Impairment of Arabic- and Spoken-Number Processing in Children With Mathematical Learning Disability


  • Anne Lafay
  • Joël Macoir
  • Marie-Catherine St-Pierre


The performance of 24 French-Quebec 8‒9-year-old children with Mathematical Learning Disability (MLD) in Arabic and spoken number recognition, comprehension and production tasks designed to assess symbolic number processing was compared to that of 37 typically developing children (TD). Children with MLD were less successful than TD children in every symbolic numerical task, including recognition of Arabic and spoken numbers. These results thus suggested that this deficit of symbolic number recognition could compromise symbolic number comprehension and production. Children with MLD also presented with general cognitive difficulties as reading difficulties. Taken together, our results clearly showed that children with MLD presented with a symbolic numerical processing deficit that could be largely attributed to their poorer written language skills.