5 Common Myths About Dyscalculia

By Amanda Morin

117Found this helpful

If your child is has dyscalculia or is struggling with math, you need quick information to make smart decisions for your child. Here we debunk common myths about dyscalculia to help you separate fact from fiction.

117Found this helpful
Two children doing math problems on school chalkboard
1 of 5

Myth #1: All children with dyscalculia have the same difficulties with math.

Fact: Dyscalculia actually refers to a wide range of math issues, so your child’s trouble spots may be different from another child’s. For example, some kids with dyscalculia have a hard time with number concepts. Others have difficulty with the kind of visual-spatial thinking that’s needed for geometry. What most kids with dyscalculia have in common, though, is challenges remembering basic math facts and completing math problems.

Girl struggling with math homework
2 of 5

Myth #2: Dyscalculia is another name for math anxiety.

Fact: Dyscalculia and math anxiety are not the same thing. It’s understandable that people confuse the two, though. It’s common for kids who struggle with math—like kids with dyscalculia—to become anxious about doing math homework or going to math class. Learn more about key differences between dyscalculia and math anxiety.

Close up of child placing numbers into a puzzle
3 of 5

Myth #3: Dyscalculia is basically dyslexia for math.

Fact: Although dyscalculia is sometimes referred to as “math dyslexia,” that’s just a nickname. Dyscalculia and dyslexia are separate conditions that have some overlapping symptoms. Kids dealing with both tend to have difficulty with language-based math issues, such as solving word problems and learning math vocabulary.

Students doing math exercises at school
4 of 5

Myth #4: Dyscalculia isn’t very common.

Fact: Dyscalculia hasn’t been studied as much as other conditions like dyslexia, but that doesn’t mean it’s uncommon. In fact, researchers are beginning to think dyscalculia may be almost as common as dyslexia.

Mom helping daughter with math homework using a calculator
5 of 5

Myth #5: Kids with dyscalculia can’t learn math.

Fact: Kids with dyscalculia may have a harder time learning math than other kids, but that doesn’t mean they can’t learn it—and even excel at it. There are classroom accommodations your child’s teacher can use, as well as strategies and apps you can try at home to make learning math easier...and even fun! Certain types of assistive technology can make learning math a more positive and successful experience for your child.

Start the slideshow again

5 ADHD Trouble Spots and How to Avoid Them

ADHD can make many everyday situations difficult, but which ones are the most challenging for your child? Here are some common trouble spots and simple strategies that might make things easier for you and your child.

10 Movie and TV Characters With Dyslexia

Kids often look to TV and movie characters to help them make sense of the world. If your child has dyslexia, she may benefit from seeing her own struggles and successes played out on-screen. Here are some characters to watch together.

About the Author

Amanda Morin

Amanda Morin

A parent advocate and former teacher, Amanda Morin is the proud mom of kids with learning and attention issues and the author of The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education.

More by this author

Reviewed by Sheldon H. Horowitz, Ed.D. Dec 03, 2013 Dec 03, 2013

Did you find this helpful?

More to Explore

  • Parenting Coach

    Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges.

  • Tech Finder

    Find technology to help your child.

    Select platform or device
  • Through Your Child’s Eyes

    Simulations and videos to let you experience your child’s world.

  • 2015 Guide to Holiday Toys

    If your child has learning or attention issues, here’s what to consider about the season’s hottest toys.

  • The Marshmallow Test

    Learn about this experiment conducted in the 1960s, and what it tells us about kids with ADHD.

  • Join a Group!

    A safe place for you to connect with other parents like you.

  • What’s the Difference Between IEPs and 504 Plans?

    Hear from an expert on what’s similar and what’s different.

  • One Week of Training, a Lifetime of Difference

    Two Illinois teachers took it upon themselves to learn more about dyslexia.