4 Ways Dyscalculia Can Affect Social Skills

By Amanda Morin
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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.

About the Author

About the Author

Amanda Morin 

worked as a classroom teacher and as an early intervention specialist for 10 years. She is the author of The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education. Two of her children have learning differences.

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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