Can Dyslexia Apply To Numbers Too?

A friend who is a Radiology Technician confided in me that sometimes she juxtaposes her numbers. (3.2 becomes 2.3, etc.) Up to now, she has always caught her mistake, but she’s worried that this may be early onset of Alzheimer’s or something else.

This is a recent development, and she has no other probs that I’m aware of. (We are cycling buddies and see each other at work and on the trail 3-4 times a week, so I know her very well.)

So what do y’all think? Dyslexia or a sign of something a bit more serious?



I do it all the time as do a few others I work with. When I have to work with number codes extensively at my job I’ll often flip-flop 2 characters (which produces interesting effects if i dont catch it.) Never paid much attention to if it’s a few pesky numbers or just a random thing, probably the latter. This is the only time I do this, no problems with reading or wrting lettesr olny nmubres. I think it’s a pretty common thing…at leat i hope it is…what wsa I juts talkign abuot??

While I am quite good at remembering numbers, it still happens to me from time to time. As a result I have dialed wrong numbers, sent emails to unintended recipients, driven to wrong or nonexistent addresses, had mail returned because of the wrong address, etc. It isn’t often that these things happen, but there are usually undesired consequences when it does.

What’s a bunmer?

Yep, Numerical dyslexia does exist!

I think its called Dyscalulia or something.

I definitely have it, if it exists. I don’t have “word” dyslexia, but I invariably transpose numbers—when I write a ZIP code or dial a phone number, I have to repeat it out loud as I do so, or I will transpose half of it.

[Eve gives away her age by writing ZIP all in cap and “dialing” her phone]

Yes, it can. If it’s exclusively numbers, it is called Dyscalculia.
My daughter has it, and I think I do too. Transposing numbers is one sign, but not the only one.
Degrees vary, but my daughter is 12 years old and can barely tell time without counting up, she really has trouble with multiplication facts and phone numbers, and transposes numbers a LOT.
It happens more when she is stressed or frustrated. Maybe your friend has some personal things going on? Not getting enough sleep?
I’d go to the doctor. That’s always a good idea! Doctors are GODS, you know! here is a list of symptoms

I have dyscalculia, it makes working with accounting, and excel a real challenge.

I found for myself that doing number puzzles, like Number Fill It Ins really helped, all you can do is practice.

Here I thought I was just stupid.

This is a great thread, thanks for the info, I never realized until now that alot of my problems were connected to my transposition of numbers.

Soooooo do I get a handicapped parking place now? (KIDDING!)

Yes, if you fill in forms 58476/d, 12828374/gf, and 448294674/a parts 1, 3, and 7, and remember to quote reference 2454245178645.

(Sorry, but somebody had to do it…)

I fit a lot of the symptoms of dyscalculia, and I can tell you that switching numbers is a big problem for me, especially when copying them (say, from a book or a problem written on the board).

Is this a recent issue for your friend or has she had problems with this all her life? If it’s the former, I’d be a little more concerned.

My Dad is dyslexic, & he not only has trouble with letters & numbers, but he cannot read the dipsticks for our cars’ oil.
This used to drive me crazy when I was learning to care for my car, until we figured it out.

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that dyslexia and dyscalculia are not the easiest words to spell. Some sort of cruel trick by the scientific community?

I have a lot of trouble with transposition of digits and almost no sense of time, also can be a bit absentminded, but many of those other things don’t apply for me. My daughter however does have a lot of trouble with letters, and reading is a chore and not a pleasure for her. We continue to follow her teachers advice to be patient but it’s difficult since it’s clearly a source of distress for her.

Thanks to all who’ve contributed info here.

From American Heritage Dictionary:


My sincere thanks to all of you (and kellibelli for the link: I printed it and gave it to my friend) for your contributions to this thread!


My dyslexia was diagnosed fairly early on due mainly to my dyscalculia, as my dyslexia is barely noticable. The primary problems I have with words are where a couple of letters are repeated - banana, remember etc (I once spent half an hour on a third-year Poetry paper trying to figure out how to spell ‘odyssey’), and I can’t spell aloud to save my life. In my (extremely limited) knowledge/experience, mostly garnered from talking to other dyslexics, it has usually only been those with slight, rather than severe, dyslexia who have the accompanying problems with numbers.

I transpose numbers all the time, write my '2’s and '5’s back to front if not paying attention, and cannot keep any given number in my head for any length of time, which turn the cash management parts of my job into long, highly-involved processes involving lots of hastily scribbed notes and cursing at the spreadsheet. At the grand old age of 29, I still only know my 1,2 and 10x tables, and have difficulty remembering my own phone number, let alone anyone else’s. The current 8-hour (ick) time difference between myself and my SO is the worst headache when trying to figure out when I need to set my alarm or when it’s socially acceptable to call. I’ve figured out to carry a small calculator and notebook (for jotting down numbers) at all times, so as long as your collegue is aware enough of the problem to be able to usually counteract its effects, as it sounds like she has, I doubt it will become more of a problem for her, as it is no more than an mihor annoyance for me most of the time. In fact, I think it bugs the people around me more than myself!
(Another ‘thank you’ to kellibelli for the link, as it gives me a big fat excuse for my habitual lateness and appalling organisational skills:D)


See, it’s because I’m dyslexic. Not a typo. Nu-uh, no way.