What is the difference between Dyscalculia and Dyspraxia?
As opposed to dyslexia and dysgraphia which are both language-based learning difficulties, dyscalculia has to do with processing numbers. Children with dyscalculia can have trouble performing simple arithmetic. They may not know how to approach a math problem. Sometimes the spatial aspect of balancing equations is tricky, as well as group numbers and performing the right order of operations.
Even counting can be a struggle and it is often recommended that individuals with dyscalculia be allowed to use a calculator to support their learning.
When dyslexia and dyscalculia are present together, reading word problems is made more difficult, and number reversals may be frequent. This can introduce errors in the work and cause a student to get the wrong answer. Dysgraphia and dyscalculia together mean a child often finds showing math work in a long-form particularly difficult to complete.
Writing math symbols may be near impossible, as can certain spatial or graph-oriented aspects of math. Lastly, in dyspraxia and dyscalculia, getting steps in the right order can be a problem.
Dyspraxia is a motor skills difficulty that can also impact academic success. That’s because it affects the planning and coordination of muscles, including those of the hand.
As gripping the pen or pencil in written language production is painful, writing may contain more spelling errors and less text as a result. In cases of verbal dyspraxia/ apraxia of speech, the muscles of the face, mouth, and throat are affected, limiting spoken language production.
People with dyspraxia may also walk with a funny gait, have trouble using a paintbrush in art class, experience difficulties playing a musical instrument, and/or performing coordinated movements in sports. They can be clumsy and might also struggle with organization and tasks that involve planning. Learn more in our articles Helping students who have dyspraxia, and Dyspraxia in adults.