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Math Anxiety v/s Dyscalculia.

Math anxiety v/s Dyscalculia


Learning Disabilities Types

Let’s be honest, math is hard for many students. But for others, it can be more than just difficult. As students begin to learn math in school, they are often overwhelmed and nervous about the subject, especially during their first math exam, but after they have learned the basics of math, they are more confident in solving questions. 


But in many other cases, students cannot fully grasp the concept of math, regardless of how much they practice the steps and procedures to solve the math problem, and this type of persistent difficulty can cause overwhelming feelings towards the subject, resulting in what we call as “Math Anxiety”.It is defined as having negative feelings toward math that can cause feelings of tension, anxiety, or fear when faced with a math problem. These emotions can range from feeling tense, anxious, and afraid to feeling rage and despair.

The problem of dyscalculia, on the other hand, extends beyond a fear of math. The term describes problems with mathematics, including difficulty understanding the meaning of numbers, and difficulty applying mathematical principles to solve problems. Dyscalculia is rarely recognized in childhood.


Both math anxiety and Dyscalculia can impact a child’s math performance.


Math Anxiety v/s Dyscalculia:


Math anxiety and Dyscalculia are two different things and should not be confused with one another. Although in some cases Dyscalculia may lead to having math anxiety, it is important to separate and identify the two and provide the child with accurate guidance. Although Dyscalculia presents differently between individuals, math anxiety is understandably widespread. Anxiety is a natural feeling to have when exposed to unfavorable situations from something in the past. At Empowerkidz, we encounter many children and their parents that have questions related to the difference between Math anxiety and Dyscalculia. For which there are certain signs respectively that can solve the confusion between the two!


Now lets see their respective signs;


Signs of math anxiety:


  • Lack of confidence; feeling of helplessness; fear of making mistakes.
  • Racing heart; irregular breathing; sweating; shakiness; biting nails; feeling of hollowness in stomach; nausea.
  • Frustration at not succeeding at math.
  • Never getting the right answer to a question or not knowing where to start.
  • Confusion and the desire to quit and go home.
  • Stressed before and during exams.
  • Stop listening in class.


Signs of Dyscalculia:


  • Counting numbers with fingers
  • Quantity recognition and estimation problems
  • Problems with learning and memorizing numbers 
  • Problems matching quantities to numbers
  • Multiplication, division, fractions, carrying, and borrowing are difficult to understand or remember.
  • There may be difficulties reconciling word cues (for example, “two”) and their mathematical symbols (for example, “two”).
  • Having difficulty explaining math processes or illustrating work when asked to perform a task in mathematics.
  • Having trouble recalling the steps in a math process or describing the sequence of events.

Also Read: Symptoms Of Dyscalculia, We Should Keep a Lookout For


If you think your child is suffering from Dyscalculia or math anxiety. We can help you clear all your doubts and find solutions. Get in touch with Dr. Anupma Sethi at +1-669-900-2315

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