Converging evidence (e.g., Badian, 1983;Gross-Tsur, Manor, &Shalev, 1996) reveals that 4-7 percent of the school-age population suffers from learning disabilities in mathematics (MD). Although this prevalence rate is similar to that of reading disability, much less systematic study has been directed at MD (cf. Rasanen &Ahonen, 1995). This relative neglect is problematic because MD is a serious public health problem, leading to life-long difficulties in school and in the workplace and creating financial burdens on society. Mathematics competence, for example, accounts for variance in employment, income, and work productivity even after intelligence and reading have been explained (Rivera-Batiz, 1992). The purpose of this project is to increase understanding about and decrease the prevalence of MD. Our focus is arithmetic number combinations (sometimes referred to as arithmetic facts): addition and subtraction problems with 1-digit operands (e.g., 3+5;9-2) for which answers can be retrieved directly from long-term memory. Number combinations are a signature deficit of students with MD and are thought to be a precursor to and partial explanation for difficulties with other math skills (e.g., Fuchs et al., 2006). Research on number combination deficits has focused predominantly on describing performance differences between groups of students with and without MD. Less is known about (a) the potential to prevent difficulties with number combinations when intervention for students at risk for MD begins in 1st grade;(b) what the appropriate focus and nature of that intervention should be;(c) whether maintenance effects can be expected longitudinally;(d) whether transfer effects to other math skills can be expected in the short- and long-term;(e) the relative contribution of domain-general abilities versus a defective number module in accounting for variance in outcomes on number combinations and other math skills in the short- and long-term;and (f) how child characteristics that predict outcome differ depending on the nature of intervention. The goal of the proposed study is to address these issues and thereby improve outcomes for the MD population and increase understanding about MD. Relevance of this research to public health: Mathematics disability (MD) is a serious public health problem, with 4-7 percent of the school-age population suffering the disorder. MD leads to life-long difficulties in school and in the workplace and creates financial burdens on society, accounting for variance in employment, income, and work productivity even after intelligence and reading have been explained.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Child Psychopathology and Developmental Disabilities Study Section (CPDD)
Program Officer
Mann Koepke, Kathy M
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Schools of Education
United States
Zip Code
Gilbert, Jennifer K; Fuchs, Lynn S (2017) Bivariate Developmental Relations between Calculations and Word Problems: A Latent Change Approach. Contemp Educ Psychol 51:83-98
Powell, Sarah R; Cirino, Paul T; Malone, Amelia S (2017) Child-Level Predictors of Responsiveness to Evidence-Based Mathematics Intervention. Except Child 83:359-377
Price, Gavin R; Fuchs, Lynn S (2016) The Mediating Relation between Symbolic and Nonsymbolic Foundations of Math Competence. PLoS One 11:e0148981
Peng, Peng; Namkung, Jessica M; Fuchs, Douglas et al. (2016) A longitudinal study on predictors of early calculation development among young children at risk for learning difficulties. J Exp Child Psychol 152:221-241
Fuchs, Lynn S; Geary, David C; Fuchs, Douglas et al. (2016) Pathways to Third-Grade Calculation Versus Word-Reading Competence: Are They More Alike or Different? Child Dev 87:558-67
Fuchs, Lynn S; Gilbert, Jennifer K; Powell, Sarah R et al. (2016) The role of cognitive processes, foundational math skill, and calculation accuracy and fluency in word-problem solving versus prealgebraic knowledge. Dev Psychol 52:2085-2098
Iuculano, Teresa; Rosenberg-Lee, Miriam; Richardson, Jennifer et al. (2015) Cognitive tutoring induces widespread neuroplasticity and remediates brain function in children with mathematical learning disabilities. Nat Commun 6:8453
Fuchs, Lynn S; Geary, David C; Fuchs, Douglas et al. (2014) Sources of Individual Differences in Emerging Competence With Numeration Understanding Versus Multidigit Calculation Skill. J Educ Psychol 106:482-498
Vukovic, Rose K; Fuchs, Lynn S; Geary, David C et al. (2014) Sources of individual differences in children's understanding of fractions. Child Dev 85:1461-76
Fuchs, Lynn S; Geary, David C; Compton, Donald L et al. (2013) Effects of First-Grade Number Knowledge Tutoring With Contrasting Forms of Practice. J Educ Psychol 105:58-77

Showing the most recent 10 out of 22 publications