Dyscalculia is recognized as a mathematics disorder in the DSM-IV.  It is a specific learning disability that affects a person’s ability to think and communicate mathematically.  In general, a person with dyscalculia might have visual-spatial difficulties (trouble processing information the eye takes in) and language processing difficulties (receptive and expressive) which affect how a person processes and communicates oral language.  Like all learning disorders, dyscalculia manifests in a variety of ways in different people. Struggles in specific areas of math may be mild to severe, may resolve or intensify at different ages or when encountering different kinds of math.  In particular, a person with dyscalculia might struggle with:

  • understanding concepts of place value, and quantity, number lines, positive and negative value, carrying and borrowing
  • understanding and doing word problems
  • sequencing information or events
  • using steps involved in math operations
  • understanding fractions
  • making change and handling money
  • recognizing patterns when adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing
  • putting language to math processes
  • understanding concepts related to time such as days, weeks, months, seasons, quarters, etc.
  • organizing problems on the page, keeping numbers lined up, following through on long division problems

What is provided here are links to excellent articles to better help you understand and work with a child who has been diagnosed with a mathematics disorder.  Please see my page on Accommodations for help in developing a 504 or educational support plan for your child or student.

Many of these articles came from LD Online.  Visit their site and search keyword “dyscalculia” for many other informative articles.