People with dyscalculia have difficulty understanding numbers and learning math skills. Dyscalculia encompasses a wide range of learning disabilities related to math.
Students with dyscalculia may:
have difficulty learning to count or have a poor memory for numbers
have trouble writing numbers, finding correct place values, and lining up equations
have trouble remembering math facts
be unable to follow a sequence of steps
have difficulty understanding numbers, math symbols, and word problems
find it hard to visualize patterns
have difficulty measuring things
have an exceptionally slow and difficult time solving math problems
avoid games that require strategies involving math
become extremely frustrated or anxious with schoolwork related to math
What Teachers Can Do
If you suspect a student has dyscalculia, recommend seeking an educational evaluation to a parent or guardian, an administrator, or a school counselor.
Teachers can help students struggling with dyscalculia to become aware of their strengths and weaknesses. Helping students understand their learning styles and using alternative approaches can enable them to achieve confidence and success in math.
Additional math support in school and tutors outside the classroom can help students with dyscalculia focus on specific learning difficulties. Reinforcing math facts and practicing new skills can help make understanding math concepts easier.
Other strategies for inside and outside the classroom include:
giving extra time to work on math-related assignments
using graph paper for students who have difficulty organizing problems on paper
planning and organizing students' approach to math problems
using estimating as a way to approach solving math problems
using objects and visuals to help solve problems
starting with concrete examples before moving to harder, more abstract concepts
explaining math concepts and terms clearly and encouraging students to ask questions
providing a quiet place to work with few distractions