Dyscalculia in grade school: 4 signs you might see

You may be seeing signs of dyscalculia in your grade-schooler — and not just during math homework. Kids can also struggle with some games and everyday activities like telling time. Here are signs you might see in grade school.

1. Avoiding popular games

Kids with dyscalculia often avoid games that involve math skills or strategy. Your child might not want to play Uno, War, or other popular children’s games. Rather than joining friends who are playing cards or a board game, your child might prefer playing alone.

2. Forgetting basic math facts

What is 2 + 4? Your child may still be mastering addition while most of the class has moved on to multiplication. That’s because kids with dyscalculia tend to have trouble learning and remembering math facts.

3. Using fingers to count

Kids with dyscalculia often have trouble with counting and mental math. So when you ask how many carrot sticks are still on the plate, your child might try to show you rather than tell you. Or your child might still use fingers to solve a problem when classmates have moved on to other techniques.

4. Having trouble solving word problems

Kids with dyscalculia often struggle to connect “clue words” with math operations. Your child may have trouble telling you how many sandwiches to make if each family member wants two.

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. 

Reviewed by

Reviewed by

Sheldon H. Horowitz, EdD is senior director of learning resources and research at the National Center for Learning Disabilities.


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