Vol. 12 nº 3 - Jul/Aug/Set de 2018
Original Article Páginas: 256 a 263

Heterogeneity of math difficulties and its implications for interventions in multiplication skills

Authors Mariuche Rodrigues de Almeida Gomides1-3; Gizele Alves Martins2,3; Isabela Starling Alves3,4; Annelise Júlio-Costa2,3; Antônio Jaeger1,2,5,6; Vitor Geraldi Haase1-3,5-7


keywords: multiplication, intervention, learning disabilities, dyscalculia.

Math learning disability (MLD) is a heterogeneous condition characterized by severe and persistent difficulties in learning math, including difficulties in learning multiplication facts.
OBJECTIVE: In this article, we compared the responses of two MLD children to multiplication facts training.
METHODS: One of the children was a 9 year-old girl (HV) who presented mild math difficulties associated with lower accuracy of the Approximate Number System (ANS). The other was an 11 year-old boy (GA) who presented severe math difficulties related to impaired phonological processing due to developmental dyslexia. Both children underwent an intervention for multiplication, comprising conceptual instructions and retrieval practice of the times table.
RESULTS: HV's accuracy and response speed improved consistently on both training tasks, while GA's accuracy improved on the Simple Calculation Task only. Error analyses indicated that, after training, HV produced fewer errors of the type "close miss", and GA produced less omission but more operand errors.
CONCLUSION: We argue that these differences between their responses to the training tasks were caused by differences in the mechanisms underlying their math difficulties. These results support the notion that individual specificities regarding math disabilities should be taken into account during preparation of training interventions.


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