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Do you tell people that you have dyscalculia?

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Learning the Time
#1 Print Post
Posted on August 30 2011 04:33 AM

Location: Victoria, Australia
Posts: 3

Joined: 2011-08-27

My 8 year olds 9th birthday is soon approaching, she is struggling with analog time but is this just an 8 year still learning or is this dyscalculia?

Anyhow, she has two analog watches which she rarely wears. Was wondering whether purchasing a digital watch for her birthday would be helpful or detrimental (ie we should be focusing on having her master the analog clock face. We do have at least two analog clocks around the house for practice and I know that the world outside our home, has a mix of both)

Do dyscalculics eventually conquer analog time reading?


Concerned Mumma
#2 Print Post
Posted on August 30 2011 12:34 PM

Location: No value
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Joined: 2008-12-31

I didn't learn how to tell time on a "hands" clock til high school and still have difficulty. I've never worn a watch and usually ask people what time it is. The "hands" thing just never made sense to me for a very long time.I can remember both a friend of mine and my parents trying to teach me and not getting it. I had a child's red-rimmed toy clock to attempt to use as practice as well as any of the actual home and school clocks. I had speech therapy as part of my IEP for many years and the therapist came to get me to take me down to the Special Ed. building cuz I couldn't read the clocks - which she eventually knew - I told her once after I got in trouble when she came to get me for the session after it had been decided I'd try to go there myself at the appropriate time. Well, I was so worried and ashamed and had to tell when she finally came for me. Nothing was ever investigated. I was about 11.
I can understand a digital watch display much better but still do not wear anything.

I also didn't learn to count money til high school and still make mistakes routinely at the check-out lines.

So I guess the short answer is - yes. And not all with dyscalculia actually do have any particular issue with this, but it is a common sign.
#3 Print Post
Posted on August 30 2011 03:20 PM

Location: Texas USA
Posts: 6315

Joined: 2008-05-25

I can 'tell time' just fine with an analog or digital clock. Where I'm 'slow' though is in figuring 'this much time' plus 'that much time', and what time it will be 'then'. This requires some heavy 'finger counting' for me, and an environment quiet enough to 'hear myself think'. - jus'
#4 Print Post
Posted on August 31 2011 01:13 PM

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My 11yo son can tell analog time, but struggles with working time measurement problems in math class. He uses a number line to solve those problems. He wears a watch that is combined digital and analog and loves it.

If she struggles reading an analog watch, buy her a digital one. Can she learn to read the clock? I say be patient and don't give up on her. Look for fun and creative ways to teach her, and work in short amounts of time. Most importantly, don't stress. My DS only fully learned his times tables 4 months ago.
#5 Print Post
Posted on August 31 2011 01:16 PM

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I didn't think I'd ever learn how to tell time, and on some level I still dont. What I did was memorize where the numbers are and figure out from there where the hands are, then go from there. And yeah, calculating time ?Forgetabout it. My Lama is two time zones away and I still have difficulty figuring out when to call.
#6 Print Post
Posted on September 01 2011 10:40 AM
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Location: Manchester UK
Posts: 13

Joined: 2011-08-31

Thank goodness for digital clocks!

I can tell the time but have to look for a while to 'get it' - adding and subtracting time, not easily - so I avoid that if at all possible!

When teaching the time take it really slowly and start with O'clock (for weeks if necessary, but practice several times a day)

Then go on to half past - once again for weeks - keep asking her to tell you when it's half hast whatever.

Then quarter past. Then quarter to.

Eventually you'll get there.

#7 Print Post
Posted on September 01 2011 01:04 PM

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"Quarters" are still difficult for and I usually ask or confirm my understanding of a time-related answer or phrase involving them.
My mom has finally stopped using the terms with me and usually tells me what specific time she means.

I remember in college actually learning/seeing for the first time 3/4 and .75 meant the same, that was so like - wow!
#8 Print Post
Posted on September 01 2011 01:22 PM

Location: Texas USA
Posts: 6315

Joined: 2008-05-25

Boogie, what I like about what you've suggested is the idea of really not even including information from the 'minutes' hand of the clock until the 'hour' hand can be well understood. After all, even to know what 'hour' it is, from an analog clock, is better than getting no information at all. I think that starting to teach time by just leaving the minutes hand at 12, and only focusing on what the small 'hour' hand is doing is a great idea. Also, while teaching the 'hour' hand, the child can get used to the idea of the direction in which the hand makes its circular trip around the clock, thus learning 'clockwise' and 'counter-clockwise'. So, right there, the child is already learning two things at the same time,... to read what hour of the day it is, AND to know which direction the hand will always turn. That's a lot of useful information already. Good idea! - jus'
#9 Print Post
Posted on September 01 2011 05:44 PM
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Location: Manchester UK
Posts: 13

Joined: 2011-08-31

Yes - and, most importantly, take it s l o w l y - there is no rush, whatever others tell you!
#10 Print Post
Posted on September 08 2011 01:01 AM
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Location: Washington, USA
Posts: 113

Joined: 2011-04-23

I have worn a watch on my wrist almost every single day of my life since I was 8. They have almost all been digital because, up until middle/high school I couldn't read analogue clocks, mostly because I couldn't remember which hand was which and the numbers confused me.

When I was 10 my parents bought me an analogue watch and the hands were two different colors to make it easier to remember which was which. They also had hollow circles on the end and the numbers were easy to see, so I could figure out the time faster by seeing which numbers were circled. It helped a lot and now I can read most analogue clocks. But I still prefer digital.
#11 Print Post
Posted on September 08 2011 09:59 PM

Location: USA
Posts: 30

Joined: 2011-09-08

I prefer digital! round faced clocks are horrible! I always either have my cell phone or wear a digital watch. There have been too many times where I have asked the time and people just say well the clock is right there! Yeah, not a pretty situation. the things people take for granted..Wink
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