Wisdom Vine

Dyscalculia – Does your child have it? Signs to look out for

Dyscalculia, dyslexia, dysgraphia, … there are so many terms floating around! How do you know if your child could have it? And what can one do if they do have it? 

What is Dyscalculia? 

Let’s start with the definition, first. So, in simple terms, Dyscalculia is a condition that makes it hard to do math and tasks that involve math. While dyslexia relates to problems with reading and writing, dyscalculia is related to math and problems in understanding numbers. According to a study, around 3 to 7 percent of children and adults have dyscalculia. Though the introduction of match concepts early in their lives can help them improve math skills and manage the challenges, it’s advisable to look out for the signs. Here are a few signs that might help you to spot dyscalculia in your child and look for solutions to help them!

Grasping basic maths concepts is difficult for them

Do your children find it out to carry out basic math operations – addition, subtraction, multiplication and division? If their understanding of these basic operators is not up to the mark and they aren’t able to perform basic arithmetic calculations, it is an early sign of having dyscalculia. If children use their fingers for the calculation of the simplest of problems, it is time for you to look into it and assess the issue. Dyscalculia is as common as dyslexia but it is not very easy to understand problem signs of the former. That’s because people with dyscalculia have trouble with maths in different ways. Signs vary from person to person. 

Recognizing numbers is troublesome

Children may find it difficult to recognize numbers and number patterns. For example, if you ask them to hand over 3 lego blocks and they hand you a handful without counting them, then this could be a sign of dyscalculia. Also, if they use visual aids like fingers to count numbers when most children of the same age do so without any aids, it’s time for you to look for solutions that can help them overcome their problem with numbers.

They find it difficult to understand maths phrases

Another sign you can look out for is if children find it difficult to comprehend maths phrases. Do you notice them getting muddled between common phrases like ‘greater than’, ‘less than’ or ‘equal to’? This could be another sign of them being ‘dyscalculic’. If they frequently end up putting in the wrong operators or have problems in understanding math phrases, you should try to figure out why the problem is a recurring one.

Explaining math processes is a problem for them!

Do you notice children having trouble explaining the steps in a maths problem? Does it happen even for the simplest of math problems? It’s not unusual for children to have a hard time doing maths. But if they have problems with numbers and find it difficult to explain the most basic steps involved in solving a question, then this could be yet another sign of them having dyscalculia. If children find it hard to hold numbers in their head while doing even simple math problems,it might be time to dig deeper!

Problems in reconciling verbal or written cues and their math symbols

A very rare occurrence, but children might find it hard to reconcile a verbal or written cue (like the word ‘one’) and their respective math symbol ‘1’ in this case. They may find it difficult to interpret a verbal cue simply because their brain can’t find a relation between the cues and symbols. If it’s a perpetual habit they have while doing math, well, by now you know what the reason could be! A good example of this particular issue could be Ishan’s character from the movie ‘Taare Zameen Par.’!

Dyscalculia could be genetic too. Though there’s no definite cure for dyscalculia, it’s advisable to consult a learning specialist who can help your child with learning difficulties. Another way to help children is by speaking to your child’s teachers and getting them involved – to look for ways and means to overcome the problem. With repeated practice and review of maths concepts and getting familiar with numbers, parents can surely help their children overcome the problem.

Wisdom Vine

5 Books for Children who Hate Reading

“If you don’t love to read, you just haven’t found the right book.”

-Tim Green

Does this sound like your child? Do you happen to have a reluctant reader at home? The one who would rather watch a video than read? Take heart, dear parent, all is not lost! We just need to find the right book to ignite their love for the written word. And we have just the very thing for you. Here are our recommendations for 5 books for children that will help them fall in love with reading:

 1. Fox in Socks – Dr. Seuss

Here’s the note that comes with the book: This is a book you READ ALOUD to find out just how smart your tongue is. The first time you read it, don’t go fast! This Fox is a tricky fox. He’ll try to get your tongue in trouble.

This is a great book for you to read along to your young reluctant reader that will have them giggling away. Of course, it’s a great one to practice your pronunciations too! 

Why children love this book: Children love it when you read to them – and this a great way to encourage them to start reading as well. With fox in socks, Dr Seuss puts the fun and giggles back into reading and it doesn’t seem like a chore anymore! 

Ages: 2 Upward for reading aloud, 4 upward for assisted reading.

2. The Adventures of Captain Underpants – Dav Pilkey

The first in this series of books by American author-illustrator Dav Pilkey, it follows the life of Harold and George, a couple of elementary- schoolers who write, illustrate, distribute and sell homemade comic books called “The Amazing Captain Underpants”. 

Why children love this book: Children are drawn to the illustrations, the silly jokes and of course, sometimes hilarious misspellings that Harold and George make. They love that the book is at once relatable, and possibly frowned-upon by adults! 

Ages: 6 upward

3. Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse – Chris Riddell

Meet Ada Goth. She lives in Ghastly-Gorm hall with her father, Lord Goth, lots of servants and at least half a dozen ghosts. The book is beautifully illustrated. The jokes and the fast-moving pace of the book keeps everyone entertained right until the very end. 

Why children love this book: The story is unconventional, and it’s an illustrated book for older children – which is a rarity in itself. The language is simple and easy to read. And of course, the jokes are funny! 

Ages: 7 upward

4. The Name of this Book Is Secret (The Secret Series, Book 1) – Pseudonymous Bosch

Brave 11-year old heroes, Cass and Max-Ernest set out on the trail of a magician who has vanished under strange (and stinky) circumstances. The book is about the hair-raising adventures that follow and the nefarious villains they face. 

Why children love this book: Isn’t the title just amazing? It instantly draws children’s curiosity and the 11-year-old heroes, Cass and Max-Ernest solve a plot that full of puzzles that’ll get young minds ticking! the unconventional style it’s written in, further helps that reluctant reader along. 

Ages: 8 Upward

5. No Talking – Andrew Clements

No Talking is a 2007 children’s novel written by Andrew Clements. It is about the noisy fifth-grade boys of Laketon Elementary School, who challenge the equally loud fifth-grade girls to a “no talking” contest. This competition turns out to be really hard.

Why children love this book: The book is a light read – it talks about the natural boys vs girls rivalry that springs up around that age. It also looks at the rules made by adults from a children’s point of view, making it very relatable. 

Ages: 9 upwards