What is it Like For a Student to Have Dyscalculia?

Dyscalculia is a learning disability that hinders a person’s ability to process numbers in a typical way. With this disability, a student may struggle with concepts of math or estimation. With this article, we want to give you a better sense of what dyscalculia is, what the signs are, and what steps you can take to ensure your child’s success for the future.

What are the Signs of Dyscalculia?

This learning disorder is not always easy to spot at first. While the most common sign of dyscalculia is having trouble with math, children can also show signs in some of the following ways:

  • Counting numbers. A child might have trouble learning to count, or skip over numbers when counting out loud. In fact, they may not understand what counting means. For instance, if you ask them hand you five items, they just grab a handful instead.
  • Recognizing patterns. In elementary school, students learn how to compare the smallest objects to the largest ones, or the shortest to the tallest. To a student with dyscalculia, these types of patterns may not make sense to them.
  • Knowing the concept of numbers. We recognize that the number “4” and the word “four” mean the same thing, and we can count to four on our hands. With dyscalculia, children have a difficult time making these connections across the board.
  • Identifying math symbols. This means simple concepts such as 5 – 3, 10 +2, or even 4 X 6. “Greater than” or “less than” are phrases that are also hard to grasp. In fact, individuals struggle with placing value on a number or a set of numbers.

As children grow older into their teenage years, you may notice that they avoid situations involving math at every turn. They do not like to keep scores at games, or manage their own money or allowance. Perhaps you notice that they can’t make change when making a purchase.

There are also some lesser known signs of dyscalculia you may not have considered. For example, your child may enjoy cooking, but cannot measure out the ingredients in a simple recipe. They have little or no confidence in certain activities that require a knowledge of distance or directions.

If you are concerned your child has dyscalculia, you may want to seek help with a professional. Read on to learn what your next steps should be.

What Comes Next

It’s important to discuss any concerns or questions with your child’s pediatrician. They can test and diagnose your child as well as provide you with a list of resources to learn more about the effects of dyscalculia on a child’s life.

At The de Paul School, we understand the signs of dyscalculia. Our expertise lies in instructing students who learn differently. Contact us about educating your child in the right environment. We will get them the support they need so they can become a confident learner. Give us a call at 502.459.6131 to get started.