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How to Help Children with Dyscalculia Improve Their Math Skills

Sometimes the word “Dyscalculia” can be a mystery to people, but some people have encountered it plenty of times or may have even experienced it themselves. The pattern goes like this:

So, what does Dyscalculia mean in reality?  People might hear different names for it; like Maths Learning Disorder, Dyslexia with Maths, or Dyslexia with Numbers etc.  For first-time readers, Dyscalculia is a learning disability that affects a person’s ability to do Maths and related activities. It affects about 5% of the world’s population.

The reason behind Dyscalculia may be due to the lack of development of our brain’s specific regions in the processing of numbers and mathematical functions. The child with Dyscalculia shows developmental delays compared to their peers.

This can be identified even before they start their school life when the child finds it difficult to recognize patterns, sequence numbers, and differentiate objects by color, type, and shape.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Dyscalculia


Doing Maths can be a nightmare for some children, but that doesn’t mean they are lazy or less intelligent. All of these are happening because their brains process numbers differently. This difference can be figured out as Dyscalculia, which can trip them from basic counting and calculations. But, don’t worry we can be their coach to find a unique solution.

Here are some of the clues you should pay attention to;

⦁ Finger Counting: Still rely on finger counting even after most kids of their age start mental math.
⦁ Cannot memorize numbers: Experience trouble recalling basic math facts, such as 3 + 3 seems like a forgotten password.
⦁ The vocabulary of Maths seems confusing: “If John has 3 apples and Mary has 2, how many apples do they have together?” becomes a confusing riddle.
⦁ Tendency to avoid math-related questions: Intentionally avoid questions related to Maths.
⦁ Unable to tell time: Analog clocks can be a mystery to a person with Dyscalculia.
⦁ Difficulty in associating numbers with symbols: Asking for three blocks, might bring you five, or dividing cookies among friends leads to uneven calculations.
⦁ Difficulty in associating symbols with quantities: Numbers seem confusing for them to distinguish between real things like apples or candies.
⦁ Money management: Spending money and personal finance feels like a foreign language for them.
⦁ Find difficulty in estimation: Sometimes people find it difficult to estimate how much something will cost or how long a task will take.
⦁ Not showing interest in number-based games: Tendency to withdraw from number-related games and activities.
⦁ Not understanding the concept of time: School time feels like a never-ending event with no clear beginning or end.
⦁ Falling behind in math class: Struggle to understand even the basic concepts of Maths.
⦁ Difficulty recognizing patterns: Has difficulty in understanding right from left.
⦁ Not understanding the patterns: Graphs and pie charts cannot make sense to them.

These are just hints. Not all of them will apply to every child. But if you notice any of them in your child, it’s necessary to speak to their teacher or consult a specialist. We can give them a hand by providing the right support and assistance.

Effective Strategies to Manage Dyscalculia

Talk about your problem: Vocalize your problems. Try to get clarity in everything and gradually bring numbers to your life.
Make a plan that works: Diagrams and graphs may seem like your enemies. You have to identify the problem first, then you can see the fog lifts.

Divide the complex tasks: Break down the tasks into bite-sized steps and do them one by one.

Make it real: Numbers aren’t just symbols. Try to introduce alternative ways to introduce numbers to their life, like counters, blocks, or even creating an imaginary situation will also work.

Practice makes everything perfect: Like any other skill, even Math needs regular practice sessions. It will help to enhance your confidence and lay the foundation for the concepts.

These are just methods. Experiment with them to know what works best for your child and what does not. Remember one thing, dyscalculia is a condition that doesn’t define you or your strength. It’s just a different way to look into the numerical world. By adapting these strategies, you’ll find success in bringing math into your life.

Is there any cure for Dyscalculia?

Dyscalculia is a challenging aspect related to numbers and is a life-long condition. And there is no cure for it, unlike acquired dyscalculia. It might be a temporary condition due to a certain injury or illness. But the permanent condition demands more love and support. Early intervention can act as a powerful wand in this case, helping manage the challenges and minimize their impact later in life. Remember, it’s not about completely vanishing dyscalculia, but about building skills and confidence to live life peacefully!

Does Dyscalculia get better with age?

It’s not some random curse that can be lifted at midnight. It will be like your lifelong companion. But that doesn’t mean that you have to bear this throughout your lives. Individualized learning can be your secret weapon to turn around the game. Even though dyscalculia might stick around, with the right support and strategies you can turn its challenges into stepping stones to lead a successful life.

Can you live a normal life with Dyscalculia?

In one way, living with Dyscalculia is like living in a city where everyone else speaks a foreign language, and you don’t understand a word. You might have a feeling of being stuck in places. But the good news is that individuals with Dyscalculia can still lead happy and fulfilling lives. The process of learning might be stressful for them, or some things might take more time and effort, but that’s okay.

Implementing new ways of teaching and helpful tools can make a big difference. It’s necessary to focus on what someone is good at and find effective, alternative ways of doing things in a different way, which are essential for their growth.

Life might not be the same for all, but with the right support, people with Dyscalculia can do well in academics, and workplaces as well as in their personal lives.

What triggers Dyscalculia?

Sometimes Dyscalculia can be transferred from generation to generation. An individual with a family history of Dyscalculia may have the possibility to pass on this diversity to either him or his younger generations.

The other reasons involved in the working of our brains, especially a part called the parietal lobe. This special part helps us in our relationship with numbers. When this part works a bit oddly, it can make math a little difficult. There’s something called working memory – it’s like our brain’s notepad for numbers. For individuals with Dyscalculia, this notepad might need more help. The happy news is that we can resolve all these issues by spotting the challenges early. Every child can feel normal and confident about math.

Does Dyscalculia affect memory?

Yes, Dyscalculia can sometimes affect memory, especially the working memory of a person. Working memory can be defined as a cognitive function that involves the temporary storage and manipulation of information needed for tasks like problem-solving and learning.

Individuals with Dyscalculia may experience difficulties like differentiating numbers, solving mathematical problems, and processing information related to numbers and mathematical concepts.

Early identification and unique strategies can help individuals with Dyscalculia overcome memory challenges and work on their mathematical abilities.

How can we provide support for people with Dyscalculia?

The steps we can take to support individuals with Dyscalculia involve

● Early identification of difficulties in basic math skills.

● Providing individualized instructions by breaking down the concepts into manageable steps.

● Introducing a multisensory learning approach can make the process simpler.

● Teaching to relate math with real-world examples can be a valuable tool.

● Building confidence through a positive approach and creating a supportive learning environment plays a crucial role.

● Collaborating with parents, caregivers, and ongoing professional educators can provide a consistent and effective support system.


In short, we’ve discussed strategies like multisensory learning, technology integration, and the importance of collaboration between educators and parents. These tools combined with a growth mindset and ongoing professional development can provide support to those facing math challenges. Let’s think about what more we can do to ensure that everyone, regardless of their unique learning path, feels confident and capable in the world of mathematics.

“I used to dread anything involving numbers. Math classes were a nightmare until I discovered I had dyscalculia. With the right support and understanding, I learned to navigate the challenges. Now, I’m excelling in my studies and proving that dyscalculia doesn’t define my capabilities.”


“Living with dyscalculia can be tough, but technology has been a game-changer for me. Apps and tools designed for dyscalculic individuals have made learning and managing daily tasks so much easier. I’m no longer held back by the fear of numbers.”


“Understanding math was like trying to speak a foreign language. Dyscalculia made it seem impossible. But then, I discovered alternative approaches to learning math that suited my unique way of thinking. Now, I’m proud to say that I’ve found my own math language and am excelling in areas I once feared.”


Frequently Asked Questions

What specialized dyscalculia therapy programs does SEED offer?

SEED provides comprehensive dyscalculia therapy programs tailored to individual needs. Our experienced educators use evidence-based methods and personalized approaches to help students overcome challenges related to dyscalculia. Our programs cover a range of strategies to enhance mathematical skills and foster a positive learning environment.

How does SEED assess and diagnose dyscalculia in students?

SEED employs a thorough and multidisciplinary approach to assess and diagnose dyscalculia in students. Our team of qualified professionals, including educational psychologists and special education experts, conduct detailed assessments to understand each student’s unique learning profile. This assessment helps us design targeted interventions and create personalized therapy plans for effective support.

Can parents actively participate in their child's dyscalculia therapy at SEED?

Yes, at SEED, we believe in fostering a collaborative partnership with parents. We encourage active involvement in the therapy process. Parents receive regular updates on their child’s progress, and we provide guidance on extending therapeutic strategies to the home environment. Our goal is to create a supportive network involving both educators and parents to enhance the overall effectiveness of dyscalculia therapy.

Are there support services available for students transitioning from SEED to mainstream education after dyscalculia therapy?

Absolutely. SEED is committed to ensuring a smooth transition for students who have received dyscalculia therapy. We work closely with mainstream schools, providing comprehensive transition plans that include ongoing support, follow-up assessments, and collaboration with educators in the new academic environment. Our aim is to empower students with the skills they need to succeed beyond our specialized programs.