Dyscalculia is a broad term for difficulty in understanding numbers, arithmetic and mathematics. It is different than 'I am not good at math', people with dyscalculia have difficulty with counting and adding, understanding patterns - when you should add, when to subtract - and even telling time.
In the wild world of epidemiology, there has been conjecture that being a pre-term baby was a risk factor for dyscalculia, because being pre-term children has also been linked to other cognitive deficits.
New research has concluded that pre-term children do not suffer from dyscalculia more often than healthy full term children. Dr. Julia Jäkel, a developmental psychologist from Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum, and colleague Professor Dieter Wolke from the University of Warwick, refute previous studies on the topic. Unlike other studies, the researchers took the children’s IQ into consideration. Obviously using an intelligent quotient based on beliefs from the 1920s opens up the new paper to its own criticisms but this was to control for children with other cognitive disabilities.
© RUBIN, photo: Nelle
In order to assess specific mathematics deficiencies, children in Germany undergo a number of tests. If their result falls below a specific cut off value in maths, whilst their general cognitive skills (IQ) are normal, the diagnosis is “maths learning disorder” or “dyscalculia”.
The authors analyzed cognitive abilities of children born between 23 and 41 weeks gestation. In doing so, they covered the entire spectrum, ranging from extremely preterm to healthy term born infants. For this purpose, they used data of the Bavarian Longitudinal Study, which has been following a birth cohort from the late 80s until today.
But because preterm children may have general cognitive problems, they are impossible to be diagnosed with current criteria; consequently, they do not receive the required tuition in maths. Jäkel rgues for internationally standardized criteria which would allow diagnosing dyscalculia in children with mild cognitive impairments.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Sexual Fantasies: Threesomes Are Normal, Golden Showers Not So Much
- Ghost Light From Dead Galaxies - A Hubble Halloween
- US Wildlife Bans On GMOs And Neonics Lack Transparency And Scientific Rationale
- Mediterranean Diet Linked To Better Kidney Health
- Greenpeace Says Its GMOs Are Better Than Science's GMOs, Still Hates Golden Rice
- Does Max Tegmark Kill A Daughter In A Parallel World ?
- Game Theory: When Are Groups Social? Or Insufferable?
- "This is most interesting. The structures seem geometrically very similar to the screw dislocations..."
- "well, since Soylent Green is people, that probably explains it...."
- "*Low* out-of-pocket payments for health care is precisely why health care is so expensive. Approximately..."
- "Always love reading your articles Hank :) and any knowledgeable person about science knows what..."
- "Ah - sorry, but regardless that this may be taken as disdain again by you, you seem to simply have..."
- Downside to GMOs: Yields have become so good, they exceed processing capacity
- Anti-GMO bungle: Claim GM genes pass from food into blood collapses
- GLP Infographic: Is labeling GMOs really about our “Right to Know”?
- Biology of politics: Brain scans can identify your political beliefs?
- Spontaneous mutations and the genetic mysteries of autism
- Battle of Britain: NGOs and scientists clash over proposal to loosen EU GMO restrictions