Dyscalculia can be summed up as difficulty learning and performing arithmetic. It consists of a set of problems similar to those of dyslexia, but instead of affecting words, it is with numbers that they have difficulties. In fact, it is considered a type of dyslexia.

Neither type of dyscalculia is related to IQ. In fact, this problem occurs among the normal population, since if there is an injury or any other mental problem that makes numerical learning impossible, it is not called dyscalculia, but is called acalculia.

How it is detected

The causes of dyscalculia are diverse, so it is often not easy to detect it. In fact, until the age of 4 or 5 it is not possible to identify if it is a problem of this type. When from that age it is observed that a child has difficulty identifying the largest or smallest number in a sequence, which is the one that would follow next, or, when he does a progressive count, he forgets any of the numbers, one must be careful as there could be dyscalculia problems.

It is not within the definition of dyscalculia to see that a child is counting on his fingers. In fact, in primary education this aspect is quite frequent and normal, especially in the first grade. If this event were to be prolonged in time, there would be the possibility of a learning problem.

Experts also mention that having difficulty counting down, calculating approximately or not knowing the type of basic operation when doing a calculation problem (addition, subtraction, etc.) may be other symptoms. In this case, dyscalculia exercises may be needed to help overcome the barriers that someone suffering from dyscalculia may face in the future.


Since the causes can be diverse, its treatment also includes different methods. For this reason, it is important to locate the cause first, to be able to treat it as soon as possible and avoid a significant educational delay, which leads many children with difficulties to feel great frustration and suffering.

The first thing that must be strengthened is motivation. Children need to understand that they only struggle with math, but that there are other areas where they are sure to excel. The best treatment for dyscalculia is patience and effort, recognizing that it is a problem that will never go away, but that it can be greatly improved.

There are exercises with which to obtain good results. Dictating numbers or keeping score in a game can help a lot.

Another activity for dyscalculia is doing arithmetic exercises, first in a very elementary grade and little by little increasing the level. Always leaving, in any case, that the child take all the time he needs to understand himself without unnecessarily accelerating the rhythms.

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