How Can I Tell If My Child Has Dyscalculia?
Information for parents
This section contains answers to questions frequently asked by parents. Parents are also encouraged to read the Dyscalculia section (which contains general information about dyscalculia), as well as the Resources section.
How can I tell if my child has dyscalculia?
If your child has persistent difficulties with mathematics, you should suspect dyscalculia, even if your child also has reading problems. You should have your child referred to a school psychologist for an assessment. Assessment should include interviews with you and your child, an IQ test, and mathematics tests.
Do not forget though that you have the right to be informed of results, and that you know your child best. Always ask for a second opinion if in doubt. You should be aware that dyscalculia is less well known than dyslexia, so this makes it hard to diagnose. You may need to be persistent!
What can be done to help?
This depends a lot on where you live and how much government funding there is for treatment of learning disabilities. For example in the U.S., a considerable amount of resources for learning disabilities are provided through schools. In this case, you should work with your school to get your child’s learning disability recognised and get an individual education plan.
In some other countries, very little is provided through the school, and you will have to seek outside help. Sometimes governments pay for this help, other times you will have to pay for it yourself. Usually outside help is from a private clinic or foundation which specialises in assessment and treatment of learning disabilities. In some European countries learning disabilities are "medicalised", and there are assessment centres and therapists in hospitals attached to psychiatry units.
Wherever you seek help, you want to eventually find a trained specialist who is able to assess the learning disability, make up a remediation programme, and work with your child on a one to one or a small group basis.
Reprinted with the permission of Dr. Anna Wilson. © 2007-2008 Dr. Anna Wilson.
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