Dyscalculia Checklist: Signs to look for

Last Updated on October 10, 2023 by Editorial Team


Dyscalculia is the difficulty of learning mathematics. It is not something that you can cure. This learning disorder is a part of the personality of a person. The only way to beat this disorder is to learn the ways to live with it. About 5% of students in the primary school stage suffer from Dyscalculia; the number in later stages becomes questionable due to dropping out of school, which affects data quite considerably.

Dyscalculia types

Some researchers classify dyscalculia as quantitative and qualitative dyscalculia; the latter covers disorders that pertain more to the inability to perform math reasoning. The quantitative type mostly covers difficulty in the identification and computation of numbers.

Dyscalculia checklist – an informal exercise

The signature symptom of dyscalculia manifests in the form of poor performance of a student in math subjects. By digging deeper into the database of children with poor math skills, one can arrive at a set of symptoms. A Dyscalculia checklist is what you need to screen early-stage signs and symptoms of a child having dyscalculia. Keep a regular check on your child’s learning patterns and correlate them with the given dyscalculia checklist below :

  1. Always counting and adding numbers using fingers
  2. Inability to count backward
  3. Difficulty in differentiating objects size-wise
  4. Inability to calculate change while shopping
  5. Inability to identify currency bill values
  6. Poor estimation of approximate quantities
  7. Tendency to reverse the order of two digits in a number
  8. Inability to perform mathematical operations and comparison of equations
  9. Tendency to forget the learned math concepts overnight
  10. Mostly ‘adding only’ no matter what the mathematical sign says
  11. Inability to find the place value of the digit in any number
  12. Very slow in performing mathematical operations, still doing those erroneously
  13. Avoiding math at any cost
  14. Absence of abstract reasoning pertaining to time and orientation

Use of Dyscalculia checklist

The Dyscalculia checklist is an important activity that allows teachers to make an informal assessment of a child suffering from this disorder. It is made with the aim to tabulate the most common attributes of dyscalculic behavior in a child.

In some assessment procedures, the items in the dyscalculia checklist are given a corresponding weight ranging from  0 to 5. All the items on the dyscalculia checklist are ranked on this scale. Though there are no such terms as less dyscalculic or more dyscalculic, the higher score tells about the severity of the disorder the child is facing. According to the results of this assessment, the teaching procedure or plan is chalked out.

Dyscalculia is a permanent learning deficiency caused by to defective neurological structure of the number learning part of the brain. To help the student cope with this, it is better to teach alternative ways to compute and perform mathematical operations. The Dyscalculia checklist offers a reliable source for ascertaining the kind of activity plan that will benefit the students in the best possible manner.

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