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Subitizing: Vision therapy for math deficits

Authors: Sidney Groffman OD, MA, FCOVD

Organization: SUNY College of Optometry, New York, USA

Journal: Optom Vis Dev 2009;40(4):229-238.

Abstract:

Subitizing is the immediate visual perceptual apprehension and enumeration of a small set of elements. Subitizing deficits are correlated with difficulty in math at all ages. The incidence of individuals with mathematics learning disability (MLD) is between 6-7% of the population. This is unfortunate because math skills are of prime importance in everyday life enabling us to understand number concepts and do calculations. Math ability is essential for many occupations and professions. Subitizing is a basic skill that young children and many animals exhibit. Subitizing has been shown to be a precursor of math skills. A subitizing computer program has been designed and based upon theories and experimental data appropriate for improving math skills. It consists of a diagnostic test and four therapy programs: Flash-Number, Comparison-Spatial, Visual Counting, and Temporal Visual Counting. Subitizing therapy appears to improve both subitizing and math abilities.

Keywords: subitizing, math, dyscalculia learning disability

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