A study has been conducted by the University of Missouri [1] in 12 different public schools in an attempt to determine the early warning signs of math disabilities in children.

One hundred seventy-seven students were tested 1-3 times between kindergarten and the fifth grade. The study has shown that generally students who were unable to understand the fundamental concept of exact numerical quantities (i.e. the number 3 represents three dots on a page) were diagnosed with a math learning disability by fifth grade.

Other early warning signs associated with a math disability include difficulty recalling answers to single-digit addition problems, distractibility in class, and difficulty understanding complex math problems that can be broken down into smaller problems and be solved individually. While the study doesn’t prove that these factors cause a learning disability, it is clear from the study that students who exhibit these early troubles in math tend to fall behind their peers.

It is possible for students with disabilities to make progress in math. To learn about dyslexia and math, visit our Mathematics page [2].

Read more about the study over at the U.S. News and World Report [3].