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What is dyscalculia?

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The word "dyscalculia" means severe difficulty or impairment of the ability to solve mathematical problems, according to Dictionary.com. A person who has dyscalculia struggles with numbers, math facts, math symbols, telling time or counting, explains the Learning Disabilities Foundation of America.

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Symptoms of dyscalculia include difficulty with place value, word problems, sequencing, steps of math operations and fractions, notes the Learning Disabilities Foundation of America. Additional challenges including dealing with money, recognizing patterns, putting language to math processes, words that involve time and organizing numbers. Strategies to help deal with dyscalculia include using graph paper, colored pencils, pictures, mnemonic devices and music.

"Dyscalculia" combines the prefix "dys-," the word "calculate" and the suffix "-ia," states Dictionary.com. "Dys-" originates from the Proto-Indo-European root "dus-" and means bad, ill or abnormal, explains Online Etymology Dictionary. The suffix "-ia" is a Latin and Greek word-forming element that usually names diseases or places. "Calculate" comes from the Late Latin words "calculatus" and "calculare" and means to reckon or compute, according to Dictionary.com.

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