Infographic: Does your child struggle with Math? (Text Alternative)

Dyscalculia could be the reason.

What is dyscalculia?

Dyscalculia (dis-kal-KYOO-lee-uh) is not as well known as dyslexia, but both are learning disabilities.

Dyscalculia = Math

Causes trouble with

  • Understanding arithmetic (numbers) concepts and solving arithmetic problems
  • Estimating time, measuring, and budgeting

Also called a Math Learning Disability

Graphic: White chalk on a green chalkboard forms the equation "1 + 1 = 2" and outlined numbers "1 2 3."

Dyslexia = Written language

Causes trouble withj

  • Spelling
  • Understanding written sentences
  • Recognizing printed words seen before

Also called a Reading Disability

Graphic: White chalk on a green chalkboard forms an image of an open book.

How many people have dyscalculia?

Boys are slightly more likely to have dyscalculia than girls.

Graphic: Two boys and one girl smile, wave, and sit at desks in a classroom. The girl's desk has an open book. The boys' desks each have a pile of two books. To the right of the desks is a bulletin board with a solid blue outline of the United States, within which is the text "More than 20 million people."

What are the risk factors for dyscalculia?

Graphic: Horizontal yellow half-yard stick that starts at the left at 1 inch and ends at the right at 18 inches. Three sections are marked off: By age 4; Age 6-12; Age 12+.

By age 4

Has trouble

  • Listing numbers in correct order
  • Matching number words or written digits to number of objects
  • Counting objects

Graphic: Three flash cards labeled with the word "One," the number "2," and an image of three apples.

Age 6–12

Has regular and lasting trouble

  • Performing addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division appropriate to grade level
  • Recognizing math errors

Graphic: Three flash cards with a math problem and a penciled-in answer with a question mark, indicating uncertainty. The first card has "7 + 4 = 10?" The second card has "3 × 5 = 35?" The third card has "19 - 11 = 18?"

Age 12+

Has trouble

  • Estimating (informed guessing)
  • Making exact calculations
  • Understanding graphs and charts
  • Understanding fractions and decimals

Graphic: A piece of paper labeled "Homework" with two math problems with a penciled-in answer with a question mark, indicating uncertainty. Problem 1 shows a graph with a steadily increasing slope. The problem asks "Increasing?" to which the penciled answer is "No?" Problem 2 says "Estimate. 3.75 + 2.75 =," and the penciled-in answer is "6.5."

Graphic: Large horizontal pencil pointing to the left. Part of the eraser is bitten off. The yellow part of the pencil contains the sentence "Math anxiety (worry) is also common with dyscalculia."

How can adults reduce the risk of dyscalculia in young children?

Show the child that numbers are a normal part of everyday life.

  • Mention numbers to your child while doing everyday activities—like grocery shopping or setting the table.
  • Count out loud and show the child both the written number word ("three") and digit ("3").
  • Count actual objects the child can see.
  • Compare objects in everyday conversation using words that describe size or amount.

For more information about learning disabilities, visit

Graphic: Outdoor scene with several instances of counting and comparisons and several smiling and waving people. In the left foreground, a mother watches a dog and a boy holding three balloons labeled 1, 2, and 3 with both the word and digit. Above the balloons is the phrase "Three balloons." In the right foreground, a father and daughter stand behind a large duck and three ducklings. The ducklings are labeled 1, 2, and 3; above them is the phrase "Three smaller." The large duck has the phrase "Four (4) ducks" below it and the phrase "One bigger" above it. In the right background is a house with a door and five windows. The awnings of the windows are labeled 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Near the roof, the house has the phrase "Five windows." To the left of the house is an apple tree, above which is the question "How many apples?" Between the house and tree are two fences. The left fence is labeled "Longer fence" and the right fence is labeled "Shorter fence."

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Graphic: Logo for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health. Links to

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