General Information

  • Different terminologies and criteria are used across different researchers and authorities (e.g., dyscalculia or developmental dyscalculia, specific learning disabilities in mathematics calculation or mathematics problem solving, specific learning disorders with impairment in mathematics)
  • Approximately 5% to 8% of school-age children exhibit mathematics learning disabilities (MLD), have persistent early difficulties in number sense (e.g., understanding number magnitude) and basic fact retrieval strategies (Geary, 2011), and have associated cognitive dysfunction (e.g., impairment of working memory and visuospatial skills).
  • Approximately 20% to 60% of children with dyscalculia have co-occurrence or comorbid disorders (i.e., dyslexia or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

Who are Children with Dyscalculia?

Developmental dyscalculia is “a structural disorder of mathematical abilities which has its origin in a genetic or congenital disorder in those parts of the brain that are the direct anatomico-physiological substrate of the maturation of the mathematical abilities adequate to age, without a simultaneous disorder of general mental functions” (Kosc, 1970, p. 192).



Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11)
  • Specific learning disorder
  • Symptoms persist for at least 6 months despite the provision of interventions
  • Developmental learning disorder
  • Synonyms: Mathematics disorder, a disorder of arithmetical skills
  • A type of neurodevelopmental disorders
  • With impairment in mathematics number sense, memorization of arithmetic facts, accurate or fluent calculation, and accurate math reasoning
  • The affected academic skills are substantially and quantifiably below those expected for the individual's chronological age
  • Impairment in mathematics is not due to a disorder of intellectual disabilities, sensory impairment, lack of availability of education, or lack of proficiency in the language of academic instruction.
  • A specific learning disability (SLD) means “a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia” (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2004;
  • The child does not achieve adequately for the child’s age or to meet State-approved grade-level standards in mathematics calculation or mathematics problem solving.
  • The child does not make sufficient progress to meet age or State-approved grade-level standards in one or more areas when using a process based on the child’s response to scientific, research-based intervention (see Principles for SLD Eligibility: Practice & Policy Considerations for States and School Districts)


Dyscalculia Screeners