When a child fails a particular subject, after receiving a sharp rebuke from parents, they end their encouragement with, “maybe you are not just excellent in this subject and can be better in another subject”. I have discovered that words like this, do not only make the child accept failure as a way of life but also deprives the child of knowing his/her real challenge.
Growing up as a child, one of the things I enjoyed doing was writing and reading my books. I had a reading culture; after school hours, I had to write numbers between 1 to 1000 on most days and read my short stories till I fell asleep. It was a good thing, and before age 7, I could stare at the analog clock in the sitting room to tell my mum the time.
While I was doing or I rather say learning all of these, I had friends and classmates who had hard times understanding why 2+2 must be equal to 4.
They had tough times knowing how many biscuits can be bought from #20 and if they shared their candy with their siblings, how many would be left with them.
Growing up, I looked at these friends of mine as dullards or blockhead. I wondered why they could not understand why 10 multiplied by 1 should still remain 10, even though my teacher explained this same table every day. It was bad then, but worse when we had to sing the popular mockery song, “olodo rabata, tileti lo mo je, ore mi kilogba, odo oloju eja”. The song literally means dullard, the only thing you can do is eat your pen or chalk, my friend, tell me what you got, you got zero.
The song was a mockery song that caused so many children pain growing up, some tried to change for the good while some remained in that same block. Just in case this article is giving a reminisce of your childhood in a local setting, I hope it also helps you remember how you feel when you sing this song.
After primary school, we all graduated to secondary school and we changed our desires. We had subjects we loved and those we hated, and one of which maths belonged to.
Have you tried asking yourself why you hated maths so much?
Obviously, it was not because the teacher was harsh or strict, it was because you failed most classwork and assignments and even on days you copy your friends’ answers you still end up writing the wrong solution.
This continued all through junior secondary school and you ended up in an art class because you could neither face the square root of a problem or the challenges of balancing an account.
Have you ever asked yourself what happened to you? Why were you different from the best student in maths?
Though your mum told you not everyone is excellent in maths, you believed in sitting in the comfort of a D, and till date, you still find it hard to understand the difference between fractions and decimals.
Have you ever heard of the word Dyscalculia?
Dyscalculia is difficulty in learning or understanding numbers, or how to manipulate numbers, calculations.
Sufferers of dyscalculia mostly fail mathematics and this commonly seen in children but can persist till adulthood. Dyscalculia is a lifelong condition.
Signs and Symptoms of Dyscalculia
- Difficulty authority mental maths
- Trouble analyzing time
- Difficulty reading an analog clock
- They often count fingers when adding numbers
- Difficulty applying mathematics to the reality of life
- Sufferers hardy recall basic maths
Adults or teenagers with dyscalculia may face frustration and anxiety in class or their job, since they may make silly mistakes in calculations and numbers.
Causes of Dyscalculia
It is a brain-related condition, and it is mostly caused by genetic factors resulting from fetal alcohol syndrome, down syndrome. Research also says that it is hereditary because it could run in the family.
How Do I Help Myself?
- Make use of your fingers, papers or boards to count
- Don’t be too smart to calculate with your mind, you are likely to make mistakes.
- Make use of pictures, visuals, examples like a periodic table, multiplication tables, and four-figure tables.
- Make use of tools like calculators
- Be patient whenever you are answering mathematics questions
- Prayerfully read your books.
For children, parents should take them to the hospital to see a doctor. Most times dyscalculia is associated with ADHD and dyslexia.
This, however, does not mean that everyone who has difficulty with Mathematics is suffering from dyscalculia. It could mean that you aren’t paying as much attention as you should and need to do better. But for some people, this is likely the case. Just ensure you don’t self-diagnose yourself with what you are not.
I hope you learnt something in this article?
Happy first Monday in November, I trust you are getting ahead of your peers.
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