Maths strugglers ‘may have dyscalculia’ – BBC News

Pupils who struggle with maths may be suffering from an undiagnosed condition, new research suggests.

The Queen’s University study found about one in 20 Northern Ireland primary school pupils had symptoms of dyscalculia.

Dyscalculia is a learning disorder characterised by struggles with arithmetic.

The study tracked the maths performance of 2,421 primary school children over a number of school years.

Only one of the children had a formal diagnosis of dyscalculia, but the researchers identified 112 others likely to have the condition.

It is related to dyslexia, but affects numbers instead of words.

Dr Kinga Morsanyi from the School of Psychology at Queen’s said there were a number of symptoms of dyscalculia.

“For example, children who really struggle with basic arithmetic – addition, subtraction – or young children who continue to use their fingers for counting,” she said.

“We found in a related study that these children often have difficulties in other contexts such as remembering how to get to a place, remembering the route and where you turn right or left.”

“So it can be a bit more general than just mathematics, but the main focus of the diagnosis is on basic mathematic skills.”

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