Filipa Ferraz finaliza o seu Doutoramento

Tema da Tese: ‘An evolving cognitive approach to dyscalculia screening and therapeutics’

Autor: Filipa Tinoco Ferraz

Orientadores: José Carlos Ferreira Maia Neves; Victor Manuel Rodrigues Alves

Data: 06/04/2022

Programa Doutoral: Engenharia Biomédica


The growing scholar failure rate among pupils and the increasing aversion to mathematics generally have their origins in dyscalculia. The incidence is around 6-7% and the fact that it is hardly known makes its association hard to accomplish, having a negative impact on everyday life. As it is a disorder that exists since conception, it is important to start therapy early in life to mitigate its severity.

Currently, there are no standard tests to detect dyscalculia and its origins are not yet well-identified. In addition, learning support systems for children with dyscalculia exist only in English in the form of paper or computer software. Therefore, it is a big gap that there is no awareness of this disorder in Portuguese special education, as well as the non-existence of support tools targeted at this type of learning disability.

It is important to create an appropriate Portuguese learning support system for dyscalculia, in line with new technological trends. The non-awareness of this disorder and the non-existence of support systems contribute to the tragic results seen in the national mathematics tests.

It is important to create knowledge in this area to allow the development of efficient support tools that can be adapted to any mobile device and that aims to help children develop their mathematical knowledge, allowing them to have fun while they play it. Henceforth, incorporating intelligent features into the software according to children’s difficulties and studying brain activity while playing are two potential gains in studying and deriving new perspectives about dyscalculia.

The main goal is to develop and extract enough knowledge to achieve an innovative, engaging, and dynamic solution for dyscalculia therapeutics and screening, aimed at helping children to improve their mathematical skills while playing. Innovation comes from incorporating intelligence and developing skills into the solution according to children’s difficulties and progress.

Keywords: Dyscalculia in Children; Dyscalculia Screening; Dyscalculia Therapeutics; Intelligent Systems