrical shapes.
- My child cannot explain his math work.
- My child cannot work out larger/smaller numbers.
- My child does not understand percentage.
- My child is frightened of maths.
- My child becomes anxious when he/she thinks about maths.
The range of questions would not suit all grades. If your child has not covered some areas of these questions, do not expect him or her to be able to understand it. However, if the answer is yes to more than half the questions that are relevant to your child, there is a high chance your child is suffering from this disorder.
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These tests need to be solved by schoolchildren. The reason for doing so is so that the teacher can understand which areas the children are having difficulties in. Thus, if out of twenty students doing the test, only one has problems with a certain area; he/she must be tested by giving more tests to know what the difficulty really is. The child could be weak in the area or could actually have a disorder. Doing so would quickly guide the teacher where some remedial action must be undertaken.
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Dyscalculia testing can also be carried out on the computer. Many computer based assessments are available to check the response times and accuracy of the child’s answers. These tests were devised by Professor Butterworth and cost $200.
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Many psychologist tests can be carried out by different trained psychologists. To know more, consult an education psychologist in your area. The testing is not very expensive. Unfortunately, not all schools accept the judgement of the psychologist.
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Once termed dyscalculic, the child would have advantages like being allowed extra time during exams, extra support in school, and one-to-one support from teachers, etc. If you suspect your child to be suffering from this disorder, get him or her tested as soon as possible to ensure early intervention.