Math and Dyslexia

It's Dyslexia Awareness Week 

It's the perfect time to take a look at initiatives that focus on empowering people with dyslexia.

 After all, more than one in ten of us are dyslexic.

Dyslexia and Math Difficulties

Dyslexia and Math Difficulties

Students with dyslexia have been identified as having Math Difficulties because of their developmental differences. Find out the Dyslexia Basics here.

Dyslexia “has a genetic base” that affects individuals neurologically, which means that these students

require specific and extensive instruction

Unfortunately, dyslexic students are typically characterized as having a learning deficit. 

This is not true. 

In fact, these students are not lacking in skills: they simply learn differently than other students and tend to actually be gifted and productive students. 

Gavin Reid puts it best in his book Dyslexia by indicating that individuals must “view dyslexia as a difference rather than a deficit . . ., a difference in how the child processes information”. Dyslexic students can have trouble processing information at any or all of the three levels of processing.

Difficulty at any of these levels affects all aspects of learning, not just language-based courses. Although students with dyslexia can be successful at math, they are likely to have difficulties with numeracy.

For example, students with dyslexia habitually take instructions literally, which is a difficulty with input that can affect cognition and output.

Although dyslexia is seen to be a language-based problem, it can greatly affect math because of the variety of symbols used—namely words, numerals, and operational symbols. 

Not only do dyslexics have to make sense of words, they must also decipher two other forms of symbols and make sense of all three within the same problem! For this reason, dyslexics regularly require more time to complete assignments. Students with dyslexia take, on average, 50 percent more time than their peers to complete the same problems.

 Although not a Math Learning Disability, dyslexia can have a significant impact on an individual’s achievement in math.