How does dyslexia affect math skills?


Quick Answer

According to the International Dyslexia Association, dyslexia harms the ability of students to learn and apply math skills due to the effect of dyslexia on a person's verbal cognitive processes. According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, dyslexia that affects mathematical skills can also be called dyscalculia.

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How does dyslexia affect math skills?
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Full Answer

According to Dr. Rosalind W. Rothman and Dr. Claire Lavin, the inability to recognize written numbers and sequences that are the foundation of most mathematical skills can impact a person's ability to learn more complex mathematical ideas even if those concepts are presented in a way that is easier for students with dyslexia to understand.

Even if a person with dyslexia understands a concept, she may be unable to use association techniques to aid in recalling and applying the concept. For example, Rothman and Lavin explain that although a child with dyslexia may understand the different denominations of coins, she may be unable to recall the names because she cannot visually pair the number and name of the coin.

Rothman and Lavin note that as many functions in mathematics rely on the order of operations for correct application, people with dyslexia may have difficulty processing an equation properly. Much of mathematics also uses similar syntax to languages, and the difficulties that dyslexia presents for language can carry over to mathematical terminology.

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