What is dyscalculia? “Dyscalculia is a specific and persistent difficulty in understanding numbers which can lead to a diverse range of difficulties with mathematics.”
It can only be assessed by specifically qualified assessors, but there are simpler screening tasks which can be performed before doing this.
Screening assessment for dyscalculia
This is a shorter assessment for ages 7-14 years old that incorporates a dyscalculia screener (such as those from GL assessment or Dynamo Maths ) and tests to assess underlying ability, attainment in maths and number sense.
It is important to note that Dyscalculia Screeners are not a full diagnostic assessment. Their purpose is to identify students who are experiencing difficulties known to be associated with dyscalculia that may require further investigation. The results from screeners are not intended to give firm evidence that dyscalculia is identified.
Total time with a pupil is about 1 ½ -2 hours, depending on the student, with rest breaks as needed; there is no rush 🙂
I recently presented a webinar on ‘Screeners for dyscalculia’ which covers a variety of resources and approaches for screening for dyscalculia.
What is involved in a full diagnostic assessment for dyscalculia?
Diagnostic assessment of difficulties in mathematics forms part of an holistic assessment designed to explore the full range of Specific Learning Difficulties and cognitive, medical and environmental factors that may be contributing to difficulties with learning.
Through questionnaires and discussions with the school, child and family, a health and developmental history is taken, including vision, hearing, speech and language, motor skills, an educational history, current situation for literacy and numeracy, maths anxiety and a dyscalculia screener, memory and concentration, social skills, self-esteem and organisation.
Then there are measures of cognition: verbal and non-verbal/ visual abilities, working memory and phonological processing.
Literacy is also assessed in order to gain a holistic profile of the student.
The main focus is then on mathematics, with a specific analysis for number sense.
Because of the amount of assessment which needs to be performed, I assess over two separate sessions.
In the first session, which lasts about 3 hours, I will do the following:
- Tests of underlying ability (verbal and non-verbal) and cognitive processing (working memory, phonological processing- the ability to process the sounds of spoken language- and processing speed) in order to identify strengths and weaknesses within the cognitive profile.
- Tests of literacy (reading, writing, spelling as appropriate) in order to identify strengths and weaknesses within the attainment profile.
- Maths online screener that investigate concept of number.
- One ‘quick’ maths computation test to provide Standardised measures which allow for qualitative analysis (error analysis) of strategies used/difficulties encountered
Second session (approx. 2 hours)
- Tests of mathematics skills in order to identify strengths and weaknesses within the attainment profile, with a focus on number sense
- Arithmetic (+,-, x, ÷) (timed and untimed, in order to differentiate between speed, and ability in untimed conditions)
- Maths reasoning and problem solving
- Word problems (to explore whether the difficulties are language related)
- Speed of recall of maths terms
The total time with a pupil is about 5 hours, depending on the pupil, and is over 2 sessions, with rest breaks as needed – there is no rush 🙂
Bear in mind a specific difficulty may not be found. However, a full report is always provided, with valuable recommendations and strategies.
Screening assessment: £250.00
Full diagnostic assessment (with screening already taken place): £350.00
Full diagnostic assessment (no prior screening): £600.00