What is Dyscalculia?


Dyscalculia is a learning disorder that affects a person’s ability to understand and perform arithmetic tasks. It is often referred to as a “math disability” and is believed to affect approximately 5-7% of the population. While dyscalculia is not as well-known as dyslexia, it can have a significant impact on a person’s ability to succeed in school and in their professional life.

Assessment for Dyscalculia

The assessment of dyscalculia can be a complex process, as it involves not only evaluating a person’s mathematical skills, but also understanding their cognitive and learning abilities. This requires a psychological assessment that takes into account a variety of factors, including cognitive abilities, learning style, and educational history.

Standardized Testing

One common approach to assessing dyscalculia is through the use of standardized tests. These tests are designed to measure a person’s mathematical skills and can be administered by a trained professional, such as a psychologist or educational therapist. Standardized tests can provide valuable information about a person’s mathematical abilities and help to identify areas of weakness.

Cognitive Assessments

These tests are used to evaluate a person’s cognitive abilities, such as their memory, attention, and problem-solving skills. They may include tasks such as repeating a list of numbers backwards, recalling a list of words, or solving puzzles.

Learning Style Assessments

These tests are used to identify a person’s preferred learning style and can help to determine the most effective ways for them to learn new information.

Educational History

A person’s educational history, including their grades and any previous testing, can provide valuable information about their mathematical skills and learning abilities.


An interview with the person being assessed, as well as with their parents or teachers, can provide valuable insight into their experiences with math and their perception of their own mathematical abilities.

Dyscalculia Treatment

The results of these assessments can be used to develop a treatment plan for dyscalculia. This may include:

    • Individualized tutoring
    • Use of assistive technology
    • Accommodations in the classroom
    • Extra time on tests or the use of manipulatives

Living with Dyscalculia

It is important to note that dyscalculia is a lifelong condition and treatment is ongoing. Regular assessments can help to track a person’s progress and identify any areas that may need additional support.

While dyscalculia can be challenging, it is important to remember that it is a manageable condition. With the right support and accommodations, people with dyscalculia can succeed in school and in their professional lives. If you or someone you know is struggling with math, it is important to seek out a qualified professional for assessment and guidance on the next steps.