Adjective or Noun

Dyscalculia or math disability is a specific learning disability involving innate difficulty in learning or comprehending simple mathematics. It is akin to dyslexia and includes difficulty in understanding numbers, learning how to manipulate numbers, learning math facts, and a number of other related symptoms (although there is no exact form of the disability). Dyscalculia occurs in people across the whole IQ range.

Symptoms include:

  • Inability to comprehend financial planning or budgeting
  • Difficulty with conceptualizing time and judging the passing of time. May be chronically late or early
  • Often unable to grasp and remember mathematical concepts, rules, formulae, and sequences
  • Difficulty navigating or mentally “turning” the map to face the current direction rather than the common North=Top usage
  • Inability to concentrate on mentally intensive tasks


As in: “I am starting to wonder if I’m dyscalculic because I can’t seem to improve my math SAT score, despite all of my studying.”


Illustrations by Jennifer Orkin Lewis