Katie Burnette

What is dyscalculia?

Dyscalculia is when a person has difficulty with math, like doing math math problems, telling time, and understanding money. Learning disabilities in math vary greatly depending on the child’s other strengths and weaknesses. A child’s ability to do math will be affected differently by a language learning disability, or a visual disorder or a difficulty with sequencing, memory or organization.

A child with a math-based learning disorder may struggle with memorization and organization of numbers, operation signs, and number “facts” (like 5+5=10 or 5x5=25). Children with math learning disorders might also have trouble with counting principles (such as counting by twos or counting by fives) or have difficulty telling time.

Conditions Associated with Dyscalculia

What is dyscalculia often diagnosed with?

Dyscalculia is often diagnosed with other conditions like dyslexia, ADHD, math anxiety, and genetic disorders.

How to Teach Students with Dyscalculia

  • Use concrete examples that connect math to real life, to strengthen your child’s number sense. Examples: sorting buttons or other familiar objects.
  • Use visual aids when solving problems, including drawing pictures or moving around physical objects—which teachers refer to as “manipulatives.”
  • Assign manageable amounts of work so your child won’t feel overloaded.
  • Review a recently learned skill before moving on to a new one, and explaining how the skills are related.
  • Supervise work and encouraging your child to talk through the problem-solving process. This can help make sure he’s using the right math rules and formulas.
  • Break new lessons into smaller parts that easily show how different skills relate to the new concept. Teachers call this process “chunking.”
  • Let your child use graph paper to help keep numbers lined up.