# Blog

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Dyscalculia

## 1. Validation of the NumberSenseMMR™ Framework

he consistency of the Dynamo Maths framework was conducted independently by the University of Oxford and led by Dr. Ann Dowker (2016).

The study used the assessment data collected from 3465 students in 368 schools across England, Wales, Scotland and Europe (English-speaking schools using the UK curriculum).

The correlation analysis was carried out on the assessment data that was grouped into Number Meaning, Number Magnitude and Number Relationship components (Visual Numbers, counting through to Multiplication) by adding scores.

The data was analysed from ages 7 through to 11, to avoid the influence of too many small and diverse age groups.

The analysis showed all the components in the NumberSenseMMR™ framework correlated significantly at (p < 001) with one another.

The analysis shown in the table below showed Number Magnitude was a highly significant independent predictor (beta = 0.313; t = 12.92; p < 0.001).

Similarly, Number Meaning (beta = 0.091; t = 3.784; p < 0.001) was also a significant independent predictor and Age was also significant (beta = 0.48; t = 2.46; p < 0.014).

Arguably, Age could be excluded from the multiple regression analysis as the data did not contain a truly continuous age variable

The ANOVA analysis in Table 2 shows participant variance analysis with Age as the factor and the Number Meaning, Number Magnitude and Number Relationship components as the dependent variables.

The analysis showed that there was high significant effect of Age on Number Meaning score (F(4,2381) = 13.26; p = 0.001). The mean scores were 18.65 (s.d 2.113) for 7-year-olds; 18.99 (s.d 1.76) for 8-year-olds; 19.3 (s.d 1.39) for 9-year-olds; 14.038 (s.d 5.198) for 10-year-olds; and 14.54 (s.d 1.66) for 11-year-olds.

The Tamhane2 post hoc tests showed that there were no significant differences between 7- and 8-year-olds, 8- and 9-year-olds, 9- and 10-year-olds or 9- and 11-year-olds or 10-and 11-year-olds; but there were highly significant differences between 7- and 9-year-olds, 7- and 10-year-olds, 7- and 11-year-olds, 8- and 10-year-olds, 9- and 10-year-olds and 9- and 11-year-olds. All significant differences were in the direction of older pupils scoring higher.

The analysis showed that there was high significant effect of Age on Number Magnitude score (F(4,2381) = 24.467; p = 0.001). The mean scores were 12.18 (s.d 4.74) for 7-year-olds; 11.78 (s.d 4.75) for 8-year-olds; 12.87 (s.d 5.177) for 9-year-olds; 14.038 (s.d 6.63) for 10-year-olds; and 14.54 (s.d 5.48) for 11-year-olds.

Dyscalculia

## 3. How to do Intervention

#### The Program Overview

Dynamo Maths aims to support pupils at risk of developmental dyscalculia and pupils performing significantly below their peers in maths.

The program uses a graduated approach as recommended by the SEND Code of Practice using four important stages:

 Assess Plan Intervene Review

The assessment drives the intervention and delivers:

• an individualised Number Sense Developmental Profile
• an Individualised Support Plan
• Scheme of Work signposted to a purposeful intervention
• standardised score and percentile rank

The easy-to-use process and layout mean that teachers, parents and specialists can follow the seamless approach from assessment to intervention. The personalisation feature offers a Global Intervention Pathway based on the assessment recommendations and this pathway can then be auto-customised.

Irrespective of the pupil’s diagnosis and prognosis, the assessment unfolds the pupil’s individual Number Sense Developmental Profile based on their unique neuro-diverse profile.

The assessment provides a Number Sense Developmental Profile that identifies if the pupil is at risk of developmental dyscalculia or maths developmental delays and informs of the specific areas of strengths and needs.

This profile is supported by an Individual Support Plan that pinpoints the small-step areas of development. These areas of development are signposted to Dynamo Intervention.

The Class Report provides a quick glance at the entire class or group and gives the teacher a snapshot of the pupils’ assessment status and progress over time.

Standardised score and percentile rank are also included. The percentile rank describes the pupil’s rank or position when compared to other pupils who are of the same age.

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## 4. How to do Intervention-test 2 colums

Now you are ready for intervention

Personalise

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Dyscalculia

## 5. What is dyscalculia

#### What is Dyscalculia?

Pronounced DIS-KAL-KOOL-EE-AH, ‘dyscalculia’ comes from Greek and Latin and means ‘counting badly’.

Developmental Dyscalculia is a specific learning disorder that affects 5-6% of the school population. This small group of pupils work significantly below their peers in maths and are therefore not making age-appropriate progress. They process numbers differently from their typically developing peers and use a wide range of approaches: inefficient and laborious methods, rely on using their fingers whilst counting, unable to tell which of two numbers is larger, have difficulty estimating and use uneconomical methods to solve problems. No two children with developmental dyscalculia present the same profile of strengths and needs. Students with developmental dyscalculia show difficulties in the acquisition of core foundational number skills. It is therefore important to identify their Specific areas of Learning Difficulties (SpLD) so that a targeted and intentional intervention can be offered.

The developmental building blocks of acquiring, recalling and applying numbers in their symbolic and non-symbolic forms requires the efficient coordination of numerous cognitive and sensory pathways involved in supporting number development: working memory, auditory and visual processing, attention and visuospatial perception. Furthermore, pupils who present deficits or lesions within their cognitive and sensory systems find that this interferes with processing numbers.

Developmental Dyscalculia is often encountered in a variety of neurological and co-occurring disorders such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), developmental language disorders, dyslexia, epilepsy, and Fragile X syndrome. It is also prevalent with other biological conditions including Williams Syndrome, Autism, Turners Syndrome, Duchenne Muscular dystrophy, DiGeorge syndrome and foetal alcohol syndrome.

The process of supporting pupils with this condition requires great effort, patience and time, since their difficulties are developmentally mediated and are reliant on the their developmental history rather than a topic.

A pupil with pure dyscalculia presents their difficulties exclusively in processing numbers whilst in other subject areas they work like typically developing students.

It is important to differentiate dyscalculia from developmental dyscalculia and maths developmental delays. Environmental deprivation, poor teaching or a curriculum that is moving too rapidly may lead to maths developmental delays.

Dyscalculia can arise as a result of a stroke or an injury and is known as acquired dyscalculia. Neuroscience research suggests that dyscalculic individuals have a specific neural deficiency in the intraparietal sulcus part of the brain and the cells in that part of the sulcus are either weak or damaged (Butterworth, 2012).

Research indicates that the acquisition, recall and application of arithmetic is both domain specific and domain general.

Dynamo Maths’s focus is on supporting pupils with developmental dyscalculia. Dynamo Assessment’s strength lies in differentiating pupils with developmental dyscalculia from those with maths developmental delays using the researched and validated NumberSenseMMR™ framework.

A label of developmental or maths developmental delays serves no purpose if the pupil cannot be supported. Dynamo Assessment offers signposts to Dynamo Intervention and a trained interventionist can re-position the pupil’s number sense development and build arithmetical capacity.