Dyscalculia is a learning disability that significantly affects a person’s ability to develop arithmetic skills and understand mathematical concepts. Many people describe dyscalculia as “dyslexia with numbers,” but this is inaccurate. Dyscalculia is often more than the inability to recognize numbers or solve math problems. It also involves difficulty understanding numbers as quantities, recognizing magnitude such as less and more, and processing the wider rules and concepts of mathematics.

Many people struggle with math, which leads to teacher often overlooking dyscalculia as an academic or behavioural problem. However, the disorder is more complex than struggling with math, and understanding the signs can help make math class and future work with numbers more manageable. Young children with dyscalculia may have difficulty learning to count or recognizing patterns. Older children often cannot recall basic number facts, such as 2 + 2 = 4. They may also have trouble keeping score in games, adding up the total cost of items, or learning math phrases. Without treatment, these issues can continue into adulthood, causing severe mathematics anxiety.