What is Dyscalculia?

The British government’s Department of Education defines dyscalculia as: ‘A condition that affects the ability to acquire arithmetical skills. Dyscalculic learners may have difficulty understanding simple number concepts, lack an intuitive grasp of numbers, and have problems learning number facts and procedures. Even if they produce a correct answer or use a correct method, they may do so mechanically and without confidence.’

Dyscalculia is like dyslexia for numbers. But unlike dyslexia, very little is known about its prevalence, causes or treatment. Current thinking suggests that it is a congenital condition, caused by the abnormal functioning of a specific area of the brain. People with dyscalculia experience great difficulty with the most basic aspects of numbers and arithmetic.

Dyscalculic children find learning and recalling number facts difficult. They often lack confidence even when they produce the correct answer. They also fail to use rules and procedures to build on known facts. For example, they may know that 5+3=8, but not realise that, therefore, 3+5=8 or that 5+4=9.

Best estimates indicate that somewhere between 3% and 6% of the population are affected. These statistics refer to children who are ‘purely’ dyscalculic – i.e. they only have difficulties with maths but have good or even excellent performance in other areas of learning.

(Courtesy of the British Dyslexia Association)


About Dyscalculia

http://aboutdyscalculia.org/index.html is run by a New Zealand based academic, Anna Wilson.

 She has a great list of other websites/resources: http://aboutdyscalculia.org/resources.html

Dyscalculia Forum


British Dyslexia Association