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  • Neuropsychological assessment for dyscalculia

  • Explore the areas of the brain most associated with dyscalculia.

  • Assess the possible presence of cognitive deficits

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The Cognitive Assessment Battery for Dyscalculia (CAB-DC) was created by a group of specialists in psychology and neuropsychology for the detection and diagnosis of dyscalculia.

This tool provides a series of tasks that assess the cognitive level of each user. It is designed to help all healthcare professionals detect the symptoms of dyscalculia. The professional will receive a full report about the cognitive profile of the patient in order to detect possible cognitive deficits.

When the user finishes the assessment, the CogniFit program uses sophisticated algorithms to collect the results and create a computerized report. This report will provide data on each of the measured cognitive skills, using graphs and tables, so both the professional and the user can easily understand the results and see which cognitive skills are most affected by the learning disorder.

Assessment Process

The cognitive assessment for dyscalculia is made up of various blocks of tasks. Each one will assess two or more cognitive skills that may be affected by dyscalculia.

Flowchart
  • Duration: The battery will take about 15-20 minutes to complete.
  • Scoring: Computerized.
  • Audience: Children (6+) and adults.

Adults: 11 questions. It can be completed by the professional responsible for the assessment or by the person being assessed.

  • Memory area: Working memory and short-term memory.
  • Attention area: Focus, divided attention, and naming.
  • Perception area: Recognition.
  • Coordination area: Response time.
  • Reasoning area: Planning and processing speed.

Battery of tasks and tests for the cognitive evaluation for dyscalculia

Concentration Test VISMEM-PLAN

Sequencing Test WOM-ASM

Identification Test COM-NAM

Recognition Test WOM-REST

Speed Test REST-HECOOR

Processing Test REST-INH

Coordination Test HECOOR

Decoding Test VIPER-NAM

Inquiry Test REST-COM

Neuropsychological areas analyzed and their relation to dyscalculia

MEMORY Some of the areas of the brain in a child with dyscalculia are different than the brain of a child without it. These areas are directly related to memory and remembering math information, which is why it's so important to work memory areas.

Working Memory and Dyscalculia:

Assessing working memory will give the professional some information about a possible diagnosis. Working memory is important when learning math concepts and learning how to bring them to an abstract idea. Poor working memory causes difficulty following directions, doing mental math, and even forming complete memories.

Short-Term Memory and Dyscalculia:

Children with dyscalculia have problems when doing math problems like multiplication, where they have to remember multiplication tables. This is one of the reasons why short-term memory is evaluated in the assessment.

ATTENTION: There are various studies that confirm that dyscalculia is associated with ADHD in 32% of cases. Assessing attention is important because it is one of the most important areas used in learning new mathematical ideas.

Focus and Dyscalculia:

For a child with dyscalculia to be able to learn math well, they will need to develop their ability to concentrate and focus. Concentration or focus is the time that a child is able to pay attention to a stimulus without getting distracted. It will be important for the optimal acquisition of math.

Divided Attention and Dyscalculia:

Children with dyscalculia have a hard time giving all their attention to something related to math. When the child lacks motivation to learn, their attention tends to be sporadic and it is difficult for them to focus only on one task.

Naming and Dyscalculia:

Being able to recognize mathematical symbols is linked to being able to name them and describe what they do. Assessing recognition makes it possible for the professional to discard a possible diagnosis.

PERCEPTION: Children with dyscalculia have problems with spatial and visual-motor perception, social and emotional areas, as well as recognition.

Recognition and Dyscalculia:

Children with dyscalculia tend to have problems recognizing and interpreting different facial expressions and non-verbal cues. Once the child is able to learn the language used in math, they have a hard time recognizing it and identifying its meaning.

COORDINATION: Coordination, especially motor coordination, tends to be awkward and clumsy in children with dyscalculia. The problem starts with the connection between the brain and our movements, which is why writing is especially difficult for children with this learning disorder.

Response Time and Dyscalculia:

Children with dyscalculia have difficulties when processing external information and responding to said information, which means that it takes them longer to process information they've seen or heard.

REASONING: Children with dyscalculia have to follow an alternative thinking process than most other children in order to understand the same information. In other words, the way that they understand the world, specifically the mathematical world, is different than others.

Planning and Dyscalculia:

As children with dyscalculia will have trouble understanding and doing math problems, planning and motivation will also be hard for them. Just doing homework requires planning and following a routine, which implies concentration and memory at the same time

Processing Speed and Dyscalculia:

References

Horowitz-Kraus T, Breznitz Z. - Can the error detection mechanism benefit from training the working memory? A comparison between dyslexics and controls- an ERP study - PLoS ONE 2009; 4:7141.

Peretz C, Korczyn AD, Shatil E, Aharonson V, Birnboim S, Giladi N. - Computer-Based, Personalized Cognitive Training versus Classical Computer Games: A Randomized Double-Blind Prospective Trial of Cognitive Stimulation - Neuroepidemiology 2011; 36:91-9.

Thompson HJ, Demiris G, Rue T, Shatil E, Wilamowska K, Zaslavsky O, Reeder B. - Telemedicine Journal and E-health Date and Volume: 2011 Dec;17(10):794-800. Epub 2011 Oct 19.

Preiss M, Shatil E, Cermakova R, Cimermannova D, Flesher I (2013) Personalized cognitive training in unipolar and bipolar disorder: a study of cognitive functioning. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00108.

Conners, C. K. (1989). Manual for Conners’ rating scales. North Tonawanda, NY: Multi-Health Systems.

Wechsler, D. (1945). A standardized memory scale for clinical use. The Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied, 19(1), 87-95

ombaugh, T. N. (1996). Test of memory malingering: TOMM. North Tonawanda, NY: Multi-Health Systems.

Stroop, J. R (1935). Studies of interference in serial verbal reactions. Journal of experimental psychology, 18(6), 643.

Hooper, E. H. (1983). Hooper visual organization test (VOT).

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