top of page

ADHD, Maths, and Executive Functions

Hey parents! Have these thoughts ever crossed your mind?

‘My child knows all the Math's concepts, but he doesn’t know how to apply them.’ or ‘My child should know how to do this, we went through this before!’

Child with ADHD Struggles with school activities

Well, you are not alone as many parents have confided that their children with ADHD struggle in completing Math's tasks.

If your child has ADHD, you may find that their academic performance consistently falls short of what you know they can do. This can feel frustrating, absolutely, but know that it’s not their fault. ADHD is a mental health condition, not a sign of their work ethic or intelligence.

So, why do children with ADHD tend to have trouble with Maths? A few different reasons help explain the connection.


1) Self-regulation

Children with ADHD have difficulties in self-monitoring and have the tendency to act without planning and organizing thoroughly. This may manifest itself when Maths is shown as a series of quick tricks, where content is not understood before an answer is computed.

2) Working Memory

You can think of your working memory as your brain’s copy-paste function. It allows you to hold snippets of information in your head for 15 to 30 seconds. However, research shows that ADHD can cause problems with your working memory. This can make it harder to do Maths problems with multiple steps.

3) Reconstitution: Working memory

Metacognition is the awareness and understanding of one's own thought processes. A difficulty that children with ADHD have is the ability to shift attention from one construct to the next and adjust to the new demands. Research suggests that children with ADHD tend to make more errors when shifting between types of Maths problems.

You can also remind them of other resources you have on your website as well as paid services or events that you offer. Don’t be shy. They may have more questions after reading (or in the future). Invite them to leave comments below the post so they stay engaged.

Maybe the top half of their exam has division problems, and the bottom half has multiplication problems. They might accidentally keep using division rules when the worksheet shifts to multiplication.


These three areas are part of Executive Functions (EF). To support children with ADHD in Maths, there needs to be a restart of their cognitive strategy targeting EF.

To increase self-monitoring, a tool such as the Feuerstein Method can be utilized. Activities such as the Organization of Dots aid in slowing the child down and facilitate thinking. To close the gaps in working memory, remediation should include having a visual representation of the work problem. Lastly, for metacognition, in order to help your child switch from task to task, consider providing an organizer of prompts to initiate tasks.

To learn more about ADHD, Maths, and Executive Functions for your child, connect with our team now: Contact us

Ph: +65 9115 8895 (Phone)

75 views0 comments
bottom of page