Dyscalculia makes math hard, but it can impact more than just schoolwork. Here are four social challenges people with dyscalculia might face—and ways to help.
1. Avoiding Popular Games
The dyscalculia link: Many games like Uno and Bingo use math skills and strategies. That can be hard for people with dyscalculia, so they may avoid playing altogether.
How you can help: Practice playing games in a low-stress environment. That can help boost confidence to join in on the fun another time.
2. Having Low Self-Esteem
The dyscalculia link: When people struggle with math over and over, it can make them think they’ll struggle with other things, too. They may worry about trying to make new friends or trying new activities.
How you can help: Encourage people to try group activities that build on their strengths. For example, kids and adults who like to run can see if there’s a track and field club in their area.
3. Getting Teased
The dyscalculia link: Some people may say mean things if they see someone having trouble with everyday skills that seem simple—things like telling time and knowing left from right.
How you can help: Learn about the difference between teasing and bullying. Practice ways to respond and shut down negative comments. And find out what to do if you suspect bullying at school.
4. Being Afraid to Drive or Go New Places
The dyscalculia link: People with dyscalculia often have trouble navigating and judging distance and speed. This can lead to a lot of anxiety on the road.
How you can help: Find times and places to practice with few other cars on the road. If possible, hire a driving instructor who has experience teaching students who learn and think differently.
Learn more: See ways dyscalculia can affect a child’s daily life.
Tell us what interests you
About the author
About the author
Amanda Morin is the author of “The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education” and the former director of thought leadership at Understood. As an expert and writer, she helped build Understood from its earliest days.
Sheldon H. Horowitz, EdD is senior director of learning resources and research at the National Center for Learning Disabilities.