arithmetic disorders (specific)

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Specific arithmetic disorders are probably the second commonest specific learning disorder (after a specific reading disorder). However there is little known about this condition and little epidemiological data about it.

This condition cannot be explained by a generally low IQ. There is unlikely to be a single cause.

It represents less of a severe handicap to everyday life than a specific reading disorder. However it can lead to secondary emotional difficulties if an individual is exposed to situations where arithmetic skills are used eg in school.

Treatment is using remedial teaching. However the efficacy of treatment interventions is not known.

A more detailed account is given by : Cantwell (1980). Developmental arithmetic disorder. In Comprehensive textbook of psychiatry, 3rd Edn (ed. H I Kaplan, A M Freedman, and B J Sadock). Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore.

Last reviewed 01/2018