singers Ed Sheeran, Cher, and Robbie Williams
actors Keira Knightly, Orlando Bloom, and Mary-Kay Olsen
inventors Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin
What do they all have in common?
A disability in learning math called "dyscalculia" (pronounced dis-kal-KYOO-lee-uh).
What is dyscalculia?
While many people have problems with or dislike math, dyscalculia is more than that. It's a learning disability that affects how someone is able to process and use numbers in a variety of situations, in ways that others from their peer group do not.
What are the signs?
People with dyscalculia have consistent challenges with:
basic math facts like multiplication tables ✖️
recognizing quantities under 10 without counting ("subitizing") 🔢
linking numbers and amounts ⛓️
mental math and problem-solving 🤔
telling time on an analog clock ⏲️
recognizing patterns and sequencing numbers 👀
money matters (e.g. counting bills, estimating) 💵
estimating distances and times of arrival 📐
stating which of two numbers is larger 🗣️
They might often:
Count or calculate with their fingers, even for simple calculations 🖐️
Avoid playing games or sports involving keeping score 🏈
forget frequently called or used numbers (phone, employee, etc.) 🤯
You're concerned about your marks in math class and wonder if you might have dyscalculia. Which of the behaviors below might be evidence of dyscalculia? Select all that apply:
How do I get a diagnosis?
Teachers and parents may be some of the first to notice the signs of dyscalculia. But it should be diagnosed by a professional like a psychiatrist or neuropsychologist.
If you think you might have dyscalculia:
1. Talk to your math teacher and ask them to make note of your areas of trouble.
Visit a doctor to rule out any medical issues that might be impacting your learning like vision or hearing impairment, or brain injury. They can also refer you to a psychiatrist or neuropsychologist for assessment.
If you suspect you might have dyscalculia: