Skip Navigation




From Hootie's Nest: What is Dyscalculia?

March 23, 2023
By Lynn Guion, Math Coordinator


What is Dyscalculia? 

Dyscalculia is a math learning disability that impairs an individual’s ability to learn number-related concepts, perform accurate math calculations, reason and problem solve, and perform other basic math skills. Dyscalculia is sometimes called “number dyslexia” or “math dyslexia.” According to recent research from The National Institute of Medicine, “...Much like dyslexia disrupts areas of the brain related to reading, dyscalculia affects brain areas that handle math and number-related skills and understanding. Symptoms of this condition usually appear in childhood, but adults may have dyscalculia without knowing it.”  Dyscalculia is uncommon but widespread. Experts estimate it affects between 3% and 7% of people worldwide

Signs of Dyscalculia – Signs of dyscalculia may include difficulties with:

  • Connecting a number to a quantity
  • Counting backward and forward
  • Comparing numbers
  • Recalling basic math facts
  • Sense of direction
  • Mental math 
  • Making sense of time and money
  • Sequencing numbers 

Ways to Help – There are many different ways to support a student with dyscalculia including the following:  

  • Graph paper to help your student keep their columns and numbers aligned.
  • Hands-on manipulatives.
  • Allowing the use of a calculator.
  • Adjusting the difficulty of the task in addition to extra time to complete the task.
  • Using a journal or posters to remind students of basic math skills.
  • Math apps and games that practice essential math skills that make math learning fun.

Did you know? 

Our teachers use multi-sensory methods which include kinesthetic, auditory, and visual. These methods of teaching help students to use their learning strengths to support areas of challenge in their math understanding. Our students are actively engaged in their learning by using math tools, such as fraction bars, base ten blocks, and various other manipulatives to teach concepts.  Movement in the classroom is a key component, as well as modification, and differentiation of work assigned to meet the needs of each student.


  • The Dyscalculia Toolkit by Ronit Bird has great information and over 250 activities and games to engage students with dyscalculia. 
  • is also a very good resource for teachers and parents.

Tags: phpsstories
Posted in PHPS Stories