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Do you tell people that you have dyscalculia?





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Change the term "Learning Disability"
Moss
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Posted on February 16 2006 04:18 PM
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I was up last night thinking about this. What we need is a alternate to "Learning Disability". While I'm sure whoever came up with it had good intentions, The road to hell....

It's particularly the word disability which bothers me. It sounds like we're all mentally slower then anyone else and we all know this isn't true. So I have a couple of suggestions that I think is better then "learning disability"

How about "Learn Differently" or "Learning Empowered"

All I do know is that maybe if we took the word disability out, Alot more people with a LD, especially those kids in school would have alot more confidence in themselves.
 
moonboots7777777
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Posted on February 17 2006 05:12 AM
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haha i liek it
hey hey hey.
 
eoffg
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Posted on February 17 2006 09:20 AM
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Hi MossSmile,
I couldn't agree with you more!
This is perhaps one of the most important issues that needs to be addressed throughout the world?
Learning Disability, is a Govt term.
It makes things very simple for Govts.
Tick a Box:
Disabled: Not Disabled: .

But if you introduce Learning Differences into it and all of the variations, then it makes it very difficult for the Govt to give you a Box to Tick?

Though the Govt might give you an extra Box to Tick, where after ticking Disability, you might get another list of Boxes to choose from?
Where their might be a Dyscalculia box to tick?

But then their are different types of Dyscalculia, so another list of Boxes is needed to choose from?

The whole focus is on putting individuals into boxes.
Where the Govt has a solution Box that matches your Box?

A recognition of Learning Differences, requires thinking outside of the Box?
Where difference is valued, instead of being discriminated against!
Where as you suggest, difference is Empowered!
Instead of being made to feel a 'lesser of a person'?
It really requires a global change in mind-set?
Where I suspect that people with Learning Differences, might actually be the Majority?
Which would make the so-called 'Normal Learners' a minority?

Given that people with Learning Differences, often develop so-called Gifted skills in some areas, as a result of their Learning Difference.

It would seem that Normal Learners dont have this advantage?
I just hope that over time, Normal Learners dont have to take on the label of Disabled? Given that they dont have any exceptional skills?
So when the 'wheel turns', remember not to make 'Normals' feel like a lesser of a person, just because they dont have any exceptional skills?
GeoffSmile





























 
LithiumStella
#4 Print Post
Posted on February 17 2006 08:13 PM
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I have to laugh when I red that because i agree completely-- especially the term "learning empowered" which amuses me almost as much as being "special" and not "stupid." i guess i'm just a bit bitter about the whole thing XD. i like the thought, though. although geoff's getting a bit idealistic.
joy was her name-- a life unwed.
 
mermaid23
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Posted on February 25 2006 02:50 AM
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I couldn't agree more! I feel like I always have to preface "I have learning disabilities" with "but my IQ is above normal so I am not retarded..."

We totally need another word!
 
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s_hartpoet
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Posted on March 16 2006 12:27 AM
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Learning Difference. Could not agree more. Grin
 
Jason22
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Posted on March 19 2006 12:29 AM
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Well with the mentaly retarded it's usualy called developmental disability, not learning disability. But I hear yah. When I was in third grade a girl bully and her friend attacked me verbally by calling me a "retard". I have Tourette Syndrome as well though, so I don't know what she was refering to.
 
CYL
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Posted on March 31 2006 02:11 AM
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The only problem as far as I can see it that 'Learning Empowered' and 'Learn Differently' sound very politically correct to me. It's like 'Differently Abled'.

I hate it when people try and make something sound more cuddly, to try and spare feelings.

Like it or not, Dyscalculia is a disability. We physically cannot do maths like most people. Of course, in general we're also smarter than most people, so it balances out in the end.

The problem lies in peoples perception of disability. If it wasn't treated as such a problem by society, it wouldn't be a problem to be disabled. The reason disabled people (from physically disabled to learning disabled) are treated differently is because on the whole society doesn't like people to be different, because it makes us nervous.

I have never met a person in a wheelchair, so it seems strange to me because I'm not used to it. I meet many many people who have never even heard of dyscalculia, let alone understand it (we don't even have a box for it on our university assignment forms, only for dyslexia. I make the point of writing Dyscalculia underneath and making my own box to tick. Petty but ultimately fulfilling).

Don't stop calling it a learning disability. It's only by calling it this that we can change everyone elses perceptions of exactly what a disability is.


(PS, I used to get a lot of people thinking I was slow because I have a learning disability. It changed pretty quickly when I spent 7 years as the school quiz team champion. Wink )
 
eoffg
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Posted on March 31 2006 08:27 AM
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Hi CYLSmile
The term disabled, also implies 'unable' and in turn, will never be able to?

Where it needs to be recognised that people process information in their minds in different ways.
Many Members here, develop their own coping strategies so that they can handle working with maths.
Strategies that suit their way of thinking with numbers.
Though these are strategies that they have usually had to develop themselves?
But if in school, instead of classing a child with Dyscalculia as disabled?
A child's different way of processing information was recognised.
Then a maths curriculum could be developed and offered that supports this way of processing information.
It needs to be recognised that our current Western model of dealing with maths, is something that has been invented.
Where the disorder may be with the Invention, not with people?

If I invented a Tool, where it was found that only right handed people could use it? That left handed people had great difficulty with it?
Would we class the left handed people as Disabled?
Which might seem ridiculous, but in fact earlier last century, schools classed left handed children as having a disability?
Strange but true?
Fortunately today being left handed is just seen as different.
With tools designed so that left handed people can use them just as well.
Which brings me back to understanding Dyscalculia as a difference instead of a disability?
Where what is needed, are Maths Tools that suit Dyscalculics different way of processing information.
Geoff.Smile


















 
ValP
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Posted on March 31 2006 02:45 PM
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I agree Cyl, political correctness 'deals' with the problem without actually having to do anything - here in the UK at least.
I regard my dysc. to be a d**n nuisance rather than a disability and yes - make your own boxes in heavy red ink wherever possible. Colleges and Uni's are gradually getting the message but it is a slow process even with one of us in the staff room.
Cheers
Val Smile
 
PuNitrate
#11 Print Post
Posted on March 31 2006 06:07 PM
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Moss wrote:
I was up last night thinking about this. What we need is a alternate to "Learning Disability". While I'm sure whoever came up with it had good intentions, The road to hell....

It's particularly the word disability which bothers me. It sounds like we're all mentally slower then anyone else and we all know this isn't true. So I have a couple of suggestions that I think is better then "learning disability"

How about "Learn Differently" or "Learning Empowered"

All I do know is that maybe if we took the word disability out, Alot more people with a LD, especially those kids in school would have alot more confidence in themselves.


Hear Hear! I like it Smile

Recently, I read an article about "neuro-diversity," which is also appropriate.

PuNo4
 
Avalon Swan
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Posted on April 01 2006 03:05 AM
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CYL wrote:
The only problem as far as I can see it that 'Learning Empowered' and 'Learn Differently' sound very politically correct to me. It's like 'Differently Abled'.

I hate it when people try and make something sound more cuddly, to try and spare feelings.

Like it or not, Dyscalculia is a disability. We physically cannot do maths like most people. Of course, in general we're also smarter than most people, so it balances out in the end.

The problem lies in peoples perception of disability. If it wasn't treated as such a problem by society, it wouldn't be a problem to be disabled. The reason disabled people (from physically disabled to learning disabled) are treated differently is because on the whole society doesn't like people to be different, because it makes us nervous.

I have never met a person in a wheelchair, so it seems strange to me because I'm not used to it. I meet many many people who have never even heard of dyscalculia, let alone understand it (we don't even have a box for it on our university assignment forms, only for dyslexia. I make the point of writing Dyscalculia underneath and making my own box to tick. Petty but ultimately fulfilling).

Don't stop calling it a learning disability. It's only by calling it this that we can change everyone elses perceptions of exactly what a disability is.


(PS, I used to get a lot of people thinking I was slow because I have a learning disability. It changed pretty quickly when I spent 7 years as the school quiz team champion. Wink )


I whole heartily agree with Cyl on this. I am statistically dis-abled from doing what the majority statistically can do normally. I am not Handy capable or learning empowered, I am learning disabled! Conversely however I am not stupid, a moron, or unable! A soldier with his legs blown off will never run a marathon again no matter what normally! It is imposable by the reality of the situation. That said though, their are many amputees that run marathons! Are all amputees’ lower life forms to be pitied for their misfortune? NO! In that statement, is the answer we seek. I put it to the forum with my thread on the power of difference. We must endeavor to be what we are and to be counted for what we truly are, not what society or a person’s stereotypes dictate us to be. Smile
Avalon's Swan
Their's lies, Damned Lies and then their's Statisics! Some old river pilot
 
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OneOutofOrderScrooball
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Posted on June 12 2006 12:39 AM
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How about the term, "Creatively Enabled"?Pfft It covers the criterion for our Creative minds and also says-"Yes we can learn!" without the stigma and the problems "disabled", implies. Any takers on this term and if I may digress Please does anyone know of an Avatar site that has animals or robots featured? Thank you!OneOut of Order ScrewballPfft
Edited by OneOutofOrderScrooball on June 12 2006 12:48 AM
 
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karalyeva2
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Posted on August 11 2006 02:43 AM
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Dude, I totally agree with you, I have been wincing at the term "learning disability" ever since I was a young one, but could never come up with a suitable alternative. "Learning Empowered" sounds too much like "Special" to me, this "learning difference" thing that so many people are using these days sounds too much like people trying to be overly P.C. to make up for hidden prejudices. I think the key might be to take out the word "learning", because that implies that people with this thing have issues with learning itself. I don't know, nothing sounds good to me. I don't agree that it is a disability, because TAUGHT THE RIGHT WAY, people can learn the material. People use the term disability to place the blame on the student, so that a) teachers don't have to deal with adjusting their teaching styles, or Cool they can take a person's actions and assign a label to them, thus enforcing stereotypes. There has to be another option.
Lara
 
karalyeva2
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Posted on August 11 2006 02:44 AM
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sorry, that little guy with the sunglasses was supposed to be a b.
Lara
 
eoffg
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Posted on August 11 2006 06:43 AM
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Hi KaralyevaPfft and welcome to the Forum.
You make a good point about: "this "learning difference" thing that so many people are using these days sounds too much like people trying to be overly P.C. to make up for hidden prejudices."
Whilst it's better than using the words; disorder or disabled.
As you suggest, it does carry a PC feel about it.
Your other point: "I think the key might be to take out the word "learning", because that implies that people with this thing have issues with learning itself."
Is also important. As it implies that learning is a problem.
Where it really reflects what are different Thinking Styles.
Dyscalculics are typically strong Verbal Thinkers.
Which also called Auditory Sequential Thinking.
Yet maths is taught in a way that suits Visual Spatial Thinkers, which doesn't suit Verbal Thinkers.
Basically they are opposite 'ways of thinking'.
Where Verbal Thinkers use words to build an overall picture.
Whereas Visual Spatial Thinkers start from the overall picture and then break it down into its elements.
I'll be starting a new topic on Different Thinking Styles very soon.
Geoff.Pfft
 
KMG
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Posted on August 11 2006 06:19 PM
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I think when you start to try and change a word or description to make someone feel less stigmatized you run the risk of losing clarity. When I hear that someone has a learning disability I immediatly know that he is an intelligent person who has a problem with processing information in the usual manner.

I think clarity in these matters - in all matters - is vital to helping others understand and address the issue.

But the correct term for something isn't just a way of putting someone in a box, any more than saying I am a woman or I am middle aged puts me in a box. It tells others something about me, but not everything about me. The rest comes from knowing me and working with me.

My son has dyscalculia - a learning disability. That tells something about him, but certainly not everything about him, but an important part that tells others that he processes information differently than most others do. It lets them know where he may need help, or that he may need to tackle problems in a different manner.

If we're going to expect the world to understand what dyscalculia is - and what it isn't, then the terms used must be very clear and leave no room for wondering what is meant.


“The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.” Albert Einstein
 
eoffg
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Posted on August 12 2006 10:27 AM
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Hi KmgreshamSmile,
I would like to disagree with you, but I find that I do agree with your points?
Where the term Learning Difference can be misleading?
As it doesn't inform someone that it is a Difficulty.
Where Dyscalculia as a Learning Difference, would just imply a different way of doing maths and not inform them that it is a Difficulty.
Afterall, if you tell your employer that you have Dyscalculia, it is because you want to let them know that you have a difficulty with maths.

Where as you suggest, as we try to get the world to understand Dyscalculia. We dont want the word to just understand Dyscalculia as a different way of doing maths.

But the contradiction is that, by using the apropriate 'coping strategies', along with use of various 'technologies'. Dyscalculics can in fact manage to do a lot of maths tasks.
So it's not a clear case of 'cant do any maths', but more specific types of maths tasks. Exams being one of them.
Which is where I have a concern with the word 'disability'. As it implies; 'cant do and never will be able to'.
Where I'm troubled with primary school children being told that they have a Disability. Which often causes a child to lose any motivation and take on the attitude that: 'I cant do it now and I never will be able to. So I wont bother trying.' Which is a wrong conclusion that they arrive at.

Whereas to inform a child that they have a 'Learning Difference'.
Doesn't suggest that it cant be learnt, but just that a different way needs to found to do it?
Yet, the Govt and Schools dont provide any extra support for a Learning Difference, only for a Learning Disability. Where the box for Disability needs to be ticked.
Though their is a push in Educational Research for the recognition of 'Different Styles of Thinking/ Learning' by teachers and schools. Which will provide teachers and schools with a whole new way to approach and cope with the wide range of Learning Disorders that exist in classrooms.

So Kmgresham, you raise some important points in this confusion.
Where I would borrow the last line of your message to finish off:
"then the terms used must be very clear and leave no room for wondering what is meant."
GeoffPfft
 
KMG
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Posted on August 12 2006 02:57 PM
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I understand the issue with telling youngsters that they have a disability can lead to a lack of motivation - the words children learn right after "I can!" are "I can't!" I have 3 children and that was the case for all of them. Wink

In most cases it isn't that they can't, it's that they can't do it easily. We all prefer those tasks that are easily done. Smile With the youngest, it was really that he couldn't in the way he was being taught.

In the case of telling children what they are dealing with, I certainly agree that "learning difference" would be far more positive. In fact, I have a relative who is a guidance councelor in high school and she refers to all LDs as Learning Differences, so the schools do seem to be moving toward that term - unless it's in the reports they have to file.

So some progress is being made - if slowly. Smile



Edited by KMG on August 12 2006 02:59 PM
“The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.” Albert Einstein
 
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