A disorder that impairs math skills, dyscalculia, has been described as the poor cousin of dyslexia, even though their occurrence rate is roughly similar.
How poor a cousin? Since 2002, the NIH has spent $107.2 million on dyslexia research, but only $2.3 million on dyscalculia, according to Brian Butterworth, MD, from Melbourne University in Australia, and colleagues.
Dyscalculia is characterized by a reduced ability for understanding numerosities (the number of things in a set) and matching number symbols to number magnitudes. Functional brain imaging shows that children with the disorder do not use their intraparietal sulci as much as those who don’t have the disorder.
Help is on the way with apps for handheld devices targeted to remediate math deficits, according to Butterworth’s overview published in Science. These apps could reduce the demand for expensive, specially trained teachers in the future, researchers noted.
But public recognition of the disorder will be the first step for improving the prospects of those who suffer with dyscalculia, they said.
Read more at: Medical News
6th June 2011