In DSM-III, this disorder is called Developmental Arithmetic Disorder

Diagnostic Criteria

Performance on standardized, individually administered tests of arithmetic achievement is significantly below expected level, given the individual's schooling, chronological age, and mental age (as determined by an individually administered IQ test). In addition, in school, the child's performance on tasks requiring arithmetic skills is significantly below his or her intellectual capacity.

Differential Diagnosis

Mental Retardation

In Mental Retardation, arithmetic difficulty is due to a general impairment in intellectual functioning. However, in some cases of Mild Mental Retardation, the arithmetic level is significantly below the expected level, given the individual's schooling and level of retardation. In such cases the additional diagnosis of Developmental Arithmetic Disorder should be made, since treatment of the arithmetic difficulties can greatly increase occupational potential.

Inadequate schooling

Inadequate schooling can result in poor performance on standardized arithmetic tests. In such cases, however, other children in the school will generally have similar difficulty.

Impaired vision or hearing

Impaired vision or hearing may affect arithmetic ability, and can be ruled out with screening tests.


For more information, see Learning Disorders

Diagnostic Criteria

A. Mathematical ability, as measured by individually administered standardized tests, is substantially below that expected given the person's chronological age, measured by intelligence, and age-appropriate education.

B. The disturbance in Criterion A significantly interferes with academic achievement or activities of daily living that require mathematical ability.

C. If a sensory deficit is present, the difficulties in mathematical ability are in excess of those usually associated with it.

Note: If a general medical (e.g., neurological) condition or sensory deficit is present, record the condition.


See 'Specific Learning Disorder'

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