Dyscalculia is not a commonly used term in public school but is rather referred to as a Specific Learning Disability (SLD) in math. The symptoms vary from person to person, may be evident in preschool or not show up until complex math courses emerge, and will look different at different stages of life. Dyscalculia is not the same as math anxiety, but the disorder can produce math anxiety.
Dyscalculia is a math learning disability that makes it difficult to do math or math related tasks, is not a result of a lack of opportunity to learn, and is found in children with average to above average intellect. Children with dyscalculia have trouble with number sense, memorization of math facts, accurate and fluent calculation, and accurate math reasoning. If your child is struggling significantly with the following skills, he or she may need a thorough evaluation. However, students with mild cases dyscalculia can be very successful while learning at home using simple accommodations.
- Has trouble learning and recalling basic math facts
- Still uses fingers to count instead of using more advanced strategies (like mental math)
- Confuses math signs (-, +, x, >, <)
- Confuses concepts of greater than and less than
- Has trouble with place value, often putting numbers in the wrong column
- Difficulty telling time using an analog clock
- Difficulty distinguishing right from left
- Struggles with math concepts like commutativity (3 + 5 is the same as 5 + 3) and inversion (being able to solve 3 + 26 ‒ 26 without calculating)
- Struggles with word problems, math reasoning, & understanding math language
- Has a hard time figuring out the total cost of things and keeping track of money (like on a lunch account)
- Avoids situations that require understanding numbers like games that involve math
- Struggles to read charts and graphs
- Has trouble applying math concepts to money (i.e. making change & calculating tips)
- Has trouble measuring things like ingredients in a recipe and easily forgets conversions
- Difficulty with activities that require understanding speed, distance, and directions (may get lost easily)
- Has trouble finding different approaches to the same math problem, like adding the length and width of a rectangle and doubling the answer to solve for the perimeter (rather than adding all the sides)
- Remembering common numbers (Social Security, phone, license, address & zip code)
- Doing basic math (figuring tips, making change, figuring hourly wages to pay for a service)
- Computing distances when traveling, especially crossing over time zones; may over/underestimate travel times
- slow down, plan ahead to avoid rushing
- manage stress with a calming environment, headset with music, or other personally calming strategies
- use assistive technology, phone calculator, a tip card, GPS
- keep all critical numbers recorded somewhere with easy access
9. Use assistive technology when applicable to support your child’s learning, especially in high school years to prepare for college.
10. Implement occupational therapy strategies.
- Dyscalculia.org ;
- Learning Abled Kids.com ;
- Curriculum suggestions and reviews
- Math tools , description of math programs