Before we get into the nitty gritty of finding out whether Dyslexia and Dyscalculia co- exist, let’s brief up on what Dyslexia and Dyscalculia really are. Dyslexia is formally known as a learning disorder that affects a child’s ability to read, write, speak and spell. For example, the word C-A-T might spell out for a kid with Dyslexia as T-A-C. Dyscalculia, however, is a disability that makes it difficult for a student to learn arithmetic, such as difficulties understanding numbers, manipulating numbers, or performing mathematical calculations. For example, a basic mathematical concept of knowing that 6 is bigger than 5 can be difficult for a child with Dyscalculia to understand.
Now, it’s important to know that dyslexia is a more widely used term compared to Dyscalculia, which may be why many of the times, dyscalculia may be misnamed as “Math Dyslexia ”, which is very inaccurate as it is not an actual kind of Dyslexia, it is like, Dyslexia from a family of learning difficulties.
To give a simpler answer to this, There is much research that proves children who struggle to read and write, oftentimes will struggle with math and understanding numbers. Both disorders are neurobiologically based, they both relate to specific difficulties in learning and mastering a certain skill which would often overlap each other. So it is definitely not uncommon to see children having both Dyslexia and Dyscalculia.
Dyslexia can affect a child’s mathematical performance, as not just math but many academic subjects require some level of reading and writing, which for a child with Dyslexia may have a hard time doing so.
On the other hand, there are also situations where children can be dyslexic without having dyscalculia. Unlike Dyslexia, children with Dyscalculia struggle in understanding the concepts of arithmetics like patterns, values, comparisons, etc. This is the major difference between children with Dyscalculia and those with Dyslexia. Children with dyslexia flip numbers, put numbers in the wrong order, and misread arithmetic symbols. They have trouble reading, however, they do gain a conceptual understanding and may be able to recognize broader patterns in math that a typical student cannot. The conceptual understanding of arithmetic calculations is not a problem for them. Beethoven and Einstein are two examples that have dyslexia but possess impeccable mathematical abilities.
In order to start an effective treatment program, it is critical to identify whether the child has Dyslexia or Dyscalculia. For dyslexia, it is the language and reading shortcomings that need addressing, while dyscalculia needs a completely different approach.
You Can Also Read: What are the causes of Dyslexia?
To find out more information about whether your child may have Dyslexia and Dyscalculia, Contact Dr. Anupma Sethi at +1-669-900-2315.