Dyscalculia is a specific learning disability that affects a person’s ability to work with numbers and understand math problems and facts.
The condition commonly first appears in childhood, and early intervention is key.
In this guide, we’ll describe some of the signs and symptoms a child may exhibit and tell you exactly how to get your child tested for dyscalculia.
A Brief Overview Of Dyscalculia
Dyscalculia is a learning difficulty where people find it hard to understand numbers and do maths.
People with dyscalculia might struggle with basic maths, like adding and subtracting, telling the time, or handling money.
It doesn’t mean they’re not smart in other areas.
They often need different ways of learning, like using pictures or breaking down maths into easier steps.
Dyscalculia is a difficulty with how the brain works with numbers, not a problem with how hard someone tries.
Signs of dyscalculia in children include:
- Difficulty counting
- Trouble recognising and understanding number patterns
- Difficulty with learning and remembering math facts and math problems
- Trouble identifying math symbols and connecting numbers to their word version
- Using fingers to count when peers are using mental methods of calculation
- Difficulty associating numbers with a number of items
- Understanding time fully or having some trouble with money.
Many of the above troubles will lead to anxiety in children, but it’s worth being aware that dyscalculia is different to math anxiety.
If you recognise any of the above signs, it may be worth taking your child for a dyscalculia assessment.
What Are The Benefits Of Getting A Dyscalculia Diagnosis?
Having an assessment and receiving an official diagnosis may feel a little scary at first, but there are numerous benefits to receiving a diagnosis.
Firstly, having a diagnosis and understanding why a child finds maths and numbers a little more tricky than their friends can take off a lot of pressure.
Knowing that they’re not doing anything wrong but that their brain works a little differently from their peers can make all of the difference.
Having an official diagnosis can also open up new opportunities for adjustments for your child, making their learning journey a little less stressful.
If a child is diagnosed with dyscalculia, the school is responsible for making reasonable adjustments.
These adjustments can include allowing the child more time to complete math tasks or do tests, presenting the information to your child in a different way so they find concepts easier to understand, specialist support or tuition, access to supportive technology, and much more.
Can Schools Diagnose Dyscalculia?
Teachers may notice signs that could indicate dyscalculia and can inform the parents of their concerns.
Specialist teachers may be able to carry out an initial assessment and make a referral for a child to receive a full assessment.
This can sometimes be a time-consuming process, and parents can opt to find an assessor themselves, which may speed up the diagnosis.
Who Can Diagnose A Child With Dyscalculia?
To get an official dyscalculia diagnosis for your child, you need to be referred to a psychologist specialising in dyscalculia or choose a private, certified assessor.
You may be able to speak to your GP about your concerns, but dyscalculia diagnoses don’t fall under the remit of the NHS.
How Can I Get My Child Tested For Dyscalculia?
For many parents, the quickest way to get a dyscalculia assessment is by choosing to work with a certified private assessor like Simply Thrive.
Alternatively, you can request a referral via your child’s school, as we touched on above.
How To Choose A Dyscalculia Assessment Provider
If you decide to take your child to an assessment provider for a dyscalculia diagnosis, you will want to consider the assessor’s experience with dyscalculia tests.
You’ll also need to think about whether you want the assessment done remotely or in person.
Don’t forget to take a look at their reviews, too.
At Simply Thrive, we are experienced with conducting dyscalculia assessments. We have an initial online test that you can take with your child here.
We offer full assessments in person in South Wales and the South West of England.
If you live further afield, you can opt for a remote assessment instead.
Our dyscalculia assessment costs are outlined below:
- Remote dyscalculia assessments: £495
- In-person dyscalculia assessments: £545
What Should I Do If My Child Is Diagnosed With Dyscalculia?
The first thing to do following a diagnosis is to speak with your child and help them understand what it means.
Reassure them that they are good at so many things, but their brain works a little differently to some other children, which means that they sometimes have trouble with maths and numbers – and that’s perfectly okay.
Explain to them that the diagnosis means you can now speak to the school to see how things can be made easier for them.
Arrange a meeting with your child’s school to bring them up to speed on the diagnosis and discuss the reasonable measures that can be put into place.
Our Final Thoughts
Getting a dyscalculia diagnosis for your child can be beneficial as it allows you both to understand how their brain works and what support can be put in place to help them tackle maths and number-related tasks.
The easiest way to get a diagnosis is to do an assessment with a certified company.
If you’d like to talk more about our dyscalculia assessments, you can contact us here.
Alternatively, if you’re ready to book, you can do so here.
Further reading: How To Get A Dyslexia Diagnosis.
Other Frequently Asked Questions About Dyscalculia In Children
Below, we’ve answered a few more FAQs that you may find helpful if you’re seeking a dyscalculia diagnosis for your child.
How Does Dyscalculia Affect A Child’s Behaviour?
Children with dyscalculia may become anxious when faced with numbers and math problems. They can also experience low self-esteem. You may find that your child shies away from tasks involving numbers or maths.
Do kids outgrow dyscalculia?
No, children don’t tend to outgrow dyscalculia.
What are kids with dyscalculia good at?
Every child is different, but it’s common to find that children with dyscalculia excel at reading, spelling, and writing.