Personally, for me, I hope its means that I'm simply slower then other students. I've never had a proper elementry school education because I moved around a lot. Its also about pride, I'm the type of person that if you tell me I can't do something it makes me want to work harder to do it. That and my little sister in middle school is better at math than I am.
There is a difference between needing extra time and not being able to do something. In the same way a penguin is never going to fly, I'm starting to doubt I'll ever be able to succeed in upper level math courses. This is unfortunate because both of my career choices; computers science and occupational therapy, require at least calculus 1.
So for me dyscalculia means a battle, a struggle for my very survival and well-being as a human on this earth. Yeah I know, a little dramatic but that is what it means to me. What does it mean to you?
I guess back to kahnacadamy where I've been working on my math for 4 hours a day.
Edited by totallydiffrent on March 26 2012 08:23 AM
Location: United States Posts: 1862 Joined: 2008-11-14
To me, dyscalculia first and foremost meant validation. It meant that everything I had been experiencing my entire life, and had always been told was due to "not trying hard enough", was actually not my fault. I could finally stop blaming myself for being bad at math, and I had a defense against anyone else who might try to blame me for my own math woes.
And it also means, to me, that my brain is simply wired differently. It's wired in a way that does not work well with numbers. The testing they gave me showed in exactly which ways my brain doesn't understand what's going on. When I look at number symbols, they are literally harder for my brain to read and comprehend, the time lag is almost 4x greater than the amount of time it takes for me to view a letter and appropriately identify it. That is really significant. I also have a strong tendency to make numerical omissions or switches - reading "25" as "52" or writing "172" as "127" or even as "17" and missing the 2 completely. My actual calculation skills were almost normal, but when you have problems like those I just described inhibiting you, no wonder math becomes such a challenge.
Dyscalculia has also become a torch that I have taken up, to try and help other people who I see dealing with the same struggles. I used to take care of a girl for many years, and now that she is in elementary school, she is showing all the classic signs of dyscalculia. I spoke with her parents, and they are taking her to have her tested for it. If she can get a diagnosis so much earlier than I did, I can only imagine how much more it will help her in the long run. Not only that, but now she has me, and I can act as a mentor - someone older who she respects who has to deal with the same learning disability.
I don't really view dyscalculia so much in negative terms anymore, but that's just how I function best. If I chose to look at it only as far as what it blocks me from doing, then I'd be miserable about it. I prefer to reframe things like that in terms of what I can do, not what I can't do. It makes life a lot more tolerable for me, and gives me more optimism regarding what I can do with my life.
"The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings." - Eric Hoffer
Dyscalculia means always having to struggle to stay in control, working at least twice as hard as "everyone else" to remember things, to make sure that I don't make silly mistakes that upset me.
It also means having to depend on other people when those numbers want to mess about.
Dyscalculia also means worrying that my son might "have it" too and telling myself that I'm probably overreacting..
It means knowing that I sometimes annoy my siblings and not being able to do anything about it.
It's not all bad though - on a good day, I can laugh at the silly things I do and I don't mind a good laugh.
Oh, and one more thing, nobody can complain that I'm slow - I get to do things my way :-)
I'm a violin so stop trying to make me sound like a piano!!
Dyscalculia doesn't bother me as much as all the nasty accessories that came with it
Location: Munising, MI, USA Posts: 848 Joined: 2010-10-09
Dyscaluclia is struggling to do math that a third grader can do. It is forgetting directions, having a hard time keeping left and right strait, and being unable to read a map. It means my room always looks like a bomb went off in it. It means that when I do a project, it is done my way, and according to my system, whether anyone else understands it or not. It means I have to be a bit of a control freak when it comes to some things. To let someone else have control leads to my confusion. It means that I have unique challenges, but unique ways of coping with them.
I'm NOT lost, I'm just taking the scenic rout!
Dyscalculia means having trouble counting change and having panic attacks behind a cash register. Dyscalculia means having trouble calculating percentages and doing fractions. Dyscalculia means struggling in exercise classes and at sports due to poor coordination (well, maybe this one isn't directly related to Math) and reversing movements (can't tell left from right). Dyscalculia means poor spatial skills. (Can't remember which door to exit from). Dyscalculia means barely being able to pass General Math in high school (well, admittedly I was a little lazy) and having to take remedial math in junior college. Dyscalculia means that some people tell you that you are really smart and others laugh at you for being slow. Dyscalculia means having a boss who treats you like shit because you can't operate a cash register properly. Dyscalculia means that sometimes I rage and curse the powers the be and scream "Why me?"
Nevertheless, my LD hasn't kept me from getting two college degrees and excelling at writing and art (I'm also a pretty decent gardener).
Dyscalculia doesn't mean that I'm stupid. It means that I have a "knot" or glitch in my neurological wiring. I have to remind myself that people have to struggle with all sorts of problems, and that nature is cruel, but ultimately, that success has a lot to do with plain old perseverence, LD or not.
And never forget the old saw: Don't let the bastards get you down!
Location: Bribie Island Queensland Australia Posts: 414 Joined: 2005-04-03
Dyscalculia means to me having to "Think Outside the Square constantly" to get to where I have to go by another route - to problem solve where others dare not go! to get the results I need. It has made me inventive, highly motivated, I never use it as an excuse - but i wish that just once I could things effortlessly!!
I empathise with others who have some sort of learning disability and find i go out of my way to help out others less fortunate. So there you go Dyscalculia brings outs the Best in me!! In really unexpected ways. Cheers Kathy
Albert Einstein said: "Many of the things you can count, don't count. Many of the things you can't count, really count!."
Location: East Devon's Jurassic park! Posts: 18 Joined: 2012-04-20
To me, Dyscalculia means that I have a really bad long-term memory and can't easily understand or remember verbal instruction. But, I can remember almost everything I read or see...apart from numbers! So it has it's compensations. It's also meant a lifetime of stress from confusion and too much sensory input because I'm operating at a much slower pace. I've often thought 'stop the world, I want to get off'!
What it's done for me is, like Kathy said, to think outside the box and find inventive ways of coping; also to live life my own way and to realise that I don't have to do stuff that I'm not suited for when I can do things that I'm better at.
Since learning about Dyscalculia, it's happily meant that I can now lump together seemingly disparate problems under one heading, and things have become much clearer. It's also meant that I can take pride in my achievements...and especially after reading about how others have and are coping on the forum here, how much harder we work at it than most. Let's face it...we all rock!
Dyscaculia to me means even though I haven't been diagnosed that you learn math slower and to teach a student with Dyscaculia means you have to adapt assignments. Phrases like "just try harder" or if "you would just guess" don't work .
For me what I get tired of fighting with over my teachers is the matter of "not trying" because when a math sheet is handed to me the majority of the questions I don't answer. It's not that I'm not trying. I look at the notes, I pay attention in class, I try to well yet because half the time I don't understand what a problem is asking me it's diffucult to respond.
Location: Texas USA Posts: 6315 Joined: 2008-05-25
Hello again, genstar,
There's something a little unusual about your posts. I've answered you previously on two other Threads, and yet you haven't responded to any of my posts to you. You are telling parts of the same story here again that you've already told us. Have you seen my two posts in answer to your two other posts? I am here posting a repetition of what I just posted to you on another Thread. Please let me know that you have read this post. - jus'