The Nature and Origins of Mathematical Learning Difficulties and Disabilities
Why Is Math So Hard For Some Children?
Special Education
This landmark resource gives educational decision–makers and researchers theoretical and practical insight into mathematical learning difficulties and disabilities, combining diverse perspectives from fields such as special education, developmental psychology, and cognitive neuroscience. Readers will get the foundation of knowledge they need to advance research, teaching strategies, and policies—and begin developing appropriate practices that really help students improve their math skills.
68646 978-1-55766-864-6
2007 488
Available Stock

Why Is Math So Hard for Some Children? is the first definitive research volume that explores the evidence base for students' difficulties with mathematics. This landmark resource gives educational decision makers and researchers in-depth theoretical and practical insight into mathematical learning difficulties and disabilities, combining diverse perspectives from fields such as special education, educational psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and behavioral genetics. More than 35 internationally known contributors share their expertise on

  • indicators of mathematical difficulties and disabilities
  • risk factors for poor mathematics outcomes
  • connections between mathematics and reading disabilities
  • neuropsychological factors in mathematical learning disabilities
  • information processing deficits
  • individual difference factors in mathematics difficulties
  • math anxiety
  • the role of genetics
  • effective instructional interventions

Comprehensive and multidisciplinary, this book gives readers the foundation they need to advance research, teaching strategies, and policies that identify struggling students and help put them on the path to stronger math skills.

About the Editors
About the Contributors
Foreword: The Birth of a New Discipline
Robert S. Siegler

I. Characterizing Learning Disabilities in Mathematics
  1. Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Mathematics Learning Disabilities
    Russell Gersten, Ben Clarke, & Michèle M.M. Mazzocco

  2. Defining and Differentiating Mathematical Learning Disabilities and Difficulties
    Michèle M.M. Mazzocco

  3. Prevalence of Developmental Dyscalculia
    Ruth S. Shalev

II. Cognitive and Information Processing Features
  1. Information Processing Deficits in Dyscalculia
    Brian Butterworth & Vivian Reigosa

  2. Strategy Use, Long-Term Memory, and Working Memory Capacity
    David C. Geary, Mary K. Hoard, Lara Nugent, & Jennifer Byrd-Craven

  3. Do Words Count? Connections Between Mathematics and Reading Difficulties
    Nancy C. Jordan

  4. Fraction Skills and Proportional Reasoning
    Steven A. Hecht, Kevin J. Vagi, & Joseph K. Torgesen

    Commentary on Part I, Section II: Cognitive Aspects of Math Disabilities
    H. Lee Swanson

Section III: Neuropsychological Factors
  1. Mathematical Development in Children with Specific Language Impairments
    Chris Donlan

  2. The Contribution of Syndrome Research to Understanding Mathematics Learning Disability: The Case of Fragile X and Turner Syndromes
    Michèle M. M. Mazzocco, Melissa M. Murphy, & Michael McCloskey

  3. Mathematical Disabilities in Congenital and Acquired Neurodevelopmental Disorders
    Marcia A. Barnes, Jack M. Fletcher, & Linda Ewing-Cobbs

  4. Math Performance of Students with ADHD: Cognitive and Behavioral Contributors and Interventions
    Sydney S. Zentall

  5. Neuropsychological Case Studies on Arithmetic Processing
    Laura Zamarian, Alex López-Rolón, & Margarete Delazer

  6. Commentary on Part II, Section III: Neuropsychological Factors
    Rebecca Bull

IV. Neurobiological and Genetic Substrates
  1. Neuroanatomical Approaches to the Study of Mathematical Ability and Disability
    Tony J. Simon and Susan M. Rivera

  2. Quantitative Genetics and Mathematical Abilities/Disabilities
    Stephen A. Petrill and Robert Plomin

V. Additional Influences on Mathematical Difficulties
  1. Is Math Anxiety a Mathematical Learning Disability?
    Mark H. Ashcraft, Jeremy A. Krause, & Derek R. Hopko

  2. Influences of Gender, Ethnicity, and Motivation on Mathematical Performance
    James M. Royer & Rena Walles

VI. Instructional Interventions
  1. Early Intervention for Children at Risk of Developing Mathematical Learning Difficulties
    Sharon Griffin

  2. Mathematical Problem Solving: Instructional Intervention
    Lynn S. Fuchs & Douglas Fuchs

  3. Quantitative Literacy and Developmental Dyscalculias
    Michael McCloskey

    Commentary on Part III, Section VI: Instructional Interventions and Quantitative Literacy
    Herbert P. Ginsburg & Sandra Pappas



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: The Maryland Psychologist - December 1, 2009

"A comprehensive scholarly review of research invaluable for all LD researchers, and highly recommended as a standard reference for clinicians, educators, and policy makers who relate to mathematically challenged children in any way."

: Childhood Education - March 22, 2009
good review but no notable quotes
: LD News - October 1, 2008
Stephen Truhon, PsycCRITIQUES, American Psychological Association - November 15, 2007

"Berch and Mazzocco are to be commended for bringing together such a variety of researchers in mathematical difficulties and disabilities . . . Rather than feeling discouraged about the lack of consistency in this field, I felt encouraged that the field has grown enough to have a book such as this to explore the inconsistencies."

James Cox, The Midwest Book Review, Education Shelf - August 16, 2007

"A scholarly anthology of essays by learned contributors discussing how to most effectively help students with learning disabilities and difficulties achieve in mathematics...brings together the latest research and field–tested wisdom in an effort to answer its title question and promote improved teaching methodologies. Especially recommended for education shelves."

: EP Magazine - July 1, 2007
used copy from website
Sheldon Horowitz, Director of Professional Services, National Center for Learning Disabilities - March 5, 2007

"This is by far the most up-to-date and authoritative compendium on math and LD available. An invaluable tool for researchers and a must-read resource for pre-service and in-service educators."

David Allsopp, Associate Professor, Department of Special Education, University of South Florida - February 6, 2007

"A much needed addition to the literature on mathematics and struggling learners."

Catherine Sophian, Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Hawaii at Manoa - February 6, 2007

"Integrates and brings order to complex and sometimes inconsistent research findings on mathematical learning disabilities . . . provides a framework that will enhance the fruitfulness of future research."

Asha Jitendra, Professor, College of Education, Lehigh University - January 26, 2007

"Represents seminal work on understanding mathematical learning difficulties and disabilities."

G. Reid Lyon, Executive Vice President for Research and Evaluation, Higher Ed Holdings, LLC and Whitney International University System - January 26, 2007

"The best analysis and presentation of the science of learning disabilities and difficulties in mathematics development to date. This is a profoundly important book."