Does Dyslexia Affect Maths? Are Dyslexics Good at Maths?

How can a dyslexic child answer a Maths question, if they are unable to read it?

This was the problem my primary school age daughter had. She always struggled in school with her reading and writing, because she is dyslexic. So she was unable to read and then answer maths questions.

Dyslexic children also struggle with memory, so my little girl has also struggled to learn her times-tables. Now she believes she can not do Maths.

Can Dyslexics be good at Maths?

I am dyslexic and once I got to high-school, when I had learned to read and write. Maths and Science became my strong subjects. I was able to think abstractly, in shapes, colours and patterns. This made me good at algebra and able to understand scientific concepts. I achieved high grades in Maths exams. Yet as I struggled with organisation and planning. I still struggled with Maths projects and course work.

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Does Dyslexia Affect Maths?

  • 60% of children with dyslexia have numeracy difficulties

Dyslexia is an issue with reading, writing and processing. It should not affect Maths ability and lead to numeracy difficulties. Yet it dyslexia can impact on a dyslexic child's Maths for the reasons listed below. To learn more also see "How does dyslexia affect Maths learning?".

  • Unable to read and writing questions.
  • Remember timetables and recognise symbols.
  • Struggle to come-up with and process answers quickly.
  • Plan Maths projects and understand information.

Maths Problems, Dyscalculia Diagnosis

A child that is struggling with Maths, that has numeracy difficulties, could have "Dsycalculia". Learn more "What is the difference between dyslexia and dyscalculia?"

Like dyslexia this is a processing issue that affects numbers and Maths. A child could have both dyslexia and dsycalculia. They would need a dyscalculia diagnosis to confirm this. Learn more see "What is dyscalculia?"

Signs of Dyscalculia

  • Struggles with remembering basic maths formats, such as adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing.
  • Finds it hard to recognise and understand maths symbols.
  • Has trouble understanding the size or quantity of numbers.
  • Finds it tough to follow the steps needed to solve maths problems and sums.
  • Struggles with time and dates. Like understanding the order of days, months, or telling the time on a clock.
  • Finds it hard to put numbers in the correct order and see patterns in numbers.
  • Difficulty in learning and understanding maths, so can be slower at completing work.
  • Work really hard, with extra support, yet still struggles with maths.

To learn more about the difference between dyslexia and other processing issues. See "Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia And Dysgraphia Explained In Simple Terms".

More Helpful Articles:

How to Help a Dyslexic Child with Maths, Numbers

To help a dyslexic child get better at Maths, try the dyslexic friendly methods below:

  • Use Pictures and Drawings: Show pictures and draw things, to help them understand maths better.
  • Touch and See: Use things they can touch and play with to learn maths, like toys or buttons.
  • Colour Things Differently: Use different colours to make parts of maths problems stand out and be easier to understand.
  • Take Small Steps: When they have a big maths problem, break it into small parts. Do one part at a time and follow the steps.
  • Use Real-Life Examples: Connect maths to things they see every day, like counting money or measuring ingredients for cooking.
  • Be Happy About Progress: Celebrate even small successes in maths to help them feel good about learning.
  • Try Technology Help: Use apps or computer programs that can make learning maths in a different way.
  • Make a Good Place to Learn: Be in a nice and helpful space where they can ask questions and feel good about learning.
  • Practice Often: Do maths games and puzzles to help them get better. Doing a little bit every day helps a lot.
  • Learn in Their Own Way: Everyone is different. Find out what works best for them and help them learn in a way that suits them.

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