Tag Archives: maths phobia

The Dyscalculia Day


So , today also happens to be the ‘Dyscalculia Day ‘ . Well , if ‘dyscalculics’ remember what day it is .

I came to know about dyscalculia from Tiff of Free play life . It was an instant recognition . The feeling of belonging. Of finding a place/group where you truly belong . At last .

Ever since then , along with all the online reading and researches I have done about it I have also tried to spread the word . But the ultimate truth is people do not care . Of course they have more pressing problems.

Whether the human race cares about dyscalculia or not knowing about this condition has helped me in more ways than I can fathom. It pushed me to plan and organise meticulously . Earlier I did not care much about sorting out papers or keeping them in order . Because I always thought it is the same for every other person. I thought misplacing them or forgetting them regularly was just continuous accidents that can happen to any one .

But now I take it as a task . I keep separate folders and files . Colour coded. With a little effort my papers and slips and cards and bills go into the correct folders. Even when I get disorganised I do not feel helpless as I used to. I just take the time to put them in order.

I keep email back ups. Scan and back up required documents . Set enough alarms and reminders. Has a digital clock in my living room .

I shop only in supermarkets where I do not have to worry about change and weight and calculations. With small changes I have stopped calculating as I will confuse the person further. But , there are people who try to trick you smartly when they see the blank look on your face . So if I feel  something is fishy I take the time and patience to check it through . Serves them right 😛 With major transactions I do some home work and get every thing correct and ready .

And most of all , I do not take up work from others which I am sure I will mess up. Even when it happens I just pat on my shoulder and move on. In short life is much more easier when you know you are dyscalculic than when you doesn’t have a clue what is going on and why you are forgetting and making a fool of yourself.

With the knowledge about this problem I was able to overcome my phobia towards cash and banks. Now I do not panic when I have to deal with numbers . Calculator is my constant companion . I may stumble in between but I know I will find my way out . I was able to draw up a routine which is efficient and flexible enough to give me space . And now I do not make a fuss about my problems . Instead I figure out ways to deal with it . Each and every one of them. It took 3-4 years , but now I can say ‘Yes , It is oK . I can deal with this ‘.

Whenever I speak to someone about the difficulties I have as a dyscalculic they tell me, ” It is just because you are not concentrating enough . It is the same for every one . You should pay more attention .” (That is the most frustrating part .) But I think for a dyscalculic it not about paying attention or concentrating more . It is about ‘not panicking’ and ‘finding ways’ with which he/she can cope better .

And that is why awareness is important . Common man may be amused to know about this condition . But to a dyscalculic it is an answer to all the problems they have been facing ever since they can remember . It is the answer to that nagging question ‘ why I am different ‘ .

If you are interested you can find more about dyscalculia here : Check for symptoms of Dyscalculia here.

Spread the word . It will help a dyscalculic person to get a grip on his/ her life. And feel happy about himself/herself.


After dyscalculia.

Now that I know I have this problem it is not horrible as I thought it to be .

Now I know exactly the areas I struggle . I can pull myself together getting ready and thus avoid the panics that otherwise occured so frequently.  I don’t have to feel bad when I can’t do some thing. I can calm myself and start doing it from a different angle. Yes, I am working on it.

Two days before I was able to place a phone call using the coin box in one go, for the first time in my life . Yes,  You can’t believe it . Can you ?

I knew what will be coming and I prepared myself before I started. I read the instructions carefully and progressed remembering to concentrate on the sequence. And there I was talking through it. A week Before it was a horror.

With so much effort I make myself do multiplication and sums along with Siva . When he does his Brain gym I also do the  mental sums and Swetha gives the questions. I found out my old calculator and we take turns to check our sums. Yes, I can do it.

It feels like I had been treading  through a dark path which seemed never ending and now  suddenly I realise , I have reached midway . I can see a glimmer of the sunlight and the path that lay ahead is beautifully lit. The only thing I have to do is keep my pace and walk slow and steady. Just like the tortoise in the story I told Swetha yesterday.

Drowned in Dyscalculia

The urge to count with my fingers even in front of others. It is irresistible .  But Otherwise I will simply not be able to complete the sum.  I like to go to super markets mostly because they will tell you the exact balance and they will give you an exact bill. They wont ask you to check it once again. And I can be sure if they  billed something I forgot to take.

If you see me listening to some body who tells me about time or schedules or their strategies or projected amounts  or bills or banking , you may think  I am listening keenly or doing the calculations in my mind . But no, I am just staring into blankness. All of it does not mean any thing to me. I have given up listening to them a long time ago. ( My husband says it is the same for him when he goes to a doctor. Is there some condition like that as well ? I wonder ! )

If  my friends remember correctly I have an Id card with birth date recorded as 1997 instead of 1977. Mahesh , Are  you reading this ? Yes, I am now 13 years old or is it 12 ? Any way,  finally I am into my teens!

Now I have a watch which does not even have numbers. I just fell in love the shape of the dial and strap and couldn’t talk myself out of it. But now my times are so vague . Somewhere around something. And looking at the watch dial I feel like looking into a placid pond. It doesn’t mean anything. It is okey with me because I don’t care so much about time. I just want to know how much more time is left from the time limit I have . ( 5 or 10 minutes to reach some where .. like that  .) It need not be precise and I don’t care.

But I hate it when people ask me time . I am so embarrassed. I have to multiply the long hand number with 5 and find the product and then find the short hand number . And then again check the long hand and the again check  the multiplication and ( getting mad ???? )then again relate it to short hand and think if the multiplication has gone wrong , think if  what I think  is correct and then decide on some thing  . ( 15, 30 and 45 is easy but even then I have to mulitply  )

I have set my mobile banner in such a way that I can see time, date and day in letters . Not picture screen . And also calender. It is a blessing that we can carry it around.

I have clocks in every room , in every single position. because I will never know what time of day it is. I have very poor time sesnse. I will get ready early and wait for the correct time . And then I get messed up again in the last minute and reach late. How people really sense time ? I don’t know.

I am very poor with days and dates. Now I am so fed up with up my inability to remember I have stopped taking in data. I just ask the relevant people to remind me and tell them not to  expect me to remember it no matter however important it is . Yes I know my birth date. Year ? I have some how mugged it up. But if somebody ask my age I am cornered. Earlier I used to count them .  But I don’t that will apply now. Now every year I by heart my age. Wedding Anniversary ..tenth or eleventh ? ( my sister has got a head for numbers and dates and she makes it a point to call me before important dates ) My kid’s birth dates …I will count and subtract and do whatever possible.

Few days back only I told my sister I cannot understand the layout and  I have given up. Instead I drew every single page of the web site, with drop downs , in the order , how I want it to be and handed it over to the professional.  I think the persevering nature covers  the  problem to some extend and doesn’t let anybody find out how dreadful it is to be a dyscalculic.