Diagnosing Dyscalculia

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Diagnosing Dyscalculia

So how are those with dyscalculia diagnosed? Diagnostic professionals may look for a number of symptoms. A person with this disorder may . . .

  • have spatial problems and difficulties aligning numbers into columns.
  • have trouble with sequences of numbers and concepts (left/right orientation).
  • confuse similar numbers (in sound or appearance).
  • have difficulties understanding word problems.
  • have difficulties using a calculator.
  • have difficulties with abstract concepts of time and direction.
  • have difficulties recalling schedules or keeping track of time.
  • lack “big picture/whole picture” thinking (like the ability to grasp or picture mechanical processes).
  • produce inconsistent results in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
  • be unable to grasp concepts, rules, formulas, sequences, orders of operation, and basic addition.
  • have difficulties with memory (e.g., long-term memory or concept mastery).

The Difficulty of Diagnosis

Still, dyscalculia is not often the first designation a psychologist or a special educator may give a person with this condition. If it can be proven, a person may be diagnosed with a learning disability such as visual processing disorder (since it appears that this condition may be associated) or something else. When there’s nothing else there to definitively prove it’s one of those learning disorders, dyscalculia may be written down as the person’s learning disability if the one area affected happens to be math skills.

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