The International Dyslexia Association characterises dyslexia as a learning disability distinguished by difficulties in expressive or receptive, oral or written language. Problems may arise in reading, spelling, writing, speaking or listening. Changes have recently occurred in the definitions of dyslexia. The change is a return to the application of the word dyslexia. The term specific learning difficulty used to be equivalent to dyslexia in the UK. This is no longer the case as other specific learning difficulties have been defined, for instance dyspraxia, attention deficit disorder, Asperger’s syndrome (Riddick 1996).

In the last decade following the seminal and tireless work of Tim Miles, Steve Chinn, Ann Henderson and others it has also been increasingly accepted that many dyslexic children do, indeed, have at least some difficulties learning maths, and that there are, in fact, a number of quite identified maths problems which seem to be quite widely associated with dyslexia. Difficulties with mathematics are recognised as a possible result of dyslexia. It is likely that dyslexia causes difficulties in at least some fields of mathematics, most particularly in numeracy.

Although dyslexia is a life condition, the influence on potential depends largely on educational intervention. What may be very hard to discriminate is where an individual’s difficulties with maths are rooted. The learning of maths is very dependent on teaching being appropriate to the person. People do not all learn in the identical way and, as maths is a very sequential subject in that each new idea builds on previous learning, failure can be cumulative. To put right difficulties with maths it may be essential to go back to maths themes, which were learnt well before any difficulty, was identified (Riddick 1996).