Speech Therapy

What Is Number Blindness? – A Brief Note

Last Sunday I was shopping for some groceries and the woman standing in front of me had trouble calculating change money and I helped her. I discussed this incident with my husband and he said that lady could be suffering from Number Blindness. I came across the term for the first time. Intrigued, I searched for more about it. I always had trouble learning, understanding, and using mathematical formulas or steps and concepts. I wanted to know if I too have number blindness. I do not.

What is Number Blindness?

What is Number Blindness? - A Brief Note!

In common words dyscalculia or numlexia or number blindness means bad counting. It is a disability that affects the understanding, use, and application of numbers while doing basic and simple arithmetic calculations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

It is also called as number dyslexia and it affects daily life calculations like monetary change, knowing or telling time, measuring distance and speed. Let us learn a few of the signs of this condition which is genetically inherited. In some cases it is caused by some brain injury that adversely affects the learning part of the brain.

Symptoms Of Numlexia:

The following symptoms can help us understand if a person is exhibiting the number dyslexia signs or not. If yes then extra attention and tutorials should be used to treat the condition.

  • Simple additions, subtractions, and other arithmetic calculations are difficult to understand and use for these people.
  • Counting money change or coins, or telling time by the watch is difficult. Digital watches are recommended because it is difficult for them to tell the time by watching the arms of analog clocks and watches.
  • People with numlexia or number dyslexia often find it very hard to keep a track of finances, plan a budget, or even balance the finance account. Managing finances is troublesome for them.
  • The sufferers of this disability are good in other fields of studies where numbers are not involved.
  • The sense of direction in these people is very poor and they often get confused with left and right side.
  • They also have trouble understanding and navigating directions and reading maps.
  • They are troubled by mathematical formulas, concepts, sequences, steps etc to reach the logical conclusion.
  • Games that need to keep a score of are difficult to process.
  • They have average to high intelligence quotient and should not be labeled as stupid or dumb because of their problem with numbers.
  • They do not remember the right sequence of the numbers and often confuse it or read it the wrong way. For example, 12 can be read as 21.
  • They find it hard to remember names of people and in some cases they also do not easily recollect and recognize faces.

Whatever, are the symptoms of number blindness, these individuals should not be categorized as smart, or dumb, or lazy. On the contrary, family, friends, and school should help, be patient while teaching them the right way.

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