Children with mathematics disorder have difficulty learning and remembering numerals, cannot remember basic facts about numbers and are slow and inaccurate in their calculations. Typically children with mathematics disorder perform poorly in four groups of skills. These are:
* Linguistic skills (i.e. skills related to understanding mathematical terms and converting written problems into mathematical symbols)
* Perceptual skills (i.e. the ability to recognise and understand symbols and other groups of numbers)
* Mathematical skills (basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and following sequencing of basic operations)
* Attentional skills ( i.e. copying figures correctly and observing operational figures correctly)
Mathematics disorder often appears in conjunction with language and reading disorders and it is thought to affect girls more often than boys. This diagnosis is generally made when a child’s mathematical skills fall significantly below what is expected for the child’s age, intellectual ability and education. A child with mathematics disorder can usually be identified by the age of eight years (grade 3). The most effective treatments combine teaching of mathematical concepts with continuous practice in solving maths problems. Flash cards, computer games and workbooks can also be very helpful in this regard.