When children widen their horizons beyond the personal exploration of their own bodies and immediate sensory environment, they become social learners. It is a time when they develop representational intelligence; they become interested in communicating and thinking, about quantities, space and time. The processes of communication extend their exploration beyond the boundaries of their immediate selves and personal environment. They begin to use the concepts and elementary language of maths for social purposes, which enables them to learn so much more about their world. Although the learning that we will look at now usually occurs between the ages of two to six years, a period that Piaget describes as preoperational, and extends into a period of ‘concrete operations’ that typically spans the primary years, for children with learning difficulties aspects of the issues we discuss may begin later and continue into their adult lives.