Definition of disability:
Mathematics comprehension is a disability that involves a wide range of difficulty in dealing with numbers and number processes. The word for this problem would be Dyscalculia, which is an innate difficulty in learning or comprehending mathematics. This includes more specific problems such as understanding numbers, number manipulation, and difficulty learning math facts.
There are several agencies who have researched the prevalence of this problem and the general consensus is that it is between 1 and 7 percent of the total population.
There are a number of characteristics for this problem because math has so many operations, rules, and concepts. Here are the main ones.
· Difficulties with arithmetic operations, confusing operation signs.
· Difficulty with estimation.
· Difficulty with math tables.
· Difficulty telling and dealing with time.
· Unable to grasp or remember math concepts.
· Struggle with formulas but not with logic.
· Problems differentiating between left and right.
· Inability to read number sequences.
· Transposing numbers (Switching orders similar to dyslexia in reading)
· Difficulty with sequential processing both physical and abstract.
How is it identified and what are the assessments?
· When a child exhibits one or more of the characteristics. This could be in a school or home setting. Once these characteristics are noticed a more in depth process can begin to determine the problem and its extent.
· General tests and standardized tests can be used as well but only give a general idea of the specific problem.
· Specific tests such as the ones listed below
o “Tests for Dyscalculia” by Tony Attwood, First and Best in Education, Ltd.- general comparative tests used to help identify areas of difficulty to allow for remediation planning
o On-line diagnosis: The diagnosis does not carry official status, but you can obtain a letter of diagnosis, cost of $550.
o Dyscalculia Screener:
· One on one testing or interview of the child using multiple strategies covering a wide range of concepts.

How do these learners receive their education?
Many times students who struggle in math do fine in the other academic areas. Most of their education should be in the inclusive setting. However of the problems in math are severe enough they may be required to have personal one on one tutoring outside of the classroom. They also may need to do extra practice and work at home to keep reinforcing the concepts they are struggling with and to reinforce the basics that are used to build on.
Educational strategies and Accommodations for curriculum instruction:
· One on one tutoring.
· Teach vital concepts to mastery before moving on.
· Use a variety of approaches for memorizing content.
· Encourage visualization and verbalization of problems.
· Provide an ideal learning environment.
· Use technology for basic problem solving so student can focus on concepts.
· Use games and technology to make learning fun and interesting.
· Be patient and allow extra time for work and tests.
· Use strategies to help organize work such as color coding and graph paper.
· The use of concrete, semi concrete and abstract instructional strategies.
Inclusive Practices:
Children with this disability should be included in the regular classroom as much as possible including their math class. One of the greatest setbacks to kids who struggle with math is their self esteem. If they are included in the regular classroom for every class except math it can lead to feelings of incompetence in that area. Frustration in math is a major setback and needs to be avoided at all cost. Assistive devices, peer tutoring, and a modified curriculum are all ways in which the student can still attend normal call but receive the appropriate work and help that is needed.
Severity or extent in youngsters:
Math has always been a harder class for many students and to be bad at math was an accepted excuse for failure. It is tough to calculate the severity of the problems in math because of external circumstances such as previous education, motivation, study habits, home life etc. Dyscalculia is diagnosed when a student of average to above average intelligence is performing two or more grade level below where they should be. The most severe case is total dyscalculia where a child cannot master any math concepts whatsoever to the much more common mild cases where a student struggles with certain areas of math.

Challenges for general education:
· Time involved in planning for and implementing strategies.
· Can disrupt the normal flow of the class.
· There may need to be an aid or tutor present help student.
Accommodations and Assistive Technology:
· Computer programs that can instruct and reinforce vital concepts.
· Calculators and other math solving devices.
· Online tutoring and math instruction.
· Computer games that deal with specific concepts.
· Computer assessments to analyze level of comprehension and progress.
Is this a school issue or a life issue?
This is an issue in both of these areas. It is a school issue because it is one of the core subjects and is needed for success in multiple areas. It is a life issue because so many every day activities involve math processes. Without math as a life skill a person is limited to what they can do.
How does this affect the home?
If a child struggles in school it affects the home. Many times parents feel inadequate in helping their kids with math and this only adds to the problem. If a parent is able to help their children it can be very time consuming.
What can you do?
· Make sure that your students are being successful in math and if they are struggling determine the cause.
· Acquire the proper resources and materials to begin remediation.
· Constantly monitor and assess student’s progress.
What can you do to support parents?
· Communication with parents is essential.
· Provide resources for parents to help their child.
· Involve parents in developing strategies and implementing them.