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What is Dyscalculia?


According to IDEA, “Dyscalculia” is categorized under specific learning disability.  Dyscalculia is defined as a failure to achieve in mathematics commensurate with chronological age, normal intelligence, and adequate instruction. It is marked by difficulties with visualization;  visual-spatial perception, processing and discrimination; counting;  pattern recognition;  sequential memory;  working-memory for numbers;  retrieval of learned facts and procedures; directional confusion; quantitative processing speed;  kinesthetic sequences;  and perception of time.

Dyscalculia is a specific learning disability that affects a child's ability to understand and work with numbers and mathematical concepts. Children with dyscalculia may struggle with basic arithmetic operations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. They may have difficulty understanding number relationships, estimating quantities, and grasping mathematical symbols and concepts. This can significantly impact their school performance across various subjects, not just math. For instance, it may affect their ability to understand and solve word problems in math class, comprehend time and money concepts, and even follow directions that involve numerical sequences.


Despite normal intelligence and adequate instruction, children with dyscalculia often experience frustration and anxiety related to math tasks, which can further hinder their academic progress and overall confidence in learning environments. Early identification and appropriate support can make a substantial difference in helping these children thrive academically and develop strategies to manage their challenges effectively

According to the DSM-5, a person must experience the following symptoms persistently for at least six months in order to qualify for an SLD diagnosis:

  • Persistent difficulties in reading, writing, arithmetic, or mathematical reasoning skills, including slow and laborious reading, poor written expression, problems remembering numbers, or trouble with mathematical reasoning

  • Academic skills in reading, writing, and math well below average

  • Learning difficulties that begin early, during the school-age years

  • Difficulties that “significantly interfere with academic achievement, occupational performance, or activities of daily living” and cannot be “better explained by developmental, neurological, sensory (vision or hearing), or motor disorders”

How do I know if my child has dyscalculia?

Ready for an evaluation? 

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