By: Dr Lubna Kamal, Asstt. Prof., Deptt. of MM, State JLN Homeopathic Medical College & Asstt. Editor-ICN
LUCKNOW: Whenever Amir Khan is in News, his movie “Tare Zameen Par” always comes to my mind. The scene, in which Darsheel is in a class giving Maths test and he drifts into cartoon world of his own and thereafter ends up being scolded, reminds me of my difficult childhood with Maths and how I used to sob and wished to commit suicide before every Maths exam.
Thanks to God, had my parents not been understanding I would have met with the same fate. Not only support of my parents, but also for some Homeopathic medicines, I scored 92 in Mathematics in I.C.S.E. Being a homeopath, I make sure that all those children who come for consultation for regular ailments, do also get treatment to improve their learning abilities.
Numlexia or Dyscalculia or Math Disability is a specific learning disability involving difficulty in learning or comprehending arithmetic and includes difficulty in understanding numbers, calculations, learning maths facts etc. It is akin to Dyslexia. Estimates of the prevalence of dyscalculia range between 3 and 6% of the population.
Dyscalculia does not necessarily imply higher mathematical reasoning difficulties as well as difficulties with arithmetic operations, there is evidence (especially from brain damaged patients) that arithmetic (e.g. calculation and number fact memory) and mathematical (abstract reasoning with numbers) abilities can be dissociated. That is (some researchers argue), an individual might suffer arithmetic difficulties (or dyscalculia), with no impairment of, or even giftedness in, abstract mathematical reasoning abilities.
In children it usually leads to Arithmophobia means to the fear of numbers generally. It may be due to brain injury, in which case the proper term is Acalculia, or due to low IQ. But people across the whole IQ range are sufferers. Students doing well in all other subjects are at times extremely weak in Maths.
Instead of prodding the child into studying harder, parents should make their children practice doing basic math calculations in daily life. They should be encouraged to mentally figure out the sum of shopping purchases and bills. The child might get more motivated if she/he knows where all Maths is needed. Tests are a part of school but they don’t need to be the ultimate goal. The goal should be to learn math so the child can use it in her life.
Each and every Homeopath can help a child with Learning Disorders. I don’t claim that they will turn into Newton, but definitely grades can be improved up to some extent, interest can be aroused in a seemingly monotonous subject and above all the child’s morale can be boosted and each child can bloom and attain his potential.
Homeopathy has wonderful medicines for Arithmophobia, Dyscalculia and all the related rubrics are listed below:
- Inability for Mathematics,
- Inability for – calculating – aversion to
- Inability for calculating,
- Inability for Algebra,
- Inability for Geometry,
- Summing up is difficult,
- Confusion – calculating,
- Slowness – calculating,
- Mistakes – calculating,
- Concentration difficult – calculating.
- Horror of Mathematics.
In our clinical practice we have found some medicines immensely useful to improve Dyscalculia and allay Arithmophobia. Some of these medicines are mentioned below with their indications that were present clinically:-
Silicea: Children with poor concentration, good in drawing and painting, obstinate, offensive foot sweat, white spots on nails.
Medorrhinum: weak memory, forgetful, children who are dwarfish and stunted, peculiar knee-chest position during sleep, desire for sweets and salty food.
Lycopodium: children with large head, obstinate and dominating, mistakes in copying numbers from board and books, poor hand writing, cannot read what he had copied.
Nux vomica: irritable, quarrelsome and destructive children, systematic, keep his things in order, soon goes to sleep after eating.
Calcarea carb: fatty children, tendency to catch cold, frightened very easily, concentration difficult, craving for eggs, dreams of unsuccessful efforts (failure in exams, inability to write in exams, inability to reach exam venue etc.)
Phosphorus: very affectionate children, good at painting and drawing, frightened very easily, dreams of future events (even young children of 4-5 years have such dreams).