Mathematics Disorders

  • Ellen H. O’DonnellEmail author
Part of the Current Clinical Psychiatry book series (CCPSY)


The prevalence of math disorders is similar to that of developmental dyslexia and ADHD. However, there is no agreed-upon core cognitive deficit in mathematics disorder. In this chapter, subtypes of math disorders are outlined and explained based on developmental delays in skills such as number representation, language processing, working memory and executive functions, and spatial or nonverbal reasoning. Both typical and atypical developments of math skills are explained to help clinicians who work with children to recognize and flag the need to refer for additional testing. Identifying, via comprehensive neuropsychological assessment, the pattern of cognitive processing strengths and weaknesses that contribute to an individual’s underachievement in math provides the best path to implementing effective intervention. A number of common measures of math skills as well as of the cognitive skills that underlie math reasoning are listed and described. Finally, potential comorbidities of and interventions for math disorders are discussed and an illustrative case study presented.


Math disorders Dyscalculia Math learning disability 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Child PsychiatryMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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