maths link picSigns of Dyscalculia

Children with dyscalculia..

  • Lack number sense and therefore:
    • Have difficulties learning to count
    • Find it hard to estimate how many items there are.
    • May not relate the number to the word e.g. 7 = seven
    • Unable to understand bigger or smaller than
    • Unable to connect a number to a real situation e.g. 5 children in a row
  • Have difficulty with number facts and therefore
    • Cannot see that 6 can also be made up of a 2 and a 4.
    • Struggle with number bonds
  • Have difficulty learning about operations (plus, minus, multiply and divide) and therefore
    • Have difficulty remembering which sign does what
    • What procedures to follow when using the operations
  • Have difficulty with place value

(from “Dyscalculia assessment” by Jane Emersen and Patricia Babti  – Purchase book at

The signs of dyscalculia also look different at different ages. Dyscalculia tends to become more apparent as kids get older. But it can be detected as early as preschool. Here’s what to look for:

Warning Signs in foundation phase

  • Has trouble learning to count, especially when it comes to assigning each object in a group a number
  • Has trouble recognizing number symbols, such as making the connection between “7” and the word seven
  • Struggles to connect a number to a real-life situation, such as knowing that “3” can apply to any group that has three things in it—3 cookies, 3 cars, 3 kids, etc.
  • Has trouble remembering numbers, and skips numbers long after kids the same age can count numbers and remember them in the right order
  • Finds it hard to recognize patterns and sort items by size, shape or color
  • Avoids playing popular games like Candy Land that involve numbers, counting and other math concepts

Warning Signs in intermediate phase

  • Has trouble recognizing numbers and symbols
  • Has difficulty learning and recalling basic math facts, such as 2 + 4 = 6
  • Struggles to identify +, ‒ and other signs and use them correctly
  • May still use fingers to count instead of using more sophisticated strategies
  • Has trouble writing numerals clearly or putting them in the correct column
  • Has trouble coming up with a plan to solve a math problem
  • Struggles to understand words related to math, such as greater than and less than
  • Has trouble telling his left from his right, and has a poor sense of direction
  • Has difficulty remembering phone numbers and game scores
  • Avoids playing games like Risk that involve number strategy
  • Has trouble telling time

Warning Signs in High School

  • Struggles to apply math concepts to everyday life, including money matters such as estimating the total cost, making exact change and figuring out a tip
  • Has trouble measuring things, like ingredients in a simple recipe
  • Struggles with finding his way around and worries about getting lost
  • Has hard time grasping information shown on graphs or charts
  • Has trouble finding different approaches to the same math problem
  • Lacks confidence in activities that require estimating speed and distance, such as playing sports and learning to drive

(by Amanda Morin for – Source Link)