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Common Warning Signs of Dyscalculia in Children in Grades 3–8

Math Learning Disability - Dyscalculia Warning SignsDyscalculia refers to a range of learning disabilities involving math. Dyscalculia affects people in different ways and may even vary over a person’s lifetime. Are you concerned that your child is struggling with math and math concepts? If so, the following list of common warning signs of dyscalculia in children in Grades 3–8 may help clarify your concerns.

Everyone struggles with learning at times. Learning disabilities such as dyscalculia, however, persist over time. If your child has displayed any of the signs below for at least the past six months, it may be time to seek help from your child’s school or other professionals.

The “symptoms” listed below also apply to other types of LD’s and/or to Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)—which often co-exist—you may want to review our more comprehensive Interactive Learning Disabilities Checklist to take a broader approach to your child’s challenges.

For At Least the Past Six Months, My Child Has Had Trouble

Math

  • Understanding the one-to-one correspondence between number symbols (4) and objects (4 horses, 4 cars)
  • Counting and calculating rapidly
  • Learning/memorizing basic math facts (addition, subtraction)
  • Learning counting strategies (such as by 2, by 10, by 100, etc.)
  • Developing math problem-solving skills
  • Learning multiplication tables, formulas, and rules
  • Learning math vocabulary
  • Making comparisons such as more than/less than
  • Estimating numbers and quantities
  • Measuring things
  • Telling time

 

Visual-Spatial Sense

  • Understanding spatial directions (such as left and right)
  • Navigating in unfamiliar surroundings
  • Accurately judging speed and distance
  • Reading and interpreting charts and maps
  • Mastering number knowledge (recognizing the number of dots on dice without counting)
  • Accurately perceiving the passage of time

 

Social-Emotional

  • Feeling motivated and confident about learning
  • Joining peers to play games that require counting and math strategies
  • Responding appropriately to teasing or criticism by peers and adults who don’t understand his academic and practical struggles


Don’t hesitate to seek help from a professional if your child displays several of these warning signs. Print out this article, mark the warning signs that apply to your child, and share the list with educators or other professionals who you consult. Because dyscalculia is less common and not as well-understood as dyslexia, you may need to be patient but persistent during the assessment process. The good news is that with proper identification and support, your child will be better able to succeed in school, the workplace and in life.

Additional Resources

Tags: grade3-8