Dyscalculia is a specific and persistent difficulty in understanding numbers which can lead to a range of difficulties with mathematics. It occurs across all ages and abilities.
Possible signs of dyscalculia
A person with dyscalculia/mathematical learning difficulties may:
- Have difficulty when counting backwards.
- Have a poor sense of number and estimation.
- Have difficulty in remembering ‘basic’ facts, despite many hours of practice/rote learning.
- Have no strategies to compensate for lack of recall, other than to use counting.
- Have difficulty in understanding place value and the role of zero in the Arabic/Hindu number system.
- Have no sense of whether any answers that are obtained are right or nearly right.
- Be slower to perform calculations. (Therefore give fewer examples, rather than more time).
- Forget mathematical procedures, especially as they become more complex, for example ‘long’ division. Addition is often the default operation. The other operations are usually very poorly executed (or avoided altogether).
- Avoid tasks that are perceived as difficult and likely to result in a wrong answer.
- Have weak mental arithmetic skills.
- Have high levels of mathematics anxiety.