Some parents notice very early in elementary school that their children have difficulties with numbers. Then the question arises: "What is behind this? Does my child just need a little longer to understand math, or does it even have a weakness in arithmetic?"
The brain has to learn to think mathematically
The acquisition of a numeracy weakness mostly happens unnoticed. Even at an early age, the tick in numerical understanding is set incorrectly, so to speak. The fatal thing: Mathematics works like a house. Every step builds on one another. If there are gaps at the base, the child can still bumble through with all sorts of aids at the beginning. For example, people are counting instead of calculating, rules are learned by heart instead of being understood. And in the middle of the second grade, at the latest in the third grade, these pillars collapse. The number range becomes too large for counting, the tasks increasingly require transfer performance. The arithmetic weakness strikes, and the child no longer has a hold in the world of numbers.
This is where you as parents can and should intervene. If you observe the following symptoms in your child, dyscalculia could be present:
- Instead of calculating, the child sometimes counts in a hidden way.
- The child also counts where it is unnecessary. Example: First 7 + 7 is calculated, then 7 + 8 and both times are counted again. 3 + 4 = 7 and 7-4 cannot be solved ad hoc.
- Calculating minus does not work.
- One and tens are swapped, a 23 becomes a 32.
- Arithmetic symbols are swapped.
- Practice does not help, calculation rules are forgotten.
- The multiplication table is just memorized and not understood.
- It takes the child a long time to solve tasks.
- Word problems are not solvable for the child.
- Sizes and quantities cannot be understood by the child.
- Mathematics is avoided, dealing with money or numbers is denied.
What to do if my child shows symptoms
If you suspect that your child may have dyscalculia, first talk to the teacher. At some schools there is an offer to test the child. Some schools also offer special mathematics courses.
If you would like to test the child on your own, then seek out a child psychiatrist. The problem is approached on different levels. Numerous tests determine the degree of mathematical weakness and find out the cause. Then the child can be helped by specially trained math therapists.
You can also bring your child with you Educational toys facilitate access to the world of numbers.