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Dyscalculia

Dyscalculia: What You’re Seeing in Your Grade-Schooler

By Amanda Morin

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You may be seeing signs of dyscalculia in your grade-schooler—and not just when he’s struggling with math homework. The following symptoms are often seen in kids with dyscalculia. Some of these may also be seen in children with dyslexia, dyspraxia or executive functioning issues.

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Dyscalculia: What You’re Seeing in Your Grade-Schooler

Signs of dyscalculia aren’t always related to math class. Kids can also struggle with some games and everyday activities like telling time. Here’s what you might see.
Doesn’t Want to Play

At home: Your child isn’t interested in Uno, War or other popular children’s games.
At school: Your child plays by himself during free time rather than playing a board game with friends.
The issue: Kids with dyscalculia frequently have trouble with games that involve math skills or strategy.

Struggles With Basic Math Facts

At home: Your child would rather show you than tell you how many carrot sticks are still on the plate.
At school: Your child is still mastering addition while most of the class has moved on to multiplication.
The issue: Kids with dyscalculia tend to have a difficult time learning and remembering math facts.
Handwriting Is Barely Legible
At home: Your child’s birthday card for Grandma is so messy she can’t read it.
At school: Your child doesn’t line up numbers correctly when doing calculations.
The issue: Kids with dyscalculia often have difficulty with motor skills or visual-spatial issues.
Doesn’t Connect “Clue Words” With Math Operations
At home: Your child can’t tell you how many sandwiches to make if each family member wants two.
At school: Your child has trouble solving word problems.
The issue: Kids with dyscalculia can have language processing issues that make it hard to master the vocabulary of math.
Graphic of Dyscalculia: What you're seeing in your grade-schooler
Graphic of Dyscalculia: What you're seeing in your grade-schooler

About the Author

Portrait of Amanda Morin

Amanda Morin is a parent advocate, a former teacher and the author of The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education.

Reviewed by

Portrait of Sheldon Horowitz

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

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