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Why Does My Child Have Trouble With Math?

“My daughter is 8 and she still has trouble counting. Why is she struggling so much?”

Many children have trouble with math, but some students find it more difficult than others. These may be otherwise bright children who have a keen sense of logic and reasoning but still perform poorly on homework, tests, and quizzes.  Children who have trouble with math are often trying really hard, they just need more and better support to improve.

But why is your daughter/son struggling so much with math? What could be the reason? What causes your child to have trouble with math?

It’s important to try and identify the reasons early on. Given the right combination of classroom accommodations and learning strategies, every child can achieve their full potential in math.

What Can Cause Trouble With Math?

Before we delve into why your child might be struggling with math, it is important to note that children develop math skills at different rates. Your child might just need more time to hit those math milestones. So give it time, note their progress, and if you still feel they are behind their classmates, talk to your child’s teacher.

So, what can be causing your child’s trouble with math?

  • Math Anxiety. Your child may feel anxious about doing math. This is called math anxiety. Children get so stressed out about math that it gets in the way of learning math. Math anxiety can make it seem like your child is struggling with math, even if they aren’t.
  • Self-Esteem. If your child repeatedly underperforms in math, they may become demotivated and believe they are “stupid” or not good at the subject, and just “give up”.
  • Falling behind. Math is cumulative. If your child has fallen behind (for whatever reason), it might mean your child has missed out on much of what is taught for the rest of the school term.
  • ADHD. Children with ADHD might rush ahead and skip a step, or struggle to focus and be unable to check their work once they have finished a problem.
  • Dyscalculia. Dyscalculia causes trouble with math. It is a condition in which individuals struggle with performing basic calculations and have trouble manipulating numbers in the same way as their peers.
    Click here to read more about dyscalculia.
  • Dysgraphia or Dyspraxia. Students with dysgraphia and dyspraxia (have a hard time writing by hand), might become so distracted by number formation that they make careless errors or get the steps in an equation in the wrong order.
  • Dyslexia. Children with dyslexia may also have a hard time with math due to difficulty reading numbers and following word problems. They might also reorder digits when writing down their answers.
    Click here to read more about dyslexia.
  • Visual Processing Disorder. Children with visual processing disorders might lack the visual-spatial processing skills they need to align numbers, read graphs, and perform basic geometric operations.
  • Poor Cognitive Skills. If your child’s cognitive skills are not developed as they should be, their ability to organise, manage their time, plan ahead, etc. may not be on par and could be a root cause of your child’s under-performance in math.
  • Poor Executive Function Skills. Read about the “5 Ways Executive Function Issues Can Impact Math

The good news is that whatever is behind your child’s difficulties with math, there are things you can do to help. Not sure how? Or where to start? Don’t worry, we have created a list for you of how you can help your child at home. A cheat sheet of sorts Click here to download our “How you can help at home” cheat sheet.

At Biolink Attention Training, we want nothing more than to see your child be successful, just as much as you do. If you feel that you need some help in guiding your son or daughter with their academics or address a cognitive issue that’s affecting their school life. then contact us today or find a center near you.

Lizaan Spangenberg

Biolink Attention Training Head Office