Signs of Dyscalculia

boy making homework, counting on his fingers. shallow depth of field

One of my students is struggling, could it be dyscalculia?
Every student is unique and many children experience that a Math topic is somewhat harder at the start. When a problem persists despite some extra help or explanations, you can consider the possibility of a learning difference in Math. Not all symptoms are combined in one student.

The most common symptoms are:

1. Number sense, counting, and numbers

• Starting to count at a later age than siblings/classmates
• Taking more time to memorize and learn to write the numerals
• Counting on fingers instead of using math facts from memory
• Using a number-line is difficult, no representation in their memory
• Larger numbers are often copied in the wrong order

2. Operations and procedures
• Confusion over math concepts
• Difficulty memorizing math facts, in particular multiplication tables
• Repeated mistakes with Math vocabulary
• ‘Misreading’ a number sentence: add instead of multiply etc.
• Difficulty selecting essential information and choosing the operation in a word problem

3. Measurement
• Difficulty selecting the larger of two small quantities without counting
• Difficulty with perception of shapes and relative sizes
• Difficulty with changing to another unit (days – weeks, pints – gallons)
• Confusion over telling time on a digital and an analogue clock
• Difficulty making a rough guesstimate

4. Behavioral characteristics
• Uncomfortable with activities involving counting or numbers
• Making wild guesses or just jotting down random numbers
• Working slowly and inconsistently
• Seems to ‘get it’ one day, ‘forgets’ it the next
• Deliberately avoiding math tasks, while being OK with other subjects