Math disability tied to bad number sense

Problems estimating quantities may underlie arithmetic cluelessness

By Bruce Bower, 15:14 PM June 24, 2011

Math doesn’t add up for some kids, and a weak number sense may be partly to blame.

An evolutionarily ancient ability to estimate quantities takes a big hit in children with severe, instruction-resistant math difficulties, say psychologist Michèle Mazzocco of the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University and her colleagues.

In contrast, below-average, average and superior math students estimate amounts comparably well, the researchers report in a paper published online June 16 ...

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