How Motor Skills Are Affected In Dyscalculia?

Last Updated on October 8, 2022 by Editorial Team

Dyscalculia is a learning disability wherein one finds numbers and mathematics challenging. On the other hand, motor skills are our general movements and actions that we perform continuously. So, how are they related to each other, you may ask! 

The answer is in the roots. 

Dyscalculia is something that is caused due to a nerve issue in the parietal lobe of the brain. The same part is responsible for the movement coordination of the body. So, as a result, a child with Dyscalculia can constrain themselves from writing—which is a motor skill. Thus, it is established that motor skills are likely to be affected in Dyscalculia.

This post includes the most common motor skills which are affected by Dyscalculia and ways to enhance them.

Motor skills & dyscalculia

Dyscalculia is a learning disorder where the main challenge is remembering numbers and dealing with arithmetical problems. In certain cases, learning, in general, also becomes a plight. It is also observed that motor skills usually take a hit. 

We need the perfect coordination between our brain, muscles, and the nervous system to perform a motor skill demanding task. However, Dyscalculia affects the brain and thus hinders motor intelligence.

How does dyscalculia affect motor skills? 

Dyscalculia can be a result of genes or heredity. The primary functions of the parietal lobe in the brain are information processing, speech, and movement coordination. Having a learning disability like Dyscalculia suggests that the parietal lobe is not healthy, which also indicates that the movement coordination would also suffer.

However, motor skills like standing, sitting, holding a pencil, etc., might not be compromised. Nonetheless, there can be certain motor skills that are affected due to this learning disability.

Which motor skills can be affected due to dyscalculia?

Dyscalculia has been found to directly affect a few motor skills of an ailing individual.. Some of which are:

1. Handwriting 

Handwriting is a crucial motor skill and is required by an individual throughout his life. People with Dyscalculia may have unbalanced handwriting motor skills because they are often confused between orientations, understandings of concepts, and their learning ability is often compromised. Due to this, having neat handwriting often becomes a challenge with Dyscalculia. However, there are tons of ways in which an individual can improve their handwriting. 

2. Note-taking

Since Dyscalculia is a learning disability, comprehending audio and visual mediums together becomes a task quite a lot of times. That is why dyscalculics are often not able to take notes because listening and writing simultaneously become difficult.

3. Memorizing

Memorizing is a crucial motor skill; but, in individuals with dyscalculia, the memorizing power is affected because they cannot retain facts, figures, etc.

4. Organizing

Organizing is all about putting things in sequence. Since individuals with this learning disability cannot put things in order and sequence well, they often miss out on steps; therefore, shelving or arranging becomes a problem for them.

5. Visual Processing

Often, individuals suffering from Lexical Dyscalculia are unable to read and comprehend mathematical expressions, symbols, and even basic numbers. A lot of times, the visual processing function is hampered. In addition, due to this learning disability, the individual’s overall reading and visual processing ability are also affected in many cases. But, there are plenty of activities that focus on improving visual processing skills. 

6. Phonological Difficulties

It does not happen with all the people who have Dyscalculia but might happen in some cases such as when the child is not able to understand the speech rules, and the sound systems. For example, the ‘R’ in ‘car’ can be pronounced correctly, but the ‘R’ in some other word might be mispronounced, as the child is not able to grasp and retain the phonic sound of the ‘R’.

7. Time Management

A peculiar challenge that most dyscalculics face is that they are not able to estimate time a particular task would take which makes managing time difficult. They lack the ability to understand digits, calculate promptly, remember dates, times,and even appointments. Due to this, time management becomes a task for them in most cases. 

Since dyscalculia does not hamper and affect all motor skills, there can be ways to revamp oneself and master motor skills, no matter what they are.

Tips to improve motor skills in dyscalculia

Certain motor skills might be compromised due to learning disabilities, but, following practical and effective tips can help out dyscalculics in a great way. You can find a lot of activities for dyscalculia here.

1. Play mathematical games

Play mathematical games

There is a fine relation between numbers and motor skills. Playing games where children are required to count on their fingers can impact motor skills positively. This can work for adults too.

2. Encouraging outdoor activities and games

Encouraging outdoor activities and games

Indulging in outdoor games and activities can improve motor skills. Outdoor games like running, jumping, or any sport can be a great way to improve gross motor skills.

3. Making time for fine activities

Indoor activities can improve fine motor skills too. These activities may include drawing and painting, cutting with scissors, and much more. Fine motor skills involve making precise and smaller movements, which are usually a challenge for dyscalculics.

Summing up,

No matter what effect Dyscalculia has on motor skills, persistent effort and practice can help you sail through. Since most of the motor skills are learned at the age of 3-5, training them at this age becomes imperative. Constant practice can still help you master motor skills, which might seem impossible at first. These above-mentioned activities, when practiced avidly, can help you build, grasp, and retain the skills naturally.

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