Does Dyscalculia Affect Other Subjects?

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REVIEWED BY NUMBERDYSLEXIA’S EXPERT PANEL ON APRIL 04, 2022

Minor hitches in reckoning numbers may be evident with around 7% of the population. These may need specialized instruction and propel to ensure decent performance. That being the case, some of such aspirants are identified to show destitute performance. These brought the requisite to evaluate how Dyscalculia affects other subjects. Does estimation incapacitates show the effect on all other subjects? What areas does Dyscalculia act on? 

Before we can look into relevant schemes to ameliorate, we here dive into those subjects that need to be addressed. Accordingly, we will also look into what areas precisely does arithmetic infirmity may sway. 

Dyscalculics in various subjects- Where else may they scuffle 

While number compromises may need an additional boost in math, the status with other subjects may require a detailed analysis.  For that reason, we explore those threads that number compromises may also act on:

1. Physics

Most of the time, learning physics may be arduous not because of the subject but due to lack of preparation. Most children with number difficulty may also stress out with related subjects like Physics. Apart from anxiety around math,  memory and comprehension of word problems may be the few eminent areas to address. Implementing strategies like metacognition, supplement instructions, and friendly assistance may succor. 

Competing concepts: With remarkable creative and visualizing abilities, these individuals may feel comfortable with concepts like :

  • Circuits: These notions start with pictorially depicting the query, thereby giving out visual cues.  This way, solving for values like current and resistance turns facile. 
  • Optics: Being study of light and its attributes, optics encompass the study of light through the various lens like prism, convex and concave. Most of the practice is often visual and needs the learner to draw diagrams. For this reason, this can be an edge. 

What areas may dyscalculia affect?

While experimental notions like gravity and volume may be strong zones, there are some areas where these people may need to strive. Here are a few areas to comprehend it better:

  • Dimensional motion Problems: These problems often stipulate the learner to have good knowledge about angles, numbers, and measurements. Visualizing the questions can be facile, while making calculation based on directions may be taxing. Logically, an increase in dimensions often needs the student for complex computations. To solve these faster, a cut above practice may be needed.  
  • Angular momentum: Torque and momentum is the study of the motions at a particular angle. Just like math concepts, here too some formulae needs to be highlighted. For instance, P=MV. Applying values in these equations may be hectic as it needs precise values to be placed, and thereby need a boost.    

2. Chemistry

Traversing through states of matter and fundamental notions may be effortless. Nonetheless, concepts like balancing the chemical equations and some word problems later in high grade may make it exhausting. Not only this, other areas of chemistry like visualisations of analytic reactions and memorising atomic numbers. That being the case, strategies like real-life cues, regular reviews, making graphical presentations of sums, and ensuring regular breaks while learning can assist. 

What areas may dyscalculia affect?

  • Balancing equations: Apart from atomic numbers and weights, equations of various chemical reactions and balancing them need the learners play with numbers. As some individuals may feel difficult in retaining regulations like commutative properties, this may lead them to strive more to aster equations.
  • Electrochemistry: Being a study of electron movement in processes like oxidations and reduction, learners here often need to understand and fabricate chemical reactions depicting the movement.  While visualising the same may be facile, putting down this on paper and solving relevant word problems stipulates numbers and is arduous for some individuals. 

3. Physical Education 

Sports are often liked by students. With limited use of numbers and letters, special children can relish physical education classes. These can comprehend the gameplay with their visualisation and creative abilities. What may make them to take on additional management is that spatial awareness, as most of the sports often need better grip and coordination. 

Fascinatingly, Sayedeh Tayedeh Mousavi found that physical exercises can improve executive functioning, problem-solving skills, and also the speed of action which are often substandard in special individuals. 

How dyscalculia may affect physical education?

Athletic coordination may be ambiguous for some individuals.  For those with number compromise, few attributes like spatial awareness, and attention may not be normal.  Which may need them to manage over time with practice and experience. Successful athletes have showed how these can be supervised. 

4. Computer Science- Program coding

Just like above -mentioned subjects, there may be some areas where number compromises can be linked-to in computer coding.  Looking deeper, they may encounter hitches in areas like reading syntaxes and numbers and structuring of codes.  In most cases, the snags related to coding are personal and can be managed with valuable resources and debuggers. 

5. Drawing/Arts

Being innovative, these individuals often are great visualisers. Woefully, a few attributes may come their way from perfect drawing skills. These include spatial knowledge and motor skills. Nonetheless, they are often noteworthy artists with a few-dimensional error. Further, schemes like referring books and possessing ample tools may be supported. Presenting views in the form of arts is often more facile for these individuals than words. For that reason, a few tips and training are essential here. 

Emeritus Howard Riley[1] conducted research for determining the perceptual abilities on drawing. Here, the results of observations marked out that the mathematical ability and related interests were significant predictors of art ability, especially for people from 16 to 18

6. Biology

Cell biology and human science often need the student to understand the anatomy of living organisms in varying sizes. While most of the topics are associated with prescribing diagrams, number compromises may feel taxing in a few areas.

Which areas may be affected by Dyscalculia?

  • Animalia: Biology has a  number of scientific names that need to be remembered for later. Nonetheless, with compromised working memory[2], some individuals may need additional effort to retain. Animalia may be a good example of this.
  • Working of heart: Learning about the heart and its functioning often happens in multiple layers. For instance, structure can be grasped through diagrams, and flow of blood from lectures or animations. With learning compromises, some may not retain facts in sequence. This may make it arduous to explain how a heart works, as the cardinal direction of blood flow needs to be understood. 

Academic performance- Is it a matter of solicitude?

Accomplishments in classrooms and examinations often relied on preparation. For different subjects, the methods and groundworks may be distinct.  While subjects like math need practice, subjects like chemistry may need visualization and arts needs better measurements. Further, the attitude of the student towards a subject may also play a pivotal role. In view of all these factors, one can approximate why dyscalculics may not excel in academics. Delightfully, there are some plans of action that these can opt to improve academically over time. 

Mastering all subjects- Strategies for dyscalculics 

With compromises related to numbers, individuals may face similar incapacities in all math-related scenarios. Accordingly, a few concepts of subjects like physics, chemistry, or even coding may need additional thrust to excel academically. At this point, aspirants can evidently look into some plan of action and assist pedagogies in stepping forward. 

1. Instructional Activities

Campaigns and games ensure engagement and exhilaration. Accordingly, instruction through activities has been getting popular. Not only math activities but also similar instructions can be ensured for other subjects as well. Further, implementation manipulatives ensure multisensory learning and support students with all learning styles.  

AI Zoubi[3] studied the effects of instructional activities based on multiple intelligence in the academic achievement of students with Dyscalculia.  The sample consisted of fourteen male and female students. The results of the study indicated significant differences in the performance of the experimental group, implying improved performance.

2. Encourage Role Plays

In this strategy, the students are encouraged to traverse through real-life situations and learn various notions through their experiences. Such a plan of action may often smooth learning for tactile and kinesthetic learners as well. Even for those with numbers who may prefer visual cues to learn, role plays may succor. 

Dorudian Z[4] studied the impact of role-playing techniques on academic achievement and social adjustment in Dyscalculics students.  A sample of 15 students was taken, and a questionnaire method was implemented.  The results indicated that the role-playing technique indeed succored academic achievement and social abilities too. 

3. The role of the Physician

A student with bewildered academics may need guidance to take them to the righteous path. Timely tips to overcome occasional impediments. A family physician can assist them with various attributes taking factors like family backgrounds into consideration. The same was outlined by Michele J Curtin[5]. In his research, it was outlined that academic underachievement may be usual for some special students. Nonetheless, a family physician can assist the little one with unique academic challenges. 

Concluding thoughts 

Making out that dyscalculia and a few subjects may not go well together, aspirants may face concerns. Implementing strategies like activities and roleplays, these threads can be brought down for easy comprehension. This way, mentors too can ensure fitting styles of guidance. Despite generalized manifestations, the students also need to be confident enough to deal with these curbs. Only then that one can ensure striking furtherance. 

Expedite through the above insights and schemes to incisively discern the scenario so that appropriate rehabilitating verdicts can be derived. Evidently, superlative scholastic performance is the intent.

References:

  1. Chamberlain, R., Riley, H., McManus, C., Rankin, Q., & Brunswick, N. (2011, October). The perceptual foundations of drawing ability. In Thinking through drawing: practice into knowledge. Proceedings of an interdisciplinary symposium on drawing, cognition and education (pp. 95-102). Teachers College Columbia University, Page no. 5
  2. Attout, L., & Majerus, S. (2015). Working memory deficits in developmental dyscalculia: The importance of serial order. Child Neuropsychology, 21(4), 432-450
  3. Al-Zoubi, S. M., & Al-Adawi, F. A. (2019). Effects of Instructional Activities Based on Multiple Intelligences Theory on Academic Achievement of Omani Students with Dyscalculia. Online Submission, 7(1), 1-14.
  4. Dorudian, Z. (2011). The impact of role-playing technique on social adjustment and academic achievement in dyscalculia students of Tehran province, academic year 87-88.
  5. Curtin, M. J., Willis, D. R., & Enneking, B. (2019). Specific learning disabilities: The family physician’s role. American Family Physician, 100(10), 628-635.

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