HOME PAGE / BLOG / What is Dyscalculia And How to Improve Learning Difficulty in Mathematics?
Last Update Date: 15 April 2021

Learning difficulty in mathematics, also known as Dyscalculia, is a learning disability that makes it difficult to comprehend numbers and symbols and to perform mathematical calculations. Generally, it’s known as the mathematical version of dyslexia.

Dyscalculia can occur in people from across any IQ level. Dyscalculia is often associated with people, who have Turner syndrome. In this article, we will talk about how to support children with learning difficulty in mathematics and most common treatment methods. Let's start with the symptoms of dyscalculia.

What is The Difficulty of Learning Mathematics

Math learning disorder symptoms usually occur during childhood. Especially symptoms become apparent with significant behaviours for those children, who start primary or pre-school education.


  • Having difficulty with basic mathematical operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division (even if the question is straightforward), and spending a long time thinking on them.
  • It is impossible to create a sequence of math operations that lead to the result.
  • Cannot memorize the multiplication table or forget it in a few days.
  • Making simple mistakes by having memory problems.
  • Mixing mathematical symbols.
  • Cannot learn the right-left concept or constantly making mistakes in this regard.
  • Attention disorder, cannot concentrate on the subject.
  • Failure to master the concepts of date, hour, and time.
  • Failure to learn simple geometric shapes.
  • Counting fingers for all math operations all the time.
  • Paying the wrong amount of money or cannot calculate the change during shopping.
  • Having difficulties counting coins.
  • Making a lot of mistakes in logical and strategic games.

If you observe some or all of those symptoms above on your child, you may need a specialist consultant. If the child does not have any mental problems at all, it is possible to get rid of these deficiencies at a great deal with a number of methods and exercises.


As family members:

  1. Of course, the first step is to get support from children's mental health and disease associations. Have the necessary tests (example: The dyscalculia symptoms test). If it is diagnosed, you will be directed accordingly.
  2. Do not use accusatory expressions and boost positive motivation all the time.
  3. Exercise frequently with a variety of math problems. Support the child until he/she solves the question because if the questions cannot be solved, this may cause the child to get angry or get confused. Congratulate the effort even if only some parts of the question is solved. Turn these exercises into a game format.
  4. Make them play math games that are good for dyscalculia like MentalUP Educational Math Games. Gamification is one of the best teaching methods besides improving mathematical intelligence. The game allows the child to get attracted and focused.
  5. Built teamwork with the class teacher and the school counsellor. Tell the special condition of your child and make them treat your child sensitively. Evaluate the teachers’ advice and also gain insight into your child's learning style (such as sensory, cognitive, visual or auditory learning style) By this way, you will be able to provide your child with a customized learning process. Discovering your child's learning style will also help you with this.
  6. If you have an opportunity, you can get support from a private tutor or educational institution.
  7. Apply attention and memory exercises. Make the child play attention games and memory games.
  8. Identify the areas of interest and specific talents of the child with dyscalculia. You can increase the life satisfaction and motivation of the child by motivating him/her on those areas. Those children who have the difficulty of learning mathematics need accomplishment because they are being accused of "incompetence" by their friends. If you can discover their special talents, making them experience the feeling of accomplishment may be easier.
  9. Make them play short arithmetic intelligence games. Help them develop problem-solving skills with games that require logic and strategy.
  10. Be very patient. Do not get angry or tired when the child cannot do simple calculations. Try to help again, again and again.
math learning disorder


You can get children's books to make dyscalculic children practice on figures and calculations. Also, chess-type strategy games and similar logic games can be helpful. You can make lots of calculations together by turning them into a game. You must also check MentalUP gamified math exercises.

MentalUP Gamified Mathematics Exercises is a mental skill development practice application which has been awarded a pedagogical product certificate by the Mental Health Association. There are so many entertaining and scientific games that are developed by specialist doctors and academicians who are specialized in their fields. Children see MentalUP as a fun activity, not an extra responsibility. By this way, they complete their daily exercise without any insistence.

How does MentalUP contribute to children with math learning disorder?

This application has not been developed for only children with dyscalculia. It is a versatile application that children without any learning disabilities can also use to improve their mental skills. Together with this, digital intelligence games, math operation games, logic games, attention games, memory games, and mathematical intelligence games are very useful for children with dyscalculia. One of the most important features of MentalUP is that it measures the game performance of the user and automatically determines the appropriate exercises for the potency. Also, it provides the opportunity to compare performance reports with their peers and to examine the development graph.

MentalUP also has a boosting effect on school success because it provides development on mental skills of children.

Try MentalUP Now


The best treatment method for the difficulty of learning mathematics is education because the difficulty of learning mathematics is not a disease. Even if you go for routine medical control, you will be called as a patient; however, the dyscalculia occurs because of the differences in the function of the brain. Education as a treatment method, that we are trying to explain, includes being conscious of the topics we mentioned above and supporting the child with specific education programs.

Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder can be observed in children with dyscalculia. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) treatment is recommended in this case.

To sum up;

You can have various math learning disorder tests by taking an appointment at Child Psychiatric and Diseases Center and after that specialist child psychiatrists can diagnose and apply treatment both for dyscalculia and other triggered disorders. There is no specific treatment (medication or surgery) for dyscalculia itself. The best treatment methods can be evaluated as the recommendations in this article. It is necessary to pay attention and be conscious of education.


Unfortunately, children with math disorders may get bullied by their friends. The worse thing to experience would be an unconscious teacher that may call them ‘idiot’ or ‘lazy’. These mistakes may also be followed by unconscious parents. Because children with dyscalculia can be highly skilled in some other subjects rather than mathematics. Parents can accuse them like:

-You can do it if you want. You've always been naughty. You do not do it because you are lazy and etc.

It is obviously a huge mistake to look at the situation in this way. If your child is very talented on some other topics, it proves you that the child has no problem with intelligence. There is no need to have any special ability either. If your child has normal skills for other matters besides mathematics, he/she is proving that there is no problem with the intelligence. Instead of acting on your own, you need to get support from an expert child psychiatrist as soon as possible.

Family members and other people, who cannot show empathy in such situations can affect the mental health of children with dyscalculia negatively. Children, who cannot express themselves correctly and are subjected to various kinds of humiliation tend to lose their motivation over time and run away from all responsibilities. There is always the possibility for those children, who are introvert and have lost the sense of self, may experience isolation from society and serious psychological problems!

The family and society need to be conscious of this issue in order to avoid all these negative results. Special skills of the child should be supported and the child should get help to improve himself/herself. The best way to achieve this is to use proper training and helpful exercises.