## What are typical math expectations?

Mathematics is a difficult skill that we can not learn all at once. It builds throughout the years, and every time we learn something new we get ready to learn something else. Typical math skills include being able to identify and count numbers when we see them or in our heads; understanding what addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division are and how to do them; and being able to count money, tell time, and measure things.

## When should I pay special attention to math difficulties?

A lot of people may face difficulties with math. But there are some signs that may be noticed when we are young children that may indicate a more significant concern that we should pay attention to. If you have any doubts on how to identify these signs, ask a trusted caregiver or a teacher for help.

When we are young children, signs that we may be struggling with math difficulties include:

• Difficulty recognizing numbers.
• Delays in learning to count.
• Troubles with connecting numerical symbols (5) with their corresponding words (five).
• Difficulty recognizing patterns or putting things in order.
• Needing to use visual aids, like fingers, to count.

When we are older, signs that we may be struggling with math difficulties include:

• Having significant difficulty learning basic math functions like addition and subtraction, times tables, and more.
• Being unable to understand the concepts behind word problems and other non-numerical math calculations.
• Having difficulty estimating how long it will take to complete a task.
• Struggling with math homework assignments and tests.
• Having difficulty keeping at grade level in math.
• Struggling to process visual spatial ideas like graphs and charts.

Other areas that may be related to mathematics difficulties include:

• Remembering frequently used numbers, such as telephone numbers, postal codes, and game scores.
• Counting money, making change, or estimating how much items will cost.
• Reading clocks or telling time.
• Judging distances or making real-life measurements.
• Recalling directions to a location.
• Keeping score during games.

## What can I do if I struggle with math difficulties?

It can be hard and frustrating to deal with math difficulties. If you understand that you struggle with them, there are a few things you may try to reduce the impact they have on your life and to get better at math little by little.

First, most of the things we are suggesting might be more easily done with the help of a trusted adult and a teacher. You may try to:

There are things that can be helpful on a daily basis and others that might be helpful when you have specific challenging tasks or assignments to complete. You may try to:

If you have a task, an activity or an assignment that your math difficulties make it harder to complete, you may try to:

If you have already tried some or most of these suggestions and the problems you are facing persist, it may be time to ask a trusted adult to seek out professional support.

Math  skills that don't advance the way they should despite efforts, and difficulties that are too far from those typically faced by others our same age may indicate the presence of a disorder called Dyscalculia.

## What kind of  professional support can be sought out?

It is not unusual for us to feel embarrassed, inadequate, or even guilty if we are having math difficulties. Sometimes we can even think that the problem is not a big deal or that we may grow out of it. But, if we think we may be having reading difficulties, support and guidance are available now.

If you think you have math difficulties and they are persisting for more than  a few weeks, talk to a trusted adult or teacher. They can help you to seek an evaluation from a professional or a supportive math intervention. The earlier that support is given, even short-term support, the better the outcomes are.

Educational specialists or math tutors, especially those with experience working with students who learn differently, can help us approach math problems in different and more effective ways. Tutoring also allows us to practice math skills in a slower, less stressful setting.

Outside of school, additional services are available at the Centers of Multidisciplinary Assessment, Counseling, and Support (KEDASY).