The dyscalculia is a common problem that affects the learning ability of children to learn math . However, it doesn’t just affect them at school. Challenges can also create difficulties in daily life . The good news is that there are a number of supports and strategies that can help children acquire the skills they sorely need to develop their abilities. Dyscalculia is not as well-known or understood a condition as, for example, dyslexia. However, some experts believe that it is just as common.


What is dyscalculia?

It is a lifelong condition that makes it difficult for children to do math-related tasks. It is a specific developmental disorder that is defined as mathematical dyslexia and is independent of the level of intelligence that an individual possesses.


People with dyscalculia also have problems with the way math works, such as the ability to remember math facts. They can understand the logic of mathematics, but they do not remember how or when to apply what they know to solve mathematical problems.


Characteristics of dyscalculia

The main characteristics of dyscalculia are the following:

  • Presents as a type of dysfunction of neurons in the intraperietal sulcus of the brain.
  • There is a pattern of cognitive decline .
  • It is associated with some types of deficit such as attention deficit disorder .
  • Affects the focused attention or concentration.
  • You have trouble responding to stimuli because it is very difficult for them to focus.
  • They forget instructions and tasks and their level of motivation is very low.
  • I know are easily distracted .
  • Have short-term memory .
  • Difficulties occur in information processes .
  • They need more time to process information and stimuli .


There are five different types of dyscalculia, these are the following

  • Verbal dyscalculia : There is difficulty in naming and understanding mathematical concepts that are taught verbally. They can read or write the numbers, but not recognize them when someone else mentions them.
  • Practognostic dyscalculia : There is difficulty understanding abstract-mathematical concepts. They can understand mathematical concepts, but cannot number, compare, and manipulate mathematical operations.
  • Lexical dyscalculia : There is difficulty in reading mathematical symbols, mathematical expressions or equations.
  • Graphic dyscalculia : It is the difficulty to write mathematical symbols.
  • Ideognostic dyscalculia : They cannot do mental operations without using numbers. He also has trouble remembering math concepts after learning them.
  • Operational dyscalculia : There is difficulty in executing arithmetic operations or mathematical calculations, both verbal and written.

Causes of dyscalculia

There is a deficit in neuronal connections located mainly in the brain module that is responsible for numerical processing , located in the parietal part of the brain. It is a congenital disorder , and usually when it occurs it is because some of the child’s parents have also had the condition. It is due to a neuronal dysfunction that does not allow the correct representation of the numbers and makes the decoding of the numbers difficult, preventing the understanding of the numbers. It is also believed that one cause is dyslexia as it produces neurobiological alterations.


Dyscalculia can cause different types of math difficulties. Therefore, symptoms can vary from child to child. It often looks different at different ages. It tends to become more apparent as children get older. But symptoms can appear as early as preschool.

Has trouble learning to count.

  • They skip the numbers.
  • You have trouble recognizing number symbols.
  • Has difficulty learning and remembering basic math facts, such as 2 + 4 = 6.
  • He struggles to understand math-related words, such as greater than and less than.
  • You have trouble with visual and spatial representations of numbers, such as number lines.
  • Has trouble with fractions and measuring things, like ingredients in a simple recipe.
  • You have a hard time capturing the information that is displayed in graphs or charts.
  • You have a hard time measuring things like ingredients in a simple recipe or liquids in a bottle.


Diagnosis is made through neuroimaging techniques . These techniques allow visualizing brain and central nervous system activity . It can be seen that the deficit in the neuronal connections that are associated with dyscalculia are in the cerebral module that is responsible for numerical processing that is located in the parietal lobe of the brain.

Treatment of dyscalculia

The most effective treatment is early diagnosis . With this, we can offer children the necessary tools to adapt to the learning process, we avoid educational delay and self-esteem problems.

Neural plasticity training helps to compensate for impaired brain functions, allowing the development of new brain strategies to effectively solve difficulties associated with dyscalculia.

Stimulation exercises allow stimulating brain areas with structural deficits through fun exercises and clinical games.


One of the most widely used exercises is known as ” distribution ” and consists of distributing an object in a different way in an order. The numerical strings in which the children must identify the defined numbers depending on their position. The partition numbers is another exercise widely used, and explains how the numbers break down.

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