Guideline Dyscalculia
Math, oh God!

What is dyscalculia?

Dyscalculia or arithmetic disorder is a fundamental weakness in which normally gifted people find it particularly difficult to comprehend the world of numbers and perform computational operations correctly. Even simple addition tasks in the number range up to 10 can be solved for a long time only with great effort and with the help of illustrative material. Often affected children have early difficulties with the room-position orientation (top, bottom, front, rear).

Number and number are not the same

Number or number

People with dyscalculia do not make any distinctions between a number (name for a quantity) and a number (e.g. house number, bus line). They need their fingers or other aids for a long time as a arithmetic aid. Although you know the numbers and can usually recite them in the correct order, they do not link them to sets or logical thought processes.

Subtracting or invoices beyond 10 are a major hurdle. People with a computational disorder or dyscalculia have problems with number sequences and find it difficult to assign numbers to the corresponding quantities. Watch the videon

Guideline Dyscalculia 2018 developed

With the S3 guideline on arithmetic disorder, which was currently published in March 2018, clear and interdisciplinary recommendations for the diagnosis and promotion of children, adolescents and adults with computational disorders are available for the first time. The guideline was initiated by the German Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy (DGKJP) and was presented by 20 scientific societies and professional associations in the fields of psychology, pedagogy, medicine, didactics and learning therapy.

The guideline is available free of charge for download on the websites of AWMF, DGKJP (, BVL ( and The Child and Adolescent Psychiatry of the LMU Munich (

Dyscalculia can affect anyone

Dyscalculia or arithmetic disorder is when general and persistent difficulties in learning mathematical connections occur over a longer period of time. Dyscalculia is usually detected during school, but the first signs can be seen in preschool age.

Dyscalculia Guidelines 2018 | S3 guideline on computational interference
These could be signs of dyscalculia:
  • Children who count the number of eyes again and again when dice and do not recognize even the two or three at a glance, and
  • Children who can count each other again and again when running the number of dice and cannot assign numbers to the corresponding quantity,
  • or show absolutely no interest in numbers and digits, may have a dyscalculia.

Unfortunately, unlike dyslexia, there is not yet a regulation in all federal states on the treatment of dyscalculia in schools. Often, dyscalculia is not recognized due to ignorance.

Parents’ question on dyscalculia

Parent voices dyscalculia

Mother: “My daughter attends a school in Thuringia. She is currently in the 3rd grade primary school. Two years ago, you were diagnosed with dyscalculia. After all, she has finally been receiving dyscalculia training at school for 5 months. She is making progress but is not at the level of class in mathematics. It is not possible to come along in mathematics   lessons. 
In the half-yearly certificate she is average in many subjects in the good range in three subjects and only in mathematics she has a fiver (grade scale of 1-6). Unfortunately, I hear again and again from the school that compensation for disadvantages would not be possible under Thuringian laws. I come across a lot of ignorance on the part of the school. What can I do?”
Answer dyscalculia question
Answer: “ In Thuringia, there is no night ice compensation in children with dyscalculia. Nevertheless, additional support is possible. The aid should be called for through the“Technical Recommendation on Support Measures for Children and Young People with Special Learning Difficulties in the General Schools in Thuringia of August 2008″.
This directive does not speak of arithmetic weakness, but of ‘special learning difficulties in arithmetic’. In addition to individual support measures such as internal differentiation and support lessons that your daughter gets, a suspension of the grades may also be appropriate. I would encourage that in your place.”
Computational processes are incomprehensible for children with dyscalculia

Low-income children in the sense of dyscalculia often do not understand the tasks set at school and therefore cannot even begin to solve them. But the calculation paths are also a mystery to them. Often they simply write down any numbers to do something. They often cannot explain their research processes.

What are the causes of dyscalculia?

Many children with dyscalculia have a left-right weakness. As a result, they not only twist numbers for arithmetic tasks, but also change the calculation path within a calculation operation. Memory weaknesses and perceptual weaknesses, for example in the perception of space, are also among the known causes.

Train arithmetic: Capture quantities at a glance

In addition to counting, it is also important that children with dyscalculia learn to capture small amounts at a glance as early as possible. If they only count at all costs, then the calculation process takes a very long time later. Therefore, it makes sense to encourage preschoolers to capture quantities up to five at a glance. How many oranges are in the fruit bowl? How many armchairs are in the living room? How many dice are on the table? Play Domino for the exercise and let your child announce the point set on the stones.

Cut pizza and apples

The next step in understanding computational operations is to break down quantities. Let your child divide an apple into equal sized pieces. Take a glass full of water and encourage your child to pour half of it into another glass. Or collect chestnuts and let your child form two as equal clusters as possible.

Talk about what happens to the materials. Let your child pour the water back or tip the chestnuts back onto a pile. It learns that a lot can be done with a lot. They can be divided into equally large quantities, or they can be formed in very different quantities.