What is Mathematics Disorder?

August 3, 2021

A mathematics disorder is a learning disorder in which a person, often a child, will have problems learning math skills and using them in everyday life. This disorder sometimes goes hand in hand with another learning disorder like dyslexia or dysgraphia, but other times an individual may be considered average or even above average in other areas. Many times, this condition will be diagnosed early in life and is known as dyscalculia. Another type of mathematics disorder, however, is known as acalculia, which is typically diagnosed well into adulthood after some type of neurological trauma.

Many experts believe that there are two types of mathematics disorders. Individuals with mathematical computation disorder often have trouble solving simple math problems, like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Those with mathematical reasoning disorder mainly have trouble understanding and using mathematical reasoning skills to solve everyday problems. People with mathematical reasoning disorder, for example, may not understand how to calculate the square footage of a room.

There are a number of signs and symptoms of a mathematics disorder. The most obvious ones can include difficulty in such things as counting, recognizing and writing numbers, and calculating simple arithmetic. Also, an individual with a mathematics disorder may also reverse numbers. He may see the number "92" as "29," and math signs and symbols, such as addition and subtraction signs, may be confusing to him or he may substitute one for the other. Other signs and symptoms of these types of disorders may include things like trouble telling time or the inability to distinguish left from right.

Dyscalculia is generally recognized during elementary school, either by a teacher or by a parent. Children who have a mathematics disorder may, however, scoot by until either middle or high school before a problem is recognized. These students often have above average intelligence in areas such as reading or writing.

Get access to the world's best math tutors.

When a mathematics disorder is suspected, the student will usually be given standardized math tests. These are used to determine his mathematical ability compared to other students his age. Psychological testing may also be done to rule out any other mental disorders, such as mental retardation, autism, and ADHD. If he tests well below average on the math portions of the tests and other neurological disorders are ruled out, he is usually diagnosed with a mathematics disorder.

Treatment for mathematics disorders is often successful. Many educators and psychologists believe that catching and treating the problem early is the key to success, and there seems to be evidence to support this. Often, students with a math disability will be placed in special education classes or remedial math. Special math tutors may also help them get a better grasp on the subject. If caught early enough, a mathematics disorder may not pose much of a problem later in life.

Latest Articles

All Articles

How Can I Score Well on the GED® Math Test?

Passing the General Education Development® (GED®) test gives a person the equivalent of a high school diploma. The math test is one of five sections of the exam. To score well on the GED® math test, you need a sound understanding of the concepts tested in each of the four content areas covered in this section.


What Does a Live Math Tutor Do?

A live math tutor provides individual instruction in areas of math and quantitative sciences. These professionals provide human interaction for students who need face-to-face guidance, and one-on-one teaching to master difficult math topics. Live math tutors offer specialized study guidance according to a particular student’s needs.


What Is Interdisciplinary Mathematics?

Interdisciplinary mathematics is a field of mathematics that merges math expertise with proficiency in another discipline, usually science, business, medicine or engineering. This contemporary training approach to educating math majors caters to employers who need professionals with strong math skills but who have a broader scope of application than traditional mathematics majors.