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. Adults with dyscalculia find it difficult to perform simple calculations which can lead to higher levels of anxiety and frustration. Dyscalculia is not a problem with intelligence, adults of all intellectual abilities can be affected by dyscalculia. Adults are more likely to suffer in relation to career opportunities at work which can hold a person back and impact their emotional state.

How to spot Dyscalculia in Adults

  • Difficulty estimating how long an activity will take
  • Unable to budget money
  • Late for meetings
  • Difficulty in giving directions
  • Difficulty in measuring things such as time, temperature, length, money etc
  • Struggle to keep score in games
  • Finds it difficult to use Excel formulas
  • Spatial difficulties so can find driving a car hard

Dyscalculia often goes undetected in school by teachers as its not as well known or understood as Dyslexia, however research and awareness is now growing. If you think you have dyscalculia as an adult talk to your doctor who can get an evaluation done for you and give the right support.


Adults with dyscalculia may find it useful to use aids such as getting a calculator, putting up charts for common conversions in your workplace. Planning your day and tasks on your phone and using alarms, timers, reminders and calendars. Also informing your work colleagues and manager so that they can make adjustments and invest in resources for you.  Benjamín Franklin, Cher and Henry Winkler (the Fonz) all had dyscalculia and they never let their maths issues hold them back.

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”

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Learning as much as you can about the disability can help with easing anxiety. It can guide you to make more informed choices.   Also meeting other adults that have dyscalculia by joining an online support group can help.

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 https://dyslexiaassociation.org.au/

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].