Preterm children at increased risk of having math problems 

Taken straight from article:

“Researchers have found that preterm children are at an increased risk of having general cognitive and mathematic problems.

The study's results, which looked at 922 children between the ages of seven and nine, showed that there is no direct correlation between preterm births and dyscalculia. However, the authors showed that being small-for-gestational-age is an indicator of whether a child is likely to have dyscalculia.

Children who are born very preterm, before 32 weeks, of gestational age have a 39.4% chance of having general mathematic impairment compared to 14.9% of those born at term (39 to 41 weeks)”


Dyscalculia is a diagnosis used to describe learning difficulties in performing math related tasks. Key signs of dyscalculia are lacking an intuitive grasp of numbers and have problems learning number facts and procedures. It is difficult for teenagers to understand the wider concepts that govern the rules of Math such as understanding quantities or how algebra works.

Signs to monitor for Dyscalculia in teenagers:

  • Difficulty estimating how long an activity will take
  • Unable to budget pocket money
  • Late for school and other events
  • Difficulty in giving directions
  • Difficulty in measuring things such as time, temperature, length, money etc

Dyscalculia often goes undetected by teachers as it is not as well known or understood as Dyslexia however research and awareness is now growing.

Teenagers who have dyscalculia should be provided with the appropriate maths intervention to ensure the specific learning needs are met. Getting the right support can help them to thrive in school.


Learning as much as you can about the disability can help with easing anxiety. It can guide you to make more informed choices when you can see how much you can do for your teenager. Also meeting other parents that have a teenager with Dyscalculia or joining an online support group which help support you. Working closely with your teenagers’ school to ensure all the right services and resources are in place for your teenager.

Helping your teenager with Dyscalculia requires patience and an understanding of the condition. Teenagers might develop math anxiety if they are pushed to complete their homework within a specified time frame.

Parents can help their teenagers with Dyscalculia by speaking positively to them, believing in them and focusing on their strengths will help empower them. Benjamín Franklin, Cher and Henry Winkler (the Fonz) all had Dyscalculia and lead very successful lives.

Henry Winkler on learning issues – “You are all powerful, Every one of you. Even though school might be difficult, school does not define us. You all have wonderful and smart thoughts; therefore, you are all smart”

Useful links: https://dyslexiaassociation.org.au/support/dyslexiadysgraphia-and-dyscalculia/

Diagnosis in Australia is made by an Educational Psychologist, a referral will be required from your Paediatrician if required. Please note that 6 months of intervention is required before a diagnosis can be made.

For further information please visit:

Special thanks to Australian Dyslexia Association for content sharing and linking to provide further information and direction for families with any concerns.

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Disclaimer: This publication by Miracle Babies Foundation is intended solely for general education and assistance and it is it is not medical advice or a healthcare recommendation. It should not be used for the purpose of medical diagnosis or treatment for any individual condition. This publication has been developed by our Parent Advisory Team (all who are parents of premature and sick babies) and has been reviewed and approved by a Clinical Advisory Team. This publication is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Miracle Babies Foundation recommends that professional medical advice and services be sought out from a qualified healthcare provider familiar with your personal circumstances.To the extent permitted by law, Miracle Babies Foundation excludes and disclaims any liability of any kind (directly or indirectly arising) to any reader of this publication who acts or does not act in reliance wholly or partly on the content of this general publication. If you would like to provide any feedback on the information please email [email protected].