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The Curse of Dyscalculia

Monday, 29 October 2007

To say that I am not good at math might give the impression that I’m a little ditzy when it comes to numbers. Or that I don’t like math and therefore avoid it. Or pretend not to understand anything mathematical.

These statements could not be further from the truth. I am not ditzy and it isn’t that I don’t like math in-and-of-itself. And there is no pretending involved!

Some years ago, I was diagnosed with a legitimate cognitive learning disability known as Dyscalculia. Coming from the Greek and Latin, dyscalculia means: “counting badly”. Boy, does this describe me in a nutshell!! Not only am I stumped by the simplest arthmetic exercsies, but things go really downhill when math moves beyond the tangible apple/orange questions and moves to the inevitably abstract conceptual aspects.

With Beernut in second grade, I am finding that he is starting to move past me in the math area. As I “assist” him with his homework, I am assaulted by memories of elementary school and the overwhelming feeling that everyone else was light-years ahead of me and that I just didn’t “get” what seemed to come so easily to my peers.

Beernut recently explained a shortcut that seemed to make sense to me and I actually was able (for the first time ever!) to mutiply two multi-digit numbers in my head!! Feeling rather cocky, therefore, I made a complete fool of myself at a party on Motz’ei Shabbat when someone told me that 4% of the people in his office were Jewish — and I said, “wow, there are only 10 people in your office!” Met with a blank stare, I was all too aware of the sinking feeling from my childhood.

Apparently, there are 100 people in the office. At least, that is what I was later told…

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Friday, 2 November 2007 10:05 am

    It sounds like Dyscalculia is a clever Halloween costume – a Dracula who cannot count.

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  1. It’s all Greek to me « Frume Sarah's World

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