How To Get A Dyscalculia Diagnosis

Does your child constantly struggle with numbers? Perhaps they always need to count with their fingers or have difficulty telling time. Or cannot tell the difference between large and small quantities.

These could be signs of dyscalculia and if you notice them in your child or student it may be worthwhile to follow up with tests for math learning difficulties and perhaps a full diagnosis.

So, how do you go about getting your child tested for and, if necessary, diagnosed with dyscalculia?


Photo by Ben White on Unsplash


Initial screenings of dyscalculia can be carried out by a specialist teacher and then they will usually make a referral to an educational psychologist who can do a full assessment ensuring that after the diagnosis you know exactly how to support your child and their needs. But your first step can be to talk with your child’s teacher if you are a parent, or with the parents if you are the teacher. It’s best in this situation to share and compare notes on how the child deals with numbers at school and in daily life and then you can discuss if the child’s school or doctor could be a resource for a referral to an educational psychologist.

Getting tested by an educational psychologist is important to discover if the child has dyscalculia or another math learning difficulty rather than simply needing extra support in math. The Psychologists can also give input as to the possibility of other learning differences, such as ADHD or dyslexia.

Research on dyscalculia is still developing and schools need to become aware of the need for greater resources for teachers, parents, and dyscalculic children. Getting a diagnosis is one step towards getting your child or student the support needed.

18 thoughts on “How To Get A Dyscalculia Diagnosis

  • June 8, 2017 at 9:03 pm
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    My son has been having a lot of trouble in his math classes recently and as much as I try to help him, it seems like he is almost unable to understand the concepts. Like you mentioned, it is important to test children for dyscalculia to make sure that they don’t have it and if they do have it to be able to treat it. I think that it would be important to not only treat it but to also make sure that all of his teachers know about it so that they can work with him on it.

    Reply
    • June 19, 2017 at 9:12 am
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      It is certainly true that teachers should be made aware of any difficulty your child may be having, also you’d be surprised at how unknown dyscalculia is, especially in comparison to dyslexia. That is the reason we created this blog, to raise awareness of dyscalculia so people have a more common understanding of it and how to help someone who has such difficulties. I hope your son get the help he needs and in the mean time try talking to his teachers.

      Reply
  • September 22, 2017 at 5:35 pm
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    Hi, I’ve always had problems with any sort of math’s . Even at school l would do anything to avoid it,lm not sure how l got this far trying to hide this problem as it makes me feel so stupid.l was hoping you could advise me how to get a diagnosis.lm now 47yrs old and have only just found out this maybe not my fault. Thank you

    Reply
    • September 24, 2017 at 12:39 pm
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      Hi Traceylee, There are a lot of people in a similar situation to you as dyscalculia has only been recognised fairly recently so people were just not diagnosed at all. I would recommend going to get a full assessment with an Educational Psychologist through the British Dyslexia Association, although they are mainly focused on dyslexia they also test for many other disabilities including dyscalculia. http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/dyslexic/getting-an-assessment-for-dyslexia

      The problem you may have is that it is pretty expensive for the assessment as dyscalculia and dyslexia as the NHS do not treat it as a medical issue, its normally priced around £450, you can try a quick online test before you go ahead and book it. http://app.educational-psychologist.co.uk/screening/dyscalculic/

      I hope this helped and please keep an eye on our blog, I’ll do my best to write an informative post about getting a diagnosis as an adult with dyscalculia soon.

      All the best,
      James

      Reply
  • February 19, 2021 at 6:44 pm
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    Can testing be requested at public schools by the school psychologist?

    Reply
    • February 19, 2021 at 6:58 pm
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      Hi Jess,

      Most Schools in the UK definitely can help get a child a full assessment with an educational psychologist. If you let me know where your school is I could try and find out for you? 🙂

      Reply
      • October 10, 2021 at 7:55 pm
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        Hello. I would like to get my 12 year old tested. Her school is cardinal Wiseman in Greenford, Middlesex, London.

        Reply
        • October 11, 2021 at 8:58 am
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          Hi Debbie, the best way to get a test/assessment in this situation is to get in touch with the school SENCo you can find more info for your particular school here https://www.wiseman.ealing.sch.uk/page/?title=Special+Educational+Needs+Information+Report+%28SENIR%29&pid=99 in section 2 you can find who to contact. To get a free/discounted diagnosis the school has to refer your 12 year old to an educational psychologist, some schools can be difficult with this so you may have to keep pushing for the referral. Otherwise, you will have to get a diagnosis privately which can cost up to £750.

          Hope this helps! 🙂

          Reply
    • December 22, 2021 at 6:56 pm
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      I’m 63 years young. It has taken most of my life to figure out on my own that I’m 99% sure I have Discalculia. I could never understand why I could get all A’s and B’s except Math. Math classes were sooo traumatic for me.
      The reason I didn’t get a Degree? Math. My GPA is 5.635. Math would kill it.
      Math mistakes cost me a lot too. Insufficient funds only one can screw up everything. Hate it!!
      Please tell me if I can get a free or low cost test anywhere. I’d like to be officially assessed.
      Btw my Mom told me I started out reading going right to left. Apparently I self corrected.
      Thank you so much,
      Susan

      Reply
      • January 3, 2022 at 1:46 pm
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        Hi Susan,

        Thank you for sharing with us 🙂 Where about are you based? As it is best if I can do a local search for a test or assessment.

        Happy New Year!

        Reply
  • December 5, 2021 at 8:17 pm
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    Hi there my daughter is now 16 and I think she has dyscalculus.
    As she is no longer in school what is the best way to try and get her diagnosed?

    Reply
    • December 8, 2021 at 10:19 am
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      Hi Jude, Great question and can be tricky to answer depending on where you live. Let me know your local area and I can look into it for you 🙂 If you’d like to keep that information more private please feel free to Email us.

      Reply
  • May 1, 2022 at 9:29 am
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    Hello
    My daughter is 10yrs old, I have always known that she struggled with numbers like myself, but have really noticed it in yr 6 while she is studying for her SATS. Her stress levels are through the roof, due to all the pressure the school are putting on them, I have requested that she have more time but said that she does not fall in to the criteria. I would like to get her tested as I don’t want high school to be a place she hates going because of her fear in maths. Her school is William Amory, Blythe Bridge, stoke -on-Trent. Thank you

    Reply
    • May 2, 2022 at 4:45 pm
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      Hi Arwa,

      I’ll email you shortly with more information 🙂

      Reply
  • June 16, 2022 at 7:59 am
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    My daughter is 13. School will not test her for dyscalculia. My son has dyslexia. I’d like to pay for a test but where? We are in Derby. The test won’t help her with additional exam time, will it?

    Instead of testing should I be paying for lessons but is there anywhere locally that will teach in a multisensory way? Do you know? I’m not sure what to do to help her.

    Reply
    • June 17, 2022 at 2:31 pm
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      Hi Yvonne, Thanks for your questions.

      You will need to contact an educational psychologist to get a diagnosis for your daughter. An excellent organisation to contact about this is the Dyscalculia Network they usually have people in most regions of the UK for diagnosis and tutoring.

      Getting a diagnosis should mean your daughter will get extra time on her exams, and most schools now allow the use of a calculator for those with dyscalculia. If you want something to support your daughter right now whilst you wait for a diagnosis, I would recommend using Calcularis as it’s designed explicitly for dyscalculics and has helped many people we’ve been in contact with.

      Hope this helps and let me know if you have any more questions.
      All the best,
      James

      Reply
  • July 7, 2022 at 2:15 pm
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    Hi, my 14 year old daughter has issues with maths & really struggles to grasp the concepts leaving her frustrated, I would like her tested for dyscalculia but no idea where to start, any advice greatly appreciated.

    Reply
    • July 13, 2022 at 10:27 am
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      Hi Tracy,

      I’ll email you and we can find a way to help your daughter.

      James

      Reply

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