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Dyscalculia Day

Updated on March 3, 2011

Dyscalculia Gets Its Day: March 3rd, 2011

March 3rd is World Dyscalculia Day. This is a global event that began in 2008 as an effort to improve awareness about dyscalculia, also known as "math disorder" or "math disability". Or to put it more simply, "math dyslexia".

Dyscalculia, a disorder which primarily effects a person's ability to work with numbers and mathematical concepts, is a virtually unknown learning disabilty. It is so little known, in fact, that World Dyscalculia Day was not started by a research institution or large non-profit advocacy group -- we dysclaculics don't have any of those in or corner (yet!). World Dyslcalculia Day is a grassroots effort by members of the Dysclaculia Forum online community. World Dyscalculia Day is as effort by dyscalculics, for dyscalculics, to educate others about this learning disability.

Notice how Dyscalculia Day is on March 3rd -- 3/3? That's because it allows us to safely get the day and month confused (and we will ... we will) -- but we can't screw it up.

To celebrate World Dysclaculia Day, I've collected some Dyscalculia Day videos by members of the Dyscalculia Forum. I've also included links to the Forum as well as other dyscalculia resources on the web. Thanks for helping to get the word out about dyscalculia!

Dyscalculia Day Poster - Print it out, hang it up, pass it around!

Dyscalculia Day Poster
Dyscalculia Day Poster

A member of the Dyscalculia Forum made this poster. You can download a PDF version of it by clicking on the image. Print out a bunch and hand them out at your school, your district office, your university, the mall ... wherever you want to spread the word about dyscalculia!

What Is Dyscalculia? - Think "math dyslexia" and you're most of the way there.

Dysclaculia is defined by a person's difficulty with numbers and arithmetical concepts. It's estimated (by people who are good at that sort of thing) that between 4% and 6% of the world's population has dyscalculia, but that only 1% has even heard of the disorder.

People with dyscalculia struggle to perform everyday tasks, such as remembering addresses and phone numbers, figuring a tip at a restaurant, or determining exactly what that "10% OFF!" sale will get them. We tend to transpose digits (reading 67 for 76), invert digits (reading 6 for 9), or just get plain confused (3 and 8 might look like the same symbol to a dyscalculic). All that, and we haven't even gotten to using numbers to do actual math!

Does Dyscalculia End At Math? - Oh, I wish!

Dyscalculia is a math disorder, but the problems it causes do not stop at numbers. Dyscalculics often have difficulty when reading maps or trying to follow street directions. We generally don't get along well with the formal aspects of music education, such as sight-reading and theory. We're likely to have trouble with physical coordination, and as if that didn't make gym class hard enough, a lot of us can't remember the rules to games.

Famous People With Dysclaculia

Some of us overcome our disability to go on to great things. This video highlights some famous people who are known to have dyscalculia or who struggled with math.

What Is It Like to Have Dyscalculia? - To find out, watch this video.

Maybe you liked math in school. Maybe numbers always made sense to you. Heck, maybe you work with math all the time because you're an accountant or a rocket scientist. Or, maybe you're just a person who is able to read a street number and do basic math in your head.

But what if numbers made no sense? What if the people who explained it to you sounded like they were speaking a foreign language?

This video is avery short, hilarious clip from the British series Mitchell and Webb which really captures the dyscalculic experience with all things math. Oh, and if you speak German, try to pretend you don't.

A Day In The Life - You've gotta laugh.

Dyscalculia is a learning disability, right? So once you're done with school, it's not a problem anymore, right? Wrong. Dyscalculia continues to have an impact long after school is officially over.

Dyscalculia on the Web - We're slowly but surely making our presence felt.

When I was first diagnosed with dyscalculia in 1995, I could find very little information about it. The only source I had was the copy of the DSM-III in my college library. Thanks to the web, it's much easier for people with dyscalculia to learn about the disorder and to connect with others who live with it.

Dyscalculia Educational Poster - Print it out, hang it up, pass it around!

Dyscalculia Educational Poster
Dyscalculia Educational Poster

A member of the Dyscalculia Forum made this poster. You can download a PDF version of it by clicking on the image. Print out a bunch and hand them out at your school, your district office, your university, the mall ... wherever you want to spread the word about dyscalculia!

Thank you to Arncyn for the Angel Blessing!

It's especially timely now that I'm trying to work on Dyscalculia Awareness Month.

By reading this lens, you've helped make a difference. You are one more person who has learned about dyscalculia. The more people hear about math disability, the more dyscalculics will be diagnosed, and early detection makes all the difference. Please help spread the word!

Thanks for Supporting World Dyscalculia Day!

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      Julia 2 years ago

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    • casquid profile image

      casquid 5 years ago

      I must have this, and never knew it, until you brought it to my attention. Wow! What an eye-opener.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'm 48 and assessed to have Dyscalculia. My immediate reaction was elation for confirming what i always felt. My language skills were high average but working memory and numeracy were a joke. Then I was quite emotional remembering the trials of school as a child. Let's strive to make early assessment of all school kids mandatory and set them on the right learning path. Al.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Is there any were u can go to talk with other people who have got this ð

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @Addy Bell: I have got dyscalculia and believe me it ain't easy but thanks for the info on the poster I should it to my dad and he said ohh that is why you are losing things! ð

    • Addy Bell profile image
      Author

      Addy Bell 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Ooooh ... stats. I managed not to have to take that as an undergrad, and went to grad school in art. No money in it, of course, but also no statistics :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Hi, I have just read this lens and it has made me laugh and cry. It's actually been very theraputic because I have been feeling very low about my dyscalculia and how it effects my life. Your lens has cheered me up no end. Three generations of my family have dyscalculia and it often has a severe inpact on our day-to-day lives however we all have creative abilities and two of us are highly literate. I especially liked your blog about the lightbulb as it illustrates beautifully how a creative and practical endeavour can be stymied by dyscalculia. Believe me I've been there! I do think it is vitally important to spread the word about dyscalculia because there is so much ignorance & prejudice about the condition - especially in the UK. And so many people (in my experience) seem to equate learning difficulties such as dyscalculia with low ability in general - and this is very disheartening and demoralising for those of us who trying to cope with the condition. So well done, you've made me feel a lot better today.

    • profile image

      miaponzo 6 years ago

      Thanks for this lens from a mother who suffers with a son who has it, and it remained undiscovered for his first 16 years!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I found out about dyscalculia last year. I'm 54. When I was in school, my mom said that I could learn anything if I really wanted to. I really wanted to memorize the times tables, but they'd never stick. I really wanted to pass pre-algebra, but it would never stick. I really wanted to pass algebra, too. I was embarassed, my self-esteem was damaged, my confidence was bent and bruised. At 45, I started college, and had to begin with basic math. When I decided to transfer to University after getting my AA degree, I had to take statistics. My husband (retired engineer & brilliant at both numbers and tutoring) took the class with me. The instructor gave me certain sentences and phrases that were associated with certain formulas. Every time she passed out a test, I looked at it & it all made no sense -- but I'd find a phrase and be able to work that problem and then another. Between the three of us, I got through the class with the third highest grade in the class. A year later, when I found some homework while cleaning out my desk & couldn't make heads or tails of it. Now I've got my BA & am working on a PhD in counseling.

      I have to take Statistics II and III.

      argh.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I have Dyscalculia and my school is really good at helping me.=

    • Richard-H profile image

      Richard 7 years ago from Surrey, United Kingdom

      I'd never heard of Dyscalculia Day - but you have put together a wonderful resource on the subject.

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 7 years ago from Croatia

      I didn't know that Dyscalculia has its own day. Another well put article Addy!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Extremely commendable to bring dyscalculia to others attention. A well done lens and well presented. Thank you.

    • Ceeshell profile image

      Ceeshell 7 years ago

      Way to make a serious topic a very entertaining read. I didn't know anything about Dyscalculia or Dyscalculia Day.

    • poptastic profile image

      Cynthia Arre 7 years ago from Quezon City

      This is a well-presented and informative lens on World Dyscalculia Day. As always, I love that your witty personality shines through this very important lens. And you're right Addy, more people should learn about dyscalculia so I'm sprinkling this with an *angel blessing* to help move it further up the ranks.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 7 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Good to know there is a World Dyscalculia Day to help 'spread the word' about this disability, both for people who have it, and for people who struggle with math and number-related events and don't know why! You are providing a good service here.

    • vernessataylor lm profile image

      vernessataylor lm 7 years ago

      "Notice how Dyscalculia Day is on March 3rd -- 3/3? That's because it allows us to safely get the day and month confused (and we will ... we will) -- but we can't screw it up."

      That's funny! Thank you for finding humor in something that's no laughing matter. I'll send out a tweet.

    • KarenTBTEN profile image

      KarenTBTEN 7 years ago

      Very nicely presented -- I like the 3/3 thing. It seems that dyscalculia covers a cluster of skills that are somehow related in the brain.

    • LotusMalas profile image

      LotusMalas 7 years ago

      I had never heard of Dyscalculia before - thank you for this new information!

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

      Good to see dyscalculia is becoming better known and understood. This is a great resource for those looking to learn more.