1 Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (SPAIN)
2 Clinica Corachan (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN23 Proceedings
Publication year: 2023
Pages: 1-6
ISBN: 978-84-09-52151-7
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2023.0004
Conference name: 15th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2023
Location: Palma, Spain
The different learning disorders have their origin in specific neuronal regions. Although they are different, they are interrelated and can cause different degrees of anxiety. More precisely, students with learning disorders have a higher risk of developing depression and social isolation than their peers without similar problems and often have anxiety disorders, phobias, and negative thinking.
Among the different types of anxiety that a person can feel is the one known as math anxiety, which is defined as a negative emotion generated by the prospect of facing a task that involves mathematics. It is characterized by tension and fear that interfere with the performance of mathematics-related tasks.
Math anxiety, although not always, can be caused by dyscalculia learning difficulty. In cases where this difficulty exists, it is impossible to eliminate the anxiety if it is not adequately diagnosed and treated.
People with dyscalculia have difficulty attaining a good knowledge of mathematics despite having a normal or even higher than average IQ. This difficulty affects all aspects of life, causing different degrees of anxiety in many cases.
Unlike other learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, dyscalculia is challenging to diagnose. One possible reason for this difference is that there is less knowledge on the part of teachers, making it difficult for them to identify cases of dyscalculia.
The objective of this work is to present a method for detecting dyscalculia as a possible cause of anxiety and thus be able to reduce it and, if possible, suppress it; in addition, the detection of this dysfunction will allow us to proceed with the appropriate treatment to overcome it or even eliminate it.

The method consists of doing a test, which should be routinely realized at school, indicating possible alterations in the learning of mathematics, specifically dyscalculia. Next, in possible cases, it is essential to carry out evoked potential (BAEP) tests to conclude the diagnosis and, in case of confirmation of the difficulty, to be able to start the programs with the appropriate intervention student.
The intervention plan for math anxiety must be personalized for each case. First, it is necessary to organize activities that help the child build their work routines after planning cognitive stimulation exercises focused on numerical activities whose theme includes the child's interests must be used. Likewise, promoting self-esteem and providing motivational strategies to face fears and abandon avoidance behaviors is essential.
The method and the intervention plan have been proved to students of Dominiques Vallirana School, who showed anxiety towards mathematics that we could detect and suffer from dyscalculia, so our proposal has been applied. The results obtained have been very positive. Their anxiety and self-esteem have decreased, and they are getting better grades in mathematics and all areas.
However, they must maintain the routine and continue adapting exercises to consolidate the results.
Anxiety, Dyscalculia, Neuroscience.