How Windy Row's Chairman Conquered Dyscalculia

George Sterling is an entrepreneur in Peterborough, NH. A certified business coach, he is founder and president of Sterling Business Corporation and chair of the board of the Windy Row Learning Center.

Being dyslexic does not mean you are stupid. Nor is dyslexia a disease. And for some, like me, the challenge is not reading but numbers.

I have never been diagnosed with dyslexia or dyscalculia, but I transpose numbers a lot even if the numbers are keyed into a calculator or keypad. I was attending college and struggling as an accounting major. I was just two weeks away from being unable to change my major when one of my professors spoke with me privately after an exam. He said, “Look here, on the first problem you did the work and then erased it all, and did it again. Your first answer was correct. Here again on problem two, you did the work erased it all, and your first answer was correct. Here on problem three, I see that you did the work three times and your second answer was correct. If you cannot get the same answer twice with a calculator, how are you going to make it as an accountant? It's clear that you understand the concepts of accounting but I suggest you choose a different major.”

So I did change, to business management, and started my own business right after graduating college.

Having dyslexia or dyscalculia isn’t a bar to success; but there’s no need to wait until college to find help for a child with reading or math challenges. The frustration children face when they can’t read wears them down, may lead to behavioral problems, limits their life choices, and makes them feel like “broken,” a word used by many of the children we see at Windy Row. We should all be aware and on the lookout for children who have trouble saying the alphabet or numbers in order, can’t seem to follow directions that their peers understand, don’t understand concepts like larger and smaller or first and last, avoid reading out loud, or exhibit other signs of trouble with reading or math.

Windy Row provides one-on-one specialized after-school tutoring for children from kindergarten through grade nine. We help children find new ways to make sense of the written page when they are struggling with the sounds, shapes, sequence, and meanings of letters, words, and numbers. We regularly bring children up to grade level or beyond in reading and math. In honor of Dyslexia Awareness Month, if you know a child who may have difficulty in reading or math, please remember Windy Row Learning Center and contact us at info [at] windyrow.org.