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For some, anything that has to do with numbers can become nonsense. Many people probably have dyscalculia without even knowing it.

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This writes NHI.no on its website.

They write further:

Probably as many people have dyscalculia as dyslexia: 5 to 10 percent of the population. These are persistent difficulties in the subject of mathematics, which do not pass, but which can be handled with adapted training.

- A person with dyscalculia has clear discrepancies between achievements in mathematics and achievements in other subjects and especially written subjects. A person with dyscalculia can handle other school subjects very well, says Secretary General Caroline Solem in Dyslexia Norway to NHI.no.





 

Difficulties specifically in mathematics

A person with dyscalculia has a specific math difficulty. It is not a question of dyscalculia if you have more general learning difficulties - ie difficulties with learning on a more general basis, as can be seen with reduced learning prerequisites.

- This is the area in special education we know the least about, ie having major problems with mathematics, without it being linked to intelligence. It is important to emphasize that math anxiety and poor math skills are something else, Solem continues.





 

Many people get the diagnosis late

Solem tells NHI.no that many can gain a better understanding of mathematics if the training becomes more practical, even those with specific and persistent difficulties.

She says that many people get the diagnosis very late, partly because there are no standardized tools for detecting dyscalculia in addition to the fact that there is far too little competence in this in the school system. Thus, dyscalculia is an underdiagnosed difficulty in which few receive sufficient help.

 

Taboo and lack of knowledge

In the case on NHI.no it appears that there are still many taboos and lack of knowledge about dyscalculia in school. Solem says:

Mathematics is closely linked to intelligence, and dyscalculia shakes the very core of the notion of being intelligent. We have come a long way with knowledge about dyslexia, but mathematics and dyscalculia are more taboo.

It is also a subject that has high prestige in society. For those who do not master the subject, it is natural to try to avoid it - to avoid defeat and to feel inadequate. Thus, it becomes a vicious circle, and the negative emotions associated with the difficulties are one of the things that are important to work with.

 

Useful resources for dyscalculia

But there are many steps that can be taken to promote better coping for young people with such difficulties. NHI.no writes:

Dyslexia Norway recommends the book "Students with difficulties in mathematics - A supervisor in assessment and measures" from Øverby competence center for pedagogical staff. It can also be downloaded as a PDF from www.statped.no (Norwegian only).

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