My journey through Dyscalculia – Give me a calculator


Give me a calculator, I will just throw it away. Give me an ATM card and I will SCREAM .

Just a couple of days back only I realised I might be having Dyscalculia which can  be described in most simple words as number blindness . You can check the symptoms of Dyscalculia here !

I can completely relate to all of these. Actually it looks like my autobiography.

Even before I knew about this condition I had known exactly what my problems were and could even put them into words. But then I didn’t know all these problems were interconnected and pointed to a single condition. And then I didn’t know this was the answer to all the frustrations, anger, despair , depression , low self esteem , and helplessness I had felt all through  my life.

I needed to list down my problems one by one ,  so that I can find how to tackle each of them.  Without a list I am lost. Some times I even keep a list of all the lists I have with me.

Earlier I used to rely on calculator for my day to day sums. I will try 5 or 6  times to complete the sequence without mistake and eventually give up. And if I manage to get through and try to recheck my answer,  then I am lost. I will get a different answer every time.

I have always despised scientific calculators. My husband being in Accounting,  like the most complex ones. And I have the most simplest one with me..

For the past two days I have been reading a lot from the dyscalculia forum. And I realise there are so many people out there who suffer exactly like me.  I found the following there . This is exactly how it is for me to work with a calculator.

!Angry Let’s see , did I type in the plus sign and oh the equal sign uhm I don’t remember :ShockAngry! Start over Sad Concentrate Shock Add, subtract . . . .Oh no distractionShockAngry . Can’t add or sutract with or without a calculator! Angry

zero or two zeros , decimal or zero , did I press ‘+’ again . Did I press ‘=’ and is this the answer ? It is a total disaster. I have completely given up using a calculator. I don’t even carry one now.

When I try to do a sum in my mind it is as though my shortsightedness has affected my mind also. My mind gets filled with fog and the numbers start to dissolve. It is like looking out of the window when it is  dark and misty. Some times I imagine to wipe  off the mist just like we do when we can’t see through the front glass of a car when it is raining.

But the image just get bizarre and I cant go further. The numbers start moving, turn upside down, reverse, blink……….

The numbers won’t stand straight for me to add or subtract . Division………! Don’t even think about it……. Every thing will get dark and go beyond my area of vision……Percentage and interests and I will run away ! ………Ask me to count something and you will see me in a maze. Counting and recounting.

And the most happiest thing that happened in my life is that I got married to a maths genius. ( I don’t have to do the calculations any more 😀 )

I think my hubby understands maths and accounts even more than human language. Ha ha ! Some times he just gets bewildered that I cant even do the simple day to day maths . Or why I can’t count properly .Because other wise I insist that I have above average intelligence . ( my belief !)

But I tell you ,This world is a dreadful place for people who cant do maths properly. Remembering all the faces that stared at me when I stumbled with simple bills and change.

This all happened before I knew I am a dyscalculic. (yes , I am starting to accept the term.)

And you know in which stage I am in ? Phobia. Afraid of Maths and related devices. Bank Phobia. Afraid to handle cash . I dont know how many times i have sworn ” why we didn’t stick to barter system ”

Apprehensive of every thing and every body if I have to deal with numbers and calculations and fractions and schedules and so many things.

But I wont give up. Now that I know it , I will find some way to tackle at least some of the problems . One of my greatest strength is Perseverance. ( I wrote this before I stumbled upon the words of this great great man. )

It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer- Albert Einstein  ( A dyslexic and dyscalculic himself. )

So, I am not alone !

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3 responses to “My journey through Dyscalculia – Give me a calculator

  1. I can’t use a calculator, either. I’ve known I’m dysclaculiac (sp!), but I thought not being able to use the calculator was just additional stupidity.

  2. Aswathy Venugopal

    n how hav u settled it? pls let us know..

  3. Pingback: The Dyscalculia Day | Krishnaleela

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