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Do you tell people that you have dyscalculia?

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#21 Print Post
Posted on April 09 2007 03:40 AM

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I am unsure it will ever be totally fixed. My daughters teacher repeats everything like Sydney, NSW, Melbourne, Victoria and pointed at the map where the places were. She did it three times on each area. She did it everyday as they were being tested on the stuff and my daughter brought it home and asked me to ask the questions like I was her teacher ... which I did.

She seems to be learning at school be constant repitition such as in maths concepts. They are finding by constantly going over the stuff it is sinking in.

For how long it stays - I don't know. It is like with a book - she reads it but she can't tell you what she read in it. She has even been told by an assistant libarian that she mustn't have read it because SHE SHOULD remember what was in it, but she doesn't
#22 Print Post
Posted on April 09 2007 09:13 AM
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Whilst repetition can be used as a way of memorising.
Just as I might use repetition to memorise my new Pin Number.

This has nothing to do with Learning?
Learning occurs when an association between new information and 'prior knowledge/ experience' is created.
We learn by 'Association'.
Which builds a mental network of understanding, rather than simple mental recall.
You are no doubt familiar with the 'Expert' who knows every detail of subject, which they have memorised.
But obviously doesn't really 'understand' it?
Whilst repetition and other mnemonic techniques are very helpful.
They are no more than extension of understanding.
Where it is crucial that a foundation of understanding is established.
Which relates to the issue of 'Sense of Number'.

Though Dawn, in relation to your question about: "How do you train a specific part of the working memory?"
Historically, this naturally occurred through children's Play activities.
Where Play is in fact the most essential activity for the spectrum of sensory working memories, and their interaction.
For example, when I was a young child. To develop my Visual and Spatial working memory. My Vestibular and Visual Balance, along with my sense of Proprioception.
I simply use to climb up trees, 3 or 4 metres.
Where the real challenge, was with 'climbing down'?
When you are 'climbing up' you can see and reach up.
But it's a whole different story, when you climb down.

So Dawn, given that Miles has visual-spatial and proprioception difficulties. Tree climbing Therapy could be very helpful?
#23 Print Post
Posted on April 09 2007 12:27 PM

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Well before our jacaranda tree blew down the other year, my daughter was climbing up and down the tree, following her brothers, I guess. I can still remember her 5th or 6th birthday party and she taught a boy to climb the tree but he could not climb down, we had to rescue him.

I remember the boys climbing trees when we went to school and them going yabbying after school. The innocence and loss of yesterdays childhood and playbased activities has a lot to answer for.

The girls always had skipping ropes at school and just about every girl joined in. I remember one school we went to had lots of handball spaces where both girls and boys hit the tennis ball against the wall with just their hands. These things seem to be lost in todays schools as well although skipping does come up again every now and again.

#24 Print Post
Posted on April 09 2007 02:23 PM
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Oh dear! I was so terrible at skipping rope. The girls never wanted to play with me because I was always getting my feet tangled in the rope. The same with playing ball with other kinds. I could never catch the darn ball Angry In team sports at school, I was always the last kid to be picked on teams. No one wanted me in their team because they knew how terrible I was. I grew out of it eventually but even today, I'm still not what you would call the sportive type.

Oh I remember the first and last time that I played handball, I broke a finger.
And the first and last time that I played badminton (you are going to laugh at this) I got my front teeth tangled in the net Sad
Edited by Toe_Nail on April 09 2007 02:29 PM
#25 Print Post
Posted on April 09 2007 09:11 PM

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Sorry ,toe-nail-I laughed .
Miles is a 6 year old health and safety inspector in the making. He wouldn't dream of climbing up a tree-too dangerous . He always points out danger and he is ALWAYS proven right. It is a nightmare. He is dyspraxic so I know he knows his boundaries but he will NOT allow the boundaries to be crossed.
As a baby he used to sit in the car seat and suck in his breath as I drove up a multi storey carpark . When he was 4 we were at a friends house and he would not go on the climbing frame as it was dangerous . My friend boastfully said " look at joshua ,Miles . He is only 2 and he is at the top of the climbing frame " . Joshua then fell off and broke his leg.
Miles constantly tells me when there are speed cameras.
He was furious when I dismissed his worry that his toy dolphin might swim down the flue in the swimming pool on holiday - it did. He won't go to bowling parties because they are dangerous and so on a family trip to a bowling alley he dropped a huge ball on his toe and broke it . He wouldn't go up the climbing wall at the "able and disabled multisports camp" last week and got terrible teased for being a scaredy cat.
I could write a book. Well, I just did it seems
Edited by dawn on April 09 2007 09:12 PM
#26 Print Post
Posted on September 22 2008 04:14 AM

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I just thought that I'd put some links for "subvocalization" here:


NASA Develops System To Computerize Silent, "Subvocal Speech"

Subvocalization is a Necessary Part of Reading (and issues related to speed reading)

‘Subvocal speech’ computerized

This last link is something that could be tried with someone who can't talk out loud. I've included it here because I happened to see a very intelligent young lady at the disability office that I think this would benefit, and I don't want to lose the link. - justfoundout
Edited by justfoundout on December 21 2008 08:50 PM
#27 Print Post
Posted on December 20 2008 03:33 PM

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Hi Geoff,
You wrote on early on this thread (Feb.02, 2007), that you would open a thread with exercises to develop the Minds Ear. As it seems to be a problem with my daughter, I would really want to know if you indeed posted them. Thanks
#28 Print Post
Posted on December 21 2008 05:37 AM
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Hi Internationalmama,
I just replied to you with a PM message.
#29 Print Post
Posted on July 05 2009 10:15 AM
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hi Geoff,

I just wanted to thank you for your informative posts, i have found out more about the way I think from your posts than any other method/ teaching/ testing I have encounterd.

Just to say that I sub- vocalise and if I try and mute this voice English becomes incomprehensible to me!

Also I think I can safely say I have a visual processing problem- I have always been told I am 'visual' because i can paint, draw photograph and have an eye for things-- yet I cannot even imagine numbers in my head- if I try, I have to trace the number mentally to be able to see it- if i try and imagine a 52 the amount of concentration i need is crazy - I can only imagine the curve of the five and part of the number 2 again only after tracing each number seperatly- interestingly when it comes to closing my eyes and seeing whats in front of me the same applies- I have to trace what i remember being there to get an 'outline' of a picture- I really have issues using my minds eye and never knew it! - as a side note I cant see letters either or words...
#30 Print Post
Posted on August 28 2009 07:32 PM

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I didn't know the word "sub-vocalise" before, but I do it a lot. Here's my take on the whole "mind's eye" and "mind's ear" thing as it occurs in my own brain.

I have a very good visual memory for the "big picture" for example I can draw a room or landscape from memory and get the general gyst of it right but not be able to remember all the details. I was once told that I fall short of having a photographic memory by a narrow margain. I can recall the layout of a page like a "print preview" in word, but without seeing the individual words, more like the overall shape of the blocks of text. When it comes to remembering the shape of words I'm completely hopeless, they all look the same, like my mind has over generalised what words are and lumps them all together as an archetypal word shape/pattern.

The same goes on with my "mind's ear" - I can replay music in my head, I have perfect pitch and can play music by ear very easily (always had severe difficulties with sight reading, I can't even read guitar tablature even though I get how it works) - I learned how to play "smells like teen spirit" by Nirvana on the guitar having only heard it once. (had to play it a few more times to learn the lyrics though) - I think I may have the musical equivalent of a photographic memory or close to it - but I still have some haziness when it comes to the details. I can remember song lyrics well, but I remember the meaning more than the exact words and don't get the words exactly right always (though the meaning remains the same) - but when it comes to remembering times tables, my brain does the over generalising thing again, all I remember is "blah times blah is blah, blah times blah is blah-blah, blah times blah is blahty blah" (etc) - like my brain has decided it's all the same and remembered an over generalised "times table sound pattern" that is completely useless for actually learning times tables.

So to sum up, I seem to have a good visual memory and a good auditory memory, but neither is configured in such a way as to be useful for academic skills like reading and writing (at least in the usual way, I read and spell using phonics, which is more auditory than visual. I learn to spell irregular words by saying them phonetically in my head)
Edited by dhakiyya on August 28 2009 07:33 PM
#31 Print Post
Posted on August 28 2009 11:33 PM
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What a cool thread. I'm glad it resurfaced so I could read it.

As far as symbols go, at least, I'm much more a "mind's ear" than "mind's eye" person. It takes a lot of effort for me to visualize a word, and when I read words I hear them in my head. When I hear words, I hear them outside my head, I guess. I was shocked when I was discussing this with a friend who did the opposite -- when she heard words, she visualized them! To me, this seems really weird and beside the point; written words are symbols of spoken words which are symbols of the objects or ideas they represent.

As for music, I'm the same as dhakiyya. Great musical memory but a terrible sight reader. I worked with a teacher who insisted I learn to sightread, and I did... sort of. After several years of work I still dropped accidentals and mistook the key signature. I thought at the time it had to do with LD, but couldn't find any information about it; and my teacher told me it had nothing to do with that, I just needed to work on it more (sound familiar?).

The funny thing is that while Ican sightread baroque counterpoint reasonably well, that ability doesn't translate into Chopin or Gershwin or other genres.

Since learning that dysclaculics often have trouble sightreading, and since the revelation that this is because it's basically doing math in my head, I've deiced that reading music is a waste of time. My ear is excellent, so why not go with my strength instead of beat my head against a wall reading music? I'm currently learning jazz with a teacher who encourages me to use the written music as little as possible and pay attention to what things sound like. It's so much more fun, and music even makes sense again.
decided sight reading is a complete waste of
#32 Print Post
Posted on August 31 2009 12:01 AM

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I often think in pictures and signs, not words. I don't do well auditory-wise so if I hear something as part of a block of directions I often don't visualize it because I didn't understand it. But if I do understand the words, I can see them as well as hear them, in my mind - although as I stated I often think in other ways too. I can visualize numbers in my head but whether I know what to do with them is a different thing.
Kate Plus Love
#33 Print Post
Posted on July 01 2011 09:56 PM
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dawn wrote:
How do you train a specific part of the working memory? I tried kumon as it is repetitive and an exercise in poor parenting ( ie fighting your child to get the work done ) . I would assume that if I had a willing cjhild, that would help but I don't know how to train suditory and visual working memory specifically. I don't suppose it matters if Miles is so unwilling but it might all chhange again in another month and ,hey ,it's a lifetime problem so I have time .

Not to hijack, but you're right about fighting the strong-willed child as an "exercise in poor parenting" (I'm not saying you are, just that repetitive drills seem more in line with military school than parental compassion or even "tough love"Wink.

Whatever "Kumon" is sounds like it would appeal to Amy Chua, the "Tiger Mother" whose book about her fierce, achievement-obsessed parenting style supposedly common in Asia (no wonder Japan is so accepting of suicide and Chinese authority considered inhuman) initially raised questions of child abuse here in the States.

I wonder: when I was much younger I used to play piano by ear, and can still immediately pick up on a tune and play it (minus the chords, at least not right away). Once I started formal lessons in which you had to learn time measures, follow the notes, I gave up -- and I was nowhere near as good. Is this an example of "mind's ear" or something else? Can a person be a visual learner for some things and auditory or some other sensory strength for others?

EDIT: dhakiyya's description of how the math teachers sounded reminds me of the adult voices on the Charlie Brown cartoons. Pfft

"Wah-wah, wah-wah wah wah wah, wah-wah-wah."
"No, Ms. Othmar, I know, 42 isn't the answer to everything."

(The hitchhiker's guide to the Peanuts gallery.) Cool
Edited by Kate Plus Love on July 01 2011 09:59 PM
Q: What kind of bunny multiplies but can't read?
A: A Playboy bunny!

Q: When is the glass neither half full nor half empty?
A: Happy hour! Wink
#34 Print Post
Posted on November 10 2011 06:42 PM

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I can play songs in my head. Does that refer to anything? Is that normal?
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