The British Dyslexia Association now has an agreed definition for Development dyscalculia:

“Development dyscalculia is a specific and persistent difficulty in understanding arithmetic and basic number sense. It may also affect retrieval of number facts and key procedures, fluent calculation and interpreting numerical information. It is diverse in character and occurs across all ages and abilities. Dyscalculia is an unexpected difficulty in maths that cannot be explained by external factors.

Maths difficulties are often thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category, with dyscalculia at the extreme end of this continuum. It should be expected that developmental dyscalculia will be distinguishable from general maths difficulties due to the severity of difficulties with symbolic and non-symbolic magnitude, number sense and subitising.

Developmental dyscalculia can often co-occur with other specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and attention deficit hyperactive disorder.”


Children with dyscalculia can not be taught maths by teaching at a slower pace than children who do not have the condition. Specialist interventions are required and these may depend on the needs of each child: 


  • Early identification of needs in maths, leading to early interventions where necessary.
  • The concrete-pictorial-abstract approach to maths teaching, which is known to support children with dyscalculia.
  • Multi-sensory teaching, so that children can use as many senses as possible each time a number is encountered and manipulated.
  • Practical aids such as base 10, Unifix, Numicon, Lego bricks – anything that can be physically counted and worked with
  • setting up the learning for success, by breaking it down into tiny chunks so that the child is achieving and does not get anxious
  • doing lots of recapping and embedding learning throughout.

Contact Us

  • Powick CofE Primary School
  • 42 Malvern Road, Powick, Worcester, Worcestershire, WR2 4RT