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Dyscalculia Fact Sheet

Dyscalculia Fact Sheet

What is dyscalculia? Dyscalculia is a learning disability that affects math.


Is it like dyslexia? Dyscalculia and dyslexia are both Specific Learning Disorders (SLDs), a group of learning disabilities that includes dysgraphia, dyspraxia, ADHD, executive function disorders, and other learning differences.


How many people have dyscalculia? Research says that about 8-10% of all people have dyscalculia.


What causes dyscalculia? A person can be born with dyscalculia, or acquire it after a brain injury. Researchers aren’t exactly sure what causes dyscalculia; sometimes it is hereditary, but sometimes it’s just the unique brain wiring of an individual, and sometimes, it’s caused by an accident.


How do you know if your child or student has dyscalculia? The signs of dyscalculia include persistent trouble at telling time, counting money, remembering basic math facts, or problem solving, even after interventions and extra help. Many people with dyscalculia experience the same issues as adults.


How is dyscalculia diagnosed? A dyscalculia diagnosis is made by a neuropsychologist or educational psychologist. Screeners and classroom performance measures are helpful—for example, most dyscalculic students score in the 30th percentile or two grade levels below their peers—but experts are trained in administering, scoring, and analyzing the many tests needed to diagnose a learning disability.


Do adults have dyscalculia? Yes, dyscalculia is a lifelong condition. It involves differences in wiring and processing, mainly in the parietal lobe of the brain, and this does not change with time or interventions.


Can people with dyscalculia ever succeed in math? Absolutely! People with dyscalculia can succeed in any math class if they have the correct support and accommodations.


My student (or child) has a math learning disability, but not dyscalculia. What does this mean? This is like saying you have a whole lot of water but no H2O—dyscalculia is the math learning disability.


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