Dyscalculia and Math Disorders, Themba Tutors

Dyscalculia and Math Tutoring

Understanding Dyscalculia: Learning Math and Numbers

Dyscalculia can sometimes be referred to as math dyslexia and can be associated with other learning disorders such as ADHD, executive functioning issues and math anxiety. But they are not the same conditions. Dyscalculia is a math disorder that negatively affects one s ability to comprehend everything from simple arithmetic to complex math. Math tutoring is crucial for success.


Understanding math is not the only problem for a student with dyscalculia. It also comes with many challenges that impact their ability to perform everyday tasks such as counting change, telling time, distance, or speed. Even remembering numbers can be difficult. This brain-related math disability limits the capacity to quickly compute basic math facts. Math tutors can help!

Dyscalculia and Math Disorders, Themba Tutors

Is Your Child Having Difficulty in Math

Math Learning Specialists at Themba Tutors are experts in math tutoring for students with dyscalculia in (NYC) New York City: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx, and Long Island, Westchester, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Does Your Child have Dyscalculia or a Math Learning Disorder

Symptoms of dyscalculia may vary for each student depending on their different stages of learning math. It is estimated that 5%-7% of elementary school children may show symptoms of dyscalculia. It is yet to be known whether it is more common in boys or girls.

  • Difficulty with time, directions, recalling schedules, a sequence of events, trouble keeping track of time, and frequently late.
  • Poor recollection of names, name-face association, substitute names beginning with the same letter.
  • Difficulty learning addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Bad at financial planning and money management.
  • Mistakes in writing, reading and recalling numbers. A student with dyscalculia may add a number, substitute, transpose, omit and do reversals of digits.
  • Unable to perceive and remember math concepts, rules, formulas, sequence (order operations), and basic math facts.
  • Inconsistent ability to solve math problems. May be able to accomplish math operations today but unable to do the same on the next day, able to do book work but have difficulties remember math facts during tests.
  • Unable to imagine or picture mechanical processes. Reduced ability to visualize or picture the location of numbers on a clock, geographical areas of states, countries, oceans, streets, etc.
  • Gets lost or disoriented quickly, lacks a sense of direction.
  • May lose things often, seems absent-minded, may have a poor memory where things are placed.
  • Trouble keeping up with dance steps and exercise routines, difficulty in motor sequencing which will be noticeable in athletic performance.
  • Trouble remembering how to keep score in games, like bowling, cards, etc. Often loses track of whose turn it is.
  • Experiences anxiety during math tasks.
  • Uses fingers to count, loses track when counting, difficulty with mental math, adds with dots or tally marks.
  • Numbers and math seem like foreign languages.
  • Confused when counting (for younger students).
  • Trouble linking words with corresponding numbers. Children may experience difficulty recognizing that the symbol 5 is the same as the word five.

Source: Dyscalculia.org

Dyscalculia and Math Disorders, Themba Tutors

What are the Causes of Dyscalculia

The causes of dyscalculia are still to be discovered. Some of the possible causes include:

  • Genetics

Dyscalculia tends to run in the family, the genes have an impact on whether a child has it or not.

  • Brain Development

The brain structure of individuals with dyscalculia is different in areas where the brain functions less efficiently in handling numbers.

  • Brain Injury

Injuries to a certain part of the brain may cause acquired dyscalculia.


Other factors that may cause dyscalculia are:

Premature birth

Low birthweight

Fetal alcohol syndrome

Should You Have Your Child Assessed for Dyscalculia

An evaluation is required to determine whether a student has dyscalculia. A child must show a considerably lower than expected capacity in mathematics based on their age, intelligence, and background. A licensed neuropsychologist should perform the evaluation.

Several tests are conducted to assess the student s:

  • Computational skills
  • Math fluency
  • Mental computation
  • Quantitative reasoning


Different methods are used to determine learning levels.

  • Allow use of fingers and scratch paper
  • Create diagrams and draw math concepts
  • Provide peer assistance
  • Encourage the use of graph paper
  • Usage of colored pencils to set apart number problems
  • Work with manipulatives
  • Draw pictures of word problems
  • Use of mnemonic devices to understand math concepts
  • Use rhythm and music to teach math facts and to set levels to a beat
  • Schedule use of computer for the student to practice

What s the Best Math Tutoring Approach for Students with Dyscalculia

Tutors, parents, teachers and the neuropsychologist must work together to support students with math disorders in the following ways:

  • Personalized teaching plans based on the specific needs of each student
  • Foundational skills coaching to advance students to higher-level math
  • Introducing and encouraging math-based games
  • Usage of graph paper to help to learn math
  • Present new math-related skills through explanations and examples before moving on to abstract interpretations

Source: Idaamerica


The Understood Team

Retrieved from (n.d.) Understanding Dyscalculia.

Garnett, K. (1998). Math learning disabilities.

Retrieved from www.ldonline.org.

Dyscalculia: Causes, Symptoms, and Prevalence. (2019, October 16).

Retrieved from: Dopa Solutions




Dyscalculia: An Online PD for Teachers

In this video you will learn about the development, training and support groups for thos with dyscalculia.

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