Last Updated on February 7, 2022 by Editorial Team
Dyscalculia is a learning difficulty in which an individual cannot grasp and deal with numbers and the various concepts of mathematics. This occurs due to the different wiring in their brain. But do you know how this difference in wiring turns them creative?
Well, there is little research about this topic, but it is seen that most of the dyscalculics are innovative and end up in creative fields. Many celebrities and great personalities are into artistic and creative lines, despite facing many challenges in their initial lives. This post includes how dyscalculia and creativity are related and how dyscalculics can boost their creativity.
Dyscalculia & Creativity
Creativity is the ability of a person to imagine and create original ideas to create something. Research shows that individuals who have learning disabilities are found to be more creative. These reports state that dyscalculic’s show enhanced creative thinking due to this neurodevelopmental disorder. In 2020, a research article prepared by Saeidei and Pirkhaefi (2020) gave the perfect conclusion to this mighty question of whether or not creativity and dyscalculia are interrelated. In the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT) conducted by them, it is seen that students with low memory had creative performances. They often curate new ways to retain things, especially numbers, which makes them more creative and innovative in their ways.
Creative teaching for dyscalculics
Creativity is a quality that helps dyscalculics sail through their academic and professional lives with ease. Therefore, individuals can use creative methods to learn and perform better.
- Various tools and technologies are available to help dyscalculics with numbers and arithmetics. One of which is SmartyNote, which helps children with learning disabilities in great ways.
- Creative games can be beneficial for individuals as while playing; the child tends to learn more. The following games can creatively improve mathematics –
- Add the Deck – Placing the card in stacks of 2, and asking the child to calculate the numbers on the deck, and then rewarding them if they complete 10 such decks would encourage them to learn as they play. This will also boost the child’s creative skills as they will learn to calculate creatively.
- Colour & Add – This game revolves around making drawings and coloring them. This boosts the creative side of the child. You can also ask the child to make a particular count of things. For example – Make 3+2 flowers, and color only 2 of them. You can also tweak as per your liking, to add other concepts like multiplication, division, and subtraction.
- Count & Colour the Beans – Add some dried beans in a box, and ask the child to make mathematical patterns with them. For example, arrange the beans in the table of two. Later, if they get it right, ask them to color every alternate number a different color. This will teach the students a lot of mathematical concepts all at once and even boost their creativity.
- Shop & Learn – Take your child to the supermarket, and quiz them alongside shopping. For example- ask them to get 2+2 tomatoes and put them in the cart. You can also ask them to find their favorite snack and get 1 of it for each day. This will encourage them to learn so much while shopping and learning wouldn’t be a challenge this way.
- Play Remember the Numbers – Ask them to write down the phone number of their best friend and memorize it to call them. This way, the child would find a unique way to memorize the number, enhancing their creativity in many folds. Memorizing digits also helps children with numbers and integers in general.
- Using manipulatives can aid in creative learning. These tap the brain’s creative side and help them understand numbers and mathematics in general due to constant and regular practice.
- Parents and caregivers can indulge in daily activities that help the child think more innovatively. Some of the activities are:
- Brainstorming- The child is given a word or a set of words to talk about for a few minutes. One can note down the observations to later see which are the areas that need work.
- Story Building- For this activity, children are made to sit together. The teacher can start with any line with numbers in it like “I went to the market and bought 2 kgs of Apples”. The numbers can be degrees, quantity, time, etc. After telling one line, the next student would continue the story. The catch here is that every line must have numbers in them. For dyscalculics, this element becomes the essence of the activity.
- Story Making- In this, The teacher or the parent has to show 3 pictures out of which one or two pictures will be some numbers and the student has to make a story using those clues. This activity boosts imagination skills while retaining clues in the mind.
- Music, too, is considered a great tool for dyscalculics when it comes to learning and overcoming frustration. Plenty of studies prove that musical training positively influences dyscalculics. This improves their memory and overall grasping and retaining powers.
- Worksheets – Worksheets can be of greater help than books, and these help the students learn in a much more innovative manner.
Dyscalculics are much more than just creative
Besides being creative and artistic, individuals with this learning disability have many other skills that help them with education and later help them learn and grow in life.
- Dyscalculics have great practical ability, which helps them have a great career. This ability is not only constrained to the academics but outside too. Indulging in practical activities can help them profoundly. For instance, taking them shopping and asking them to calculate the prices of two items can encourage them and help them learn simultaneously.
- Apart from this, dyscalculics are considered to be intuitive. This is because they process the knowledge and then end up guessing the answers. This aspect makes them great with spontaneity. Indulging in activities where they need to tell how many dices are there in a box by just glancing at it and later asking them to count and see if their answer was right can be super beneficial for individuals with learning disabilities.
- Dyscalculics are great strategists. Since they have been dealing with their disability for a while and trying to grasp it, they know what to focus on, making them great strategical thinkers. Indulging them in activities like jumping the stairs, where they need to jump a particular number that you tell them, helps them to form a strategy, which also aids in learning.