How common are math disabilities?
1% of school age students experience a math disability alone without another associated learning disability
2-7% of school age students experience significant math deficits
As a result of significant difficulties with math learning students may respond with lowered self-efficacy and self-esteem, math anxiety, avoidance behaviors, and exert less effort towards math related tasks.
35-45% of students with learning disabilities drop out of school
There seems to be a co-occurrence of math and reading difficulties suggesting that there may be an underlying memory problem. Difficulties with letter-sound correspondence and word retrieval seem similar to number fact retrieval.
What Causes Learning Disabilities?
Once, scientists thought that all learning disabilities were caused by a single neurological problem. But research supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has helped us see that the causes are more diverse and complex. New evidence seems to show that most learning disabilities do not stem from a single, specific area of the brain, but from difficulties in bringing together information from various brain regions.
Today, a leading theory is that learning disabilities stem from subtle disturbances in brain structures and functions. Some scientists believe that, in many cases, the disturbance begins before birth (NIMH, 1993).
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