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Dyscalculia Symptoms

By Anna Witkin, Medical Consultant |
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Children with dyscalculia in preschool and kindergarten may struggle to learn to count, rely heavily on counting on their fingers, or have trouble recognizing numbers. School-aged kids may be very slow with arithmetic, have trouble manipulating numbers to solve problems, have difficulty keeping score in games, or be unable to calculate change in monetary transactions. In adulthood it is often possible to avoid having to solve more complex math problems, and calculators can obviate the need for mental arithmetic. While this tends to make dyscalculia less problematic later in life, individuals may still struggle with managing their money. 

It must be emphasized that although the above symptoms are quite common in individuals with dyscalculia, many of them are also common in the general population. Furthermore, formal diagnoses are not made based on the subjective experience of struggling with math. The primary utility in recognizing these symptoms is prompting appropriate formal testing.

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Anna Witkin, Medical Consultant

Anna Witkin is a contributing writer for Polygon. Anna holds a BA from UC Berkeley, a Masters in Biomedical Science from Tufts, and researched ADHD, dyslexia, and other learning differences during her time at Dartmouth School of Medicine studying for her MD.

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