DYSCALCULIA

Dyscalculia Flier

People with dyscalculia have trouble working with numbers and understanding mathematical based concepts. Experts say that dyscalculia is a common learning difference though it is commonly overlooked. Signs of dyscalculia can show up as early as preschool, but often goes unnoticed,or the signs may be ignored as it is assumed the person is just "bad at math."

 

Trouble Areas

  • Seeing how numbers fit together
  • Counting

  • Calculating

  • Recalling math facts

  • Using concepts like "less than"

  • Using symbols like + or -

  • Telling left from right

  • Reading an analog clock

  • Working with dollars and coins

 

High School

  • Struggles to understand information on charts and graphs

  • Has trouble finding different approaches to the same math problem, such as adding the length and width of a rectangle and doubling the answer to solve for the perimeter, rather than adding all the sides

  • Struggles to learn and understand reasoning methods and multi-step calculation procedures

  • Has trouble measuring items like ingredients in a simple recipe or liquids in a bottle

  • Lacks confidence in activities that require understanding speed, distance and directions, and may get lost easily

  • Has trouble apply math concepts to money, such as calculating exact change

 

Preschool Years

  • Has trouble learning to count

  • Struggles to connect a number to an object, such as knowing that "3" applies to groups of things like 3 cakes, 3 cars or 3 friends

  • Struggles to recognize patterns, like smallest to largest, tallest to shortest

Elementary School

  • Has difficulty learning and recalling basic number facts such as number bonds, i.e. 6 + 4 = 10

  • Still uses fingers to count instead of using more advanced strategies like mental math

  • Poor understanding of the signs +, -, x, / or may confuse these mathematical symbols

  • Struggles to recognize that 3 + 5 is the same as 5 + 3 or may not be able to solve 3 + 26 - 26 without calculating

  • Has trouble with place value, often putting numbers in the wrong column

  • May not understand math language or be able to devise a plan to solve a math problem

  • Finds it difficult to understand math phrases like greater than or less than

  • Has trouble keeping score in sports or games

  • Has difficulty working out the total cost of items and can run out of money

  • May avoid situations that require understanding numbers, like playing games that involve math

Adults

  • Typical symptoms include:

  • Difficulty counting backwards

  • Difficulty remembering "basic" facts

  • Slow to perform calculations

  • Weak mental arithmetic skills

  • A poor sense of numbers and estimation

  • Difficulty in understanding place value

  • Addition is often the default operation

  • High levels of math anxiety

 

How to Help

  • Blocks, number lines, and other tools to visualize how to solve math problems

  • Extra time on tests and other tasks that involve math

  • Technology like calculators and math apps to help make math easier to navigate

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