It is not uncommon for children to struggle with maths at some point during their schooling. However, children who experience maths difficulties at a greater level than their peers may have Specific Learning Disorder with Impairment in Mathematics (also referred to as dyscalculia). This diagnosis refers to a pattern of difficulties characterised by problems processing numerical information, learning arithmetic facts, performing accurate calculations, and reasoning with mathematical concepts. 

Assessing for maths difficulties

As with any other learning difficulty, there is no single test that can be used to diagnose maths difficulties. A comprehensive assessment that evaluates overall intellectual functioning, maths-related skills, and other areas of thinking (such as attention, working memory, visual-spatial processing, and memory) is required to characterise the nature and severity of maths problems. This allows for interventions to be developed that are tailored to the individual’s specific strengths and weaknesses. A comprehensive assessment is also necessary to rule out other factors that may be contributing to maths difficulties. For example, intellectual disability, dyslexia, ADHD, and visual processing disorders can all impact on a child’s ability to perform accurate calculations.

Maths difficulties at different ages

Maths difficulties vary across individuals and often look different at different ages. Although symptoms can be present from preschool, maths difficulties tend to become more noticeable as the child gets older and maths becomes a major part of the school day. 

What to look for: 


Primary School

High School

What next?

If any of these signs rung true for you or your child we encourage you to BOOK IN with our to see our resident psychologist Daniéll Siderowitz. Dani can provide comprehensive assessments using standardised evidence-based assessment tools to reach a diagnosis of the problems.

Or contact us on: 02 9139 0126