Connecting the Dots: Dyslexia and Math

graphic image showing numbers and letters superimposed on a the head of a child profile..

Why are children with dyslexia more likely to also struggle with dyscalculia—the understanding and manipulation of numbers? Exactly how these disabilities are linked, or even if they are, is the question that Guinevere Eden, D.Phil., is taking on.

In March, Eden, director of the Center for the Study of Learning at Georgetown University Medical Center, will start a four-year study that examines brain function in children with math disability, and compares these children with those who have reading disability, as well as those with math and reading disability combined. Her team will use brain imaging and behavioral tests, and the groups will be followed after receiving interventions in the form of tutoring.

The $1.7 million grant supporting the research was one of the first awarded under the Research Excellence and Advancement for Dyslexia (READ) Act, signed by President Barack Obama in 2016, and granted to Eden and her colleagues by the National Science Foundation (NSF). READ is designed to help children with dyslexia and improve detection of the condition.