Are you noticing that your child can’t connect counting to numbers?

Your child has been in school for a few weeks and you have noticed that even though your child can count, they are struggling to make the connection between the counting and the actual number.

I cannot diagnose dyscalculia, only a school psychologist can, but this can be a symptom of this disorder. And, yes, this can be very frustrating. But, if your child is in this situation, don’t feel as if your child is going to be a failure in math. That is not the case.

Just like dyslexia, dyscalculia has its mysteries, but working together with professionals that have experience with this can be helpful. If your child’s teacher hasn’t recognized this as a possibility, don’t get worked up about this either. Schedule a conference time that works for both of you, and then meet and discuss your concerns.

I also want to let you know that many youngsters struggle in kindergarten and first grade to make these connections. However, if your child is nearing the end of first grade and still cannot make those connections, I would highly recommend intervention.

Here are some things I recommend that may help. And, I also want you to know that as the parent, you need to take action at home. Remember, your child’s teacher has a full classroom, and there may not be enough time to do significant intervention during the school day.

Keep the counting practice going. But, use items to support the counting. I would highly recommend using things that are identical in nature. Things like dry beans, pennies, or Legos work great for this. Once your child can independently counting while using the items up to 10, then transition into counting them and then writing the numbers that correspond to those numbers. This will help cement the counting number to a concrete item, and then transition that thought into an abstract concept of the written number.

I would also use the math term of “digit” for the written number. Children get the words number and digit mixed up. So, reinforce the fact that the written number is called a digit.

Once your child has master 1-10 with this method, then begin to transition to things of mixed type. Count 1-10 using different toys and then repeat the process. As your child begins to understand, move toward higher numbers and continue the process. For little kiddos, I would recommend working up to 25.

I hope this will help you move your child forward with their understanding of counting and the written digits.

If you are seeking a licensed teacher who has worked with students who have struggled with dyscalculia, you have found me! I have had experience with this. While there is no magic to overcome dyscalculia, patience, understanding, and repeated trials with numbers and strategies work! Math intervention works! If you would like to work with me, you can email me directly at or go to my website at

Published by Tutoring with Sheryl

I have 32 years of experience teaching in public schools in Nebraska. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincon. I hold a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Doane University. I have 2 Google for Education Certifications. I have been tutoring online for 1 year. I have worked with countless students of all ages to support their education. I also support teachers with planning and management in their classrooms.

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