11-Year-Old With Autism Earns Guinness World Record for Mental Math

No pencil, paper or fingers needed.

Sanaa Hiremath just earned a place in the Guinness World Record.

(Courtesy Guinness World Records)

Can you do math without a calculator? How about without a pencil and paper? Sanaa Hiremath, an 11-year-old Florida girl with autism can. In fact, she just earned a place in the Guinness World Record (GWR) for the largest mental arithmetic multiplication in April, 2021, according to a press release from the organization.

Sanaa had to multiply 12 digits in under 10 minutes and she didn’t get to see the numbers in advance. In fact, she was blindfolded on her way to the testing location according to Spectrum News 1. But her talent wasn’t always recognized.

She was diagnosed with autism at two, and Sanaa showed a gift for mathematics when she was homeschooled but before that, she failed math in the second grade. Sanaa’s father Uday Hiremath told Spectrum News 1 that his daughter was given a pencil and paper and told to write one through 20 but couldn’t because she has motor issues and cannot hold a pencil.

That’s when Sanaa’s  parents began to homeschool her and found that math came naturally to her. One day when I was doing second-grade homework, we introduced the concept of multiplication for her for the very first time and she was able to answer instantly, “Priya Hiremath said.

But she’s not a human calculator according to her father, she can actually solve very complex math problems like the Google generated 12-digit one she solved for the world record. “I don’t think she has any limitations,” he said. “Six digits, seven digits, who knows how many digits. I don’t think she has those limitations.

“She was different from the other kids,” he added. “That was obvious, but what was not obvious was how gifted she was in math.”

For the most part Sanaa is like any other preteen girl who loves to watch videos on her iPad, swim, bike, and travel, according to GWR, with one major difference, her mental math ability.

Although she can solve problems like an MIT engineering student, Sanaa’s parents do not want to advance her in school because of her communication skills. They plan on continuing to homeschool her and work to improve areas where she is weak.

Another young person on the autism spectrum also earned a GWR in April, 2021 according to the press release. Auldin Maxwell, 12, broke the record title for the most Jenga blocks – 1,400 – stacked on one vertical Jenga block. This is no small feat.

These amazing kids have been recognized for their talents and they will continue to earn accolades due to their unique skills, and you can count on that.

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