Sunday, July 31, 2011

Testing and Diagnosis of Dyscalculia

Chinn & Ashcroft in their book Mathematics for Dyslexics (Including Dyscalculia) listed the reasons why testing and diagnosis for Dyscalculia maybe necessary:

1. Parents may wish to know how their child’s achievements compare with those of his peers.
A teacher may wish to monitor the progress of his or her group, identify those who need extra help, or collect data with which to stream groups
2. There may be a need to measure rates of progress of an individual or a group
3. There may be some mandatory requirement to test
4. The test may be used to assess the ability of the child to progress
5. The test may be used to obtain information for identifying and providing for a pupil’s special needs
6. The test may be used to award a certificate that records a level of achievement (for example, GCSE or a Key stage)
7. It may be used for diagnostic reasons (for example, to find the child’s strengths, weakness, knowledge base and learning style)

Currently, there is one available Dyscalculia Screener from UK called the Brian Butterworth Dyscalculia Screening test. This dyscalculia Screener is a unique, computer-based assessment that indicates dyscalculic tendencies by measuring pupils' response times as well as the accuracy of their answers.

Author: Brian Butterworth

Level: This assessment has been standardised with ages 6 to 14 and, as such, will provide most accurate evidence within that age range. However, its focus is primarily on the profile of scores and so it may also prove useful as an initial exploratory assessment of low-attaining students at older ages.

B. Structure of the Diagnostic Pool

The test structure includes the following components:
a. a norm-based test
b. counting/adding on tasks and number bonds
c. times-table facts
d. place-value tasks
e. mathematics language
f. the four operations
g. money
h. word problems
i. attitude/anxiety/attribution
j. a thinking style test


Chinn, S & Ashcroft, R. (2007) Mathematics for Dyslexics (Including Dyscalculia).
West Sussex, England. John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Dyscalculia Screener. Retrieved from

Hannell, G. (2005) Dyscalculia (Action Plans for Successful Learning in
Mathematics). London.

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