What is Dyscalculia




Dyscalculia is a specific learning difficulty which affects a person's ability to acquire mathematical skills.  It results in difficulty performing arithmetic operation, and with learning number facts and procedures.  However, dyscalculia does not imply low intelligence or poor educational potential; it can be found in people with normal to superior intellect.

Developmental Dyscalculia is when an individual is born with the condition.  It is characterised by poor numerical skills, including difficulty in being able to intuitively grasp the size of numbers.  Individuals with dyscalculia also have issues with memory, particularly with retaining and retrieving information in relation to numbers.  This condition is sometimes referred to as 'number blindness'.   

Acquired Dyscalculia (Acalculia) is characterised by the inability to perform mathematical calculations, despite a previous ability to do so.  Resulting from a head injury, stroke, or neurological impairment, this condition is most commonly associated with the left hemisphere of the brain.  It results in an interference with many everyday activities, such as shopping and working out the balance of a bank account. 

What are the Signs?

Some of the characteristics associated with dyscalculia include the following:

  • Difficulty with times tables
  • Difficulty mastering arithmetic facts and equations required to complete an examination
  • Difficulty with conceptualising time and judging the amount of time passed
  • Poor understanding or confusion of mathematical symbols: +, -, etc
  • Difficulty with everyday tasks such as dealing with money and working out change

How is it Diagnosed?

At Ability Smart, a diagnosis of dyscalculia involves a suitably qualified and experienced assessor conducting a range of comprehensive diagnostic and advisory services.  These include:

  • Dyscalculia Screening Questionnaire - to gain a detailed understanding of an adult's difficulties, and their medical and educational history;
  • Assessment of Mathematical Skills - to identify specific areas of under-performance;
  • Cognitive Functioning Assessment - to gain an overview of an adult's abilities such as; short term visual memory, short term auditory memory, verbal comprehension, and perceptual organisation. 

For adults in the workplace, the following additional services are offered:

  • Workplace Needs Assessment - to determine how an adult's difficulties affect them at work and to recommend ways to address these issues.
  • Adult Learner's Profile - a service offered in conjunction with a Workplace Needs Assessment for adults who have previously undergone a diagnostic assessment. This will identify their preferred learning style.

What Solutions are Available?

Ability Smart delivers a wide range of tailored interventions for adults in the workplace who have been diagnosed with dyscalculia.  These include:

  • One-to-one Support Training

Adults with dyscalculia can develop compensatory strategies to minimise the effects of their difficulties.  Ability Smart recommends:

  • Displaying mathematical terms and symbols at your work station, which will act as a visual reminder;
  • Try talking through mathematical problems with a colleague or friend to help with reasoning.

Ability Smart believes that, with the appropriate adjustments put in place, an individual's true potential can really be unlocked.

Find out more!

Contact us if you would like further information, or if you would like to enquire about an assessment,  click here.