Dyslexic and dyspraxic learners, those with visual or spatial perceptual problems, and many learners with learning difficulties may experience directional and/or sequencing problems.
Directional problems may result in confusions with signs, such as confusing + with ×, or 6 with 9 or < with >. Learners may also have problems with place. They may easily miscopy numbers, reproduce them wrongly on a calculator, or put the decimal point in the wrong place. So 52 may be recorded as 25, or 5.02 as 50.2.
Directional difficulties affect numeracy particularly: we read words and numbers and do division from left to right, but do addition, subtraction and multiplication from right to left. Learners with directional difficulties are likely to forget the order for each procedure.
Sequencing problems may mean confusions between 26 and 62, missing or confusing steps in a process or doing calculations in reverse, such as 12 divided by 3 as 3 divided by 12.
The language of maths makes it even harder for learners, as direction or sequence will be different according to how a problem is expressed, e.g. divide 5 into 15 means the same as divide 15 by 5, although the order of the numbers is reversed.