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What is it? - A learning difficulty involving the most basic aspect of arithmetical skills. The difficulty lies in the reception, comprehension, or production of quantitative and spatial information. Students with dyscalculia may have difficulty in understanding simple number concepts, lack an intuitive grasp of numbers and have problems learning number facts and procedures.

These can relate to basic concepts such as telling the time, calculating prices and handling change and estimating and measuring such things as temperature and speed.

Video: Dealing with Dyslexia at University

Savannah is a college student who has a specific learning difference known as dyscalculia. Savannah says she had trouble with basic math concepts. “Even adding and subtracting were always really difficult for me,” says Savannah. She also says she also struggles with making exact change, judging distance, and keeping track of time. Watch as she shares how she overcomes those challenges and now thrives as a college student at University.

How can I support students with Dyscalculia?

1. Break Tasks Down into Subsets

Dyscalculic students can easily get overwhelmed by a complex problem or concept, especially if it builds on prior knowledge — which they may not have retained. Separating a problem into its component parts and working through them one at a time can help students focus, see connections and avoid overload.

2. Draw the Problem

Drawing the problem can also help visual learners to see relationships and understand concepts. Students can “draw through” the problem with images that reflect their understanding of the problem and show ways to solve it.

3. Review Often

Like other learning disabilities, dyscalculia affects student success both in and out of the classroom. Study strategies that bring the abstract world of mathematics down to earth with visual and verbal cues and physical props can help dyscalculic students overcome obstacles to making sense of math.