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Do you tell people that you have dyscalculia?

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Poor motor skills, etc.
#1 Print Post
Posted on February 28 2012 05:32 PM

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Just wanted an opinion. Do you think it's good to challenge yourself at things you have trouble with or don't think you can do, or is it better to simply do what you're good at?
I have poor motor skills, which many dyscalculics struggle with. For this reason I have never been very good at sports, but have always regretted that I have never learned one. (Well, there's always archery). Last summer I took a couple of horseback riding lessons, but apparently performed so poorly that I couldn't even take group riding lessons--they said I had to have a "beginners' kit." Aargh! Now I'm taking a ballet class, but I'm struggling there too. I do OK for a while and then my mind just goes haywire. Last night my teacher actually had to guide me across the room so that I could get the steps right. The other two people in the class didn't seem to have trouble, which only made it worse. I do well when I'm dancing freestyle or doing something fast like hip hop, but ballet is extremely precise, and there are all those steps.
I had also wanted to learn poker, but gave up on that, as I didn't think I'd be able to calculate odds.
People tell me I am just too damned serious and intense, and I guess I am! They tell me I need to have a sense of humor and laugh at myself, which I probably do!
But let's face it, it's just easier to enjoy yourself when you're good at something. Practice makes perfect, they say, but sometimes it just makes better, if that.Smile
I know I don't HAVE to do any of these things. As they say, all I HAVE to do is pay taxes and die (though I'm not sure about the former). LOL. But I do believe in getting out of my comfort zone.
Any thoughts, guys? I guess I'm just struggling with some of the same things we all do. I try not to feel sorry for myself, but it just seems that this LD has really screwed up my life.
One of the few things I'm good at is writing, but getting published seems to be a pipe dream. I also sing, but reading music? Fugeddabout it.
Go ahead--tell me to lighten up. Or just keep on truckin.' I guess that's all any of us can do.
#2 Print Post
Posted on February 28 2012 06:44 PM
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I know that some dyscalculics are able to ride a horse. I've gone riding a few times, though last time I was on a trail (2nd time I'd ever been on one), I fell off the horse. I can do archery, though I also have visual-spatial impairment. I think more arrows hit trees than they do targets when I shoot, but I enjoy it. I guess try something out, if you are terrible at it, so what? If you enjoy it, that's what counts.

As far as music reading, I'm a music major, and there are still times I have to sit there and study my ledger lines to know what notes I'm supposed to be hitting.
I'm NOT lost, I'm just taking the scenic rout!
#3 Print Post
Posted on February 28 2012 11:00 PM

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Here's my 2cents...Try Pilates from a certified instructor. Many individuals with LDs pursue martial arts or an individual sport like long distance running or wrestling. Pilates and/or martial arts builds up your core and balance. Running is personal, and you can achieve a personal best and then strive to beat that best. Mostly enjoy yourself.
#4 Print Post
Posted on February 28 2012 11:29 PM
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I'm going to tell you what you told yourself to do in your initial post: lighten up, and learn how to laugh at yourself. Seriously, they are the two best things you'll ever do for yourself!

Remember that when you take on these classes, they're supposed to be FUN. Not infuriating, not serious, not stressful... fun. They are purely for pleasure and to expand your horizons. If you aren't having fun, there is absolutely no point in doing any of it, but you need to really examine yourself and ask yourself why you aren't having fun. Does the subject not appeal to you, or is it not "fun" because you're not good at it? And if that is the case, do you think it's good for your own personal growth to quit doing things you might enjoy just because you're no good at them?

Just because you're not "good" at something innately doesn't mean you can't get good at it. I am terrible at riding a bike, I really am. I didn't learn how to ride one until I was almost 9 years old - the very last one of all my friends. But I kept doing it, because I had an incentive: all of my friends could ride bikes except me, and I was getting left out! So I kept pushing, kept falling, kept busting butt (literally), and eventually I did learn how to ride a bike. I still fell more than most people did, and to this day I still look like I'm drunk whenever I try to ride a bike (lots of weaving and occasional falling) but at least now I know that I can.

(Do you see what I mean about being able to laugh at yourself? I can laugh at myself, and let me tell you, I look hilarious trying to ride a bike. But at least now I know that I can!)

I think it would be good for you to lighten up, realize it's just for fun, and just accept it for that. It's just fun, it's just a leisure activity, it's nothing to be so serious and down on yourself about. Maybe you should dedicate yourself to doing it for at least X number of lessons, or until you reach X goal. (For example, your goal might be to be able to go on the trail ride, or to complete however many dance moves in ballet, or whatever.) That way if you want to, you can quit with a clear conscience, knowing that you tried, you applied yourself, you learned something, and you didn't quit when it got hard.

PS: FWIW, I rode horses competitively for 12 years. It did take me a lot longer than most to walk the ring and memorize the layout of my show course, but ultimately that didn't detract from the fun of it, for me anyway. As long as horses don't scare you, and you enjoy horseback riding, then keep up with it. There's no shame in being in the beginner kit, it just teaches you the basics of horsemanship and sound riding technique. Everything needs a good foundation, IMO!
Edited by CheshireKat on February 28 2012 11:32 PM
"The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings." - Eric Hoffer
#5 Print Post
Posted on February 29 2012 01:55 AM

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Thank you all for your sensible advice! No, I'm not going to give up because it's hard, I'm going to stick with it until I get better, and that's all I can do. Hey. it's not like I'm going to be a professional ballerina or an equestrian! And I will laugh...
Well, anyway, I feel a lot better now. Thanks again! Smile F8
#6 Print Post
Posted on February 29 2012 03:57 AM

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I danced for years as a tap dancer. My mother ran a dance studio. I loved tap dancing. Smile I can't read a note, sing a note or play a note, but I have great rhythm and I didn't have a problem with the tap dancing. I couldn't do the baton twirling though, but that was mostly due to having coke-bottle thick glasses! I broke so many pairs of glasses doing the spins while the baton was flung into the air when the baton would hit my face on the way down, my mother finally took me out of it.Pfft

As well, I love riding a bike. Whenever I need to get exercise, I prefer bike riding to any other form of exercise. I didn't seem to have any problem learning how to ride a bike that I can recall and my parents never mentioned anything, so I guess it was relatively easy.

However, I cannot play card games as someone here mentioned. I can never keep up with the other players and if I'm asked to tally the scores, woe is me. I never was into any sports either (unless you count the dancing as a sport), so I never found out whether or not I'd have been any good at them.

In answer to the question of challenging oneself, I think it's a great thing to do, within reason. If it's something you've never tried and don't know whether or not you'd be any good at it, then go for it. If you've already tried it and know you won't succeed, to me that seems counterproductive and a waste of everyone's time. That's only my opinion though. I love trying new things, but if I'm never going to succeed at it, then for me it's time to move onto something else. Smile
Algebra? When I learn decimals and fractions, you're welcome to try teaching me, but unless you have the patience of a saint and are very long-lived, good luck with that... Grin
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