This includes problems in mathematical computations. Poor math achievement may appear in learning difficulties such as distinguishing numbers and copying shapes, recalling math facts, writing numbers legibly, and relating math terms to meaning. Other weak areas may include complex reasoning and awareness, including identifying, using, and lacks the knowledge of step-by-step problem-solving math procedures.
The more commonly observed math difficulties in children with this disorder are:
- Shape Discrimination: Children's difficulties with shapes might affect later recognition of specific numbers. Many LD children incorrectly perceive number shapes [e.g. 6 as 9 and 3 as 8].
- Size Discrimination: This problem is very common in LD children. Concrete geometric concepts such as big, small, long and short, and abstract numerical concepts such as more and less, cannot be understand by these children. All complex quantitative skills are based upon the ability to discriminate between different sizes.
- Sets and Numbers: A set is a well-defined collection or group of objects. Everything that belongs to the set is an element or number of set. Many LD children are unable to understand the concept of a set. It is difficult for them to recognize, the commonalities that distinguish a box of crayons, a bowl of apples or a group of boys, as three sets.
- Counting: Counting is the first step in arithmetic training. Many children who are unable to count meaningfully are later hindered in the basic computational skills of addition and subtraction. Children with this difficulty often skip numbers when counting along [e.g. 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 11]. Others count correctly, but without understanding that each number corresponds to a particular element in a set.
- Auditory-Visual Association: These children have difficulties in relating what they see visually with what they know auditory. They feel difficulty with associating the spoken word 'six' with the written symbol '6' or even written word 'six'.
- Place Value: An understanding of the concept of place value is basic to many mathematical functions. Many LD children do not grasp the idea that the same digit [e.g. 4] may denote different degree of magnitude according to its place in the numeral [e.g. 47, 14 or 422]. The child with place value difficulty might not understand the reason that 47 is not just 4 & 7, nor he understand the significance involved in reversing 47 into 74. Some children are unable to complete arithmetic sums requiring carrying or borrowing [e.g. add 63 and 18 as 711].
- Computational Skills: Some children have specific problems with the fundamental arithmetic processes of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Many of these computational problems are due to difficulties with the fundamental skills of one to one correspondence, counting and set notation.
- Measurement: The idea that some objects are taller, shorter, larger, or smaller than other objects is one of the very first principles of measurement that might prove confusing to some children. The use of number lines and rulers, which involves the principles of measurement, is an additional area of difficulty for many LD children.
- Quantitative Language: Difficulty in understanding such quantitative concepts as more, less, before, after, big, little, larger, fewer, more than, fewer than, as many as etc. are often an early indicator of later mathematical disabilities. Operational signs are an additional quantitative language consideration causing confusion for some children. Some children cannot differentiate a + from a -; others find it difficult to perceive particular symbols as a whole. The equal [-] sign perceived by some children as two subtraction signs. The quantitative language disabilities seem to affect mathematical achievement at all levels, from pre-school through secondary levels.