Dyscalculia is a learning disability characterized by difficulty with mathematics.
Disabilities of this type derive from insufficient ability with certain psychological processes such as: difficulties with spatial perception; difficulties with visual perception and recognition of symbols; weak language and communication skills; a short memory; and/or ineffective or inappropriate cognitive learning strategies.
The ability to count, match, compare and understand contexts may be observed in how a child behaves in different games or activities.
For example, a child with difficulties concentrating and focusing is less likely than other children to participate in activities that require focus, accuracy, sorting and matching; and a child who has a motor skill developmental disorder is less likely to participate in spatial activities that show their spatial comprehension and perception of shapes, distances, and quantities.
Therefore children with learning disabilities exhibit a lack of basic skills such as the ability to sort, conserve, match, or create sequences. This creates a sort of vicious cycle, as due to a congenital disability and cognitive difficulties, the child tends to avoid activities that require specific skills, and then this lack of experience with such activities simply increases the difficulties, as the relevant skills are not strengthened or practiced.
Additionally, students with learning disabilities in mathematics are at greater risk to lack verbal strategies, to make errors with regard to spatial-visual perception and memory disorders, and they have difficulty transferring verbal and numerical information into equations and mathematical operations.
These students often use trial and error in solving mathematical problems and have difficulty explaining or demonstrating the solutions.
(Original information was provided by Nitzan)
Medications and the Healthcare System
Diagnosis and Paramedical Treatments
- The health plans cover diagnoses and treatment by a multidisciplinary team at child development facilities for children up to age 9.
- Children up to age 6 are eligible for multidisciplinary treatment for learning disabilities.
- For more information, see:
- Medical Diagnosis for Children (Child Development Services)
- Paramedical Treatments for Children (Child Development Services).
Matriculation Examination (Bagrut) Accommodations
- Students with learning disabilities who have undergone a diagnosis are entitled to take the matriculation examinations under modified conditions. For more information see: Matriculation Examination Accommodations for those with Learning Disabilities. Students from families with financial difficulties may receive funding for the diagnosis from the Ministry of Education.
Psychometric Testing Accommodations
- Students with learning disabilities may take the Psychometric Test under modified conditions if their request is approved. For more information see: Psychometric Testing Accommodations.
Post-Secondary School Accommodations
- Students with learning disabilities are entitled to accommodations with the admissions process for a post-secondary school education, as well as with their studies in institutions of post-secondary education. For more information, see: Accommodations for the Learning Disabled in Institutions of Post-Secondary Education.
- Those with learning disabilities may take the driving theory test orally. For more information, see: Theory Test Accommodations at the Ministry of Vehicle Licensing (Misrad HaRishui).
- Those with learning disabilities are entitled to special accommodations on psychometric testing performed at IDF recruitment offices. For more information, see: IDF Recruitment Office Examination Accommodations.
Certification Examination Accommodations
- Lawyers: Those with a law degree who have undergone their internship and have a diagnosis indicating that they have a learning disability, may apply for special certification examination accommodations from the Israel Bar Association. For more information, see: Bar Association Examination Accommodations for the Learning Disabled.
- Accountants: Those with learning disabilities may apply for examination accommodations from the Board of Certified Public Accountants. For more information, see: Board of Certified Public Accountants Examination Accommodations.
- Nitzan - The Israeli Association for Children and Adults with Learning Disabilities
- Leshem - The Association for the Advancement of Learning Disabled Students in Higher Education in Israel
- Marom - Advancing the Learning Disabled Population
- Push Foundation - Remedial assistance for students from families with financial difficulties
- Talia Trust for Children - Helping learning disabled children from needy families to receive the educational tools essential for them to succeed
- B'Yahad - Parents of Children with ADHD
- The Organization for the Realization of Dyslexic Students' Talents
- Kavim V'Mahshevot - The Association to Promote ADHD Awareness
- Tzori - Supporting individuals with special needs
- The Ministry of Health
- The Ministry of Education - Department of Learning Disabilities and Attention Disorders
- The National Insurance Institute
- The Israel Tax Authority
Laws & Regulations
- The Rights for Students with Learning Disabilities in Higher Education Law
- The Equal Rights for People with Disabilities Law
- Ministry of Health Director Circular 40/2010 - Criteria for diagnosing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in adolescents and adult children
- Ministry of Education Director Circular, December 2003 - Adjustments in the way students are diagnosed with internal and external learning disabilities: in hebrew.
- Wikipedia: Dyscalculia
- Ynet: Article about those suffering from dyscalculia, What causes dyscalculia?
- Prof. Avishai Henik and Dr. Orly Rubinstein: "Neurocognitive aspects of developmental dyscalculia"
- Mispar Hazak 2000", March 2011 issue: Nitza Mark-Zagdoun/Developmental Dyscalculia: Definition, Characteristics, and Didactic Implications
- Dyslexia.co.il: Professional website containing useful information about dyslexia and other learning disabilities
- Original translation performed by The Shira Pransky Project as part of a grant from The Fellowship Fund.