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Do you tell people that you have dyscalculia?





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Dear . . .
Lostinspatial
#1 Print Post
Posted on June 30 2008 08:56 PM
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Location: That would require me to know where I was
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Ok, since there are a number of us who wish we could tell off people from our past who ignored and/or ridiculed our difficulties with dyscalculia, I thought we'd start a thread. I don't want to violate any terms of services, so I say we keep the names to just an initial. Also, if you were lucky enough to have someone be supportive, even if they didn't recongize the dyscalculia feel free to post a letter to them here too.
 
Lostinspatial
#2 Print Post
Posted on June 30 2008 09:00 PM
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Location: That would require me to know where I was
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Dear Vice Principal L:

When I was in the 4th grade, you called me into your office & sternly told me I was going to be taken out of the gifted kids program because of my math grades if they didn't improve and that I should try harder. I was trying as hard as I could. I had changed schools and having an undiagnosed learning disability didn't help matters any. Oh & btw, my utter uncoordination in gym class, tendency to get lost, the high scores on anything verbal and low scores in math should have been a clue that I had some sort of learning disability.

Don't worry, I managed to get a job that I like and support myself, but I do wonder what would have been academically and professionally had I had the proper support. And you owe me for the money I've spent on screening as an adult. Pay up or we'll kick you out of the pension plan! Angry

Dear Evil Mr. S the Trig Teacher:
Now, I know you think it was funny to laugh at people who were having trouble and make snide remarks. But you really weren't helping anything.

Dear Various Gym Teachers:

Now, I'm sure it must have looked funny or ridiculous to you to see me attempting to keep up with the class. But instead of joining in with the class mocking me, perhaps you should have ordered some kind of testing.
Edited by Lostinspatial on August 24 2008 01:34 PM
 
Lostinspatial
#3 Print Post
Posted on June 30 2008 09:07 PM
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Location: That would require me to know where I was
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Now for the good teachers who made a positive difference:

Dear Mrs. D:

Thank you for taking the time and effort to help those of us with trouble in geometry. You gave up your prep time to work with us and gently coached us through it when we did problems in front of the class. You even let us do the problems before class on the board and explain them from our seats if we felt more comfortable that way. You gave up even more time before Regents to help us through it. Your efforts helped me pass both the class and the Regents. You capped all of this off by having us over for a barbeque. You are the epitome of everything a good teacher should be. Thanks.

Dear Mr. M:

Thanks for being willing to patiently explain things as many ways as we needed to hear them until we could pass. Thanks for doing it in an easy going humorous way which kept the rest of the class from getting annoyed with us.

Dear Guidance Counselor R:

Thanks for making me stick through Trig even when I desparately wanted to avoid it. You were right, it was able to get me around the math requirements in college.

Dear Mr. Good S & R:

Thanks for being encouraging in Trig, even when I wanted to give up.

Dear Ms A & Mr R & the Mr.s U:
Thanks for realizing team sports were tough for some of us and either transferring us from teams which were giving us a hard time or combining your gym classes together so students could choose at least one individual oriented activity where they wouldn't be yelled at by team mates.
Edited by Lostinspatial on June 30 2008 09:13 PM
 
reverend blamo
#4 Print Post
Posted on July 01 2008 01:20 AM
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Location: Island of Misfit Toys
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Joined: 2007-10-25

Dear Mom and Dad,
I just wanted to take this chance to thank you for making my childhood a living hell. For doubting my ability to do ANYTHING well and heck, while I am at it, thanks for the neglect, verbal and physical abuse. Thanks for discouraging everything I enjoyed. What kind of living could I have made as an artist anyway? I mean my dream to animate at Disney or work for Industrial Light and Magic was just silly. Those dumb movies they made. Where are those companies now? Probably out of business.
And thanks for squashing the joy out of building cars, trucks and motorcycles. What a waste of time that was. I mean I did make 200% profit from the sale of the boat I inherited from you after restoring it. And I get compliments on my Jeep everywhere I go but what is that worth. My Jetta is one of the fastest around...never beat another waste of time and money. Good thing I make good money. Thanks so much for telling my grandfather how disappointed you were in me and how you doubted if I was even straight. ( I am, but so what if I wasn't?)
I can't forget you mom, thanks so much for keeping me humble by telling me " I regret having you" or when I asked why I was being tested so much telling me " To see if your retarded" Imagine the massive ego I might have if it was not for this compassion. I might have grown up dependant on others if you and dad didn't each favor a brother and sister each. Of course I can't forget the final act of love, throwing me out of the house for spending the night with 2 lesbians. Heck, they tend to come in pairs you know. Besides it was the first time I ever drank...you wouldn't want me to drive home after that would you? I've only had my liscence a few weeks. Besides I had to prove I wasn't gay to dad.
Your son, Reverend BLAMO

PS. I inherited my LD's from you dad...what did you think, I caught them from some where?
"I used to be disgusted, now I try to be amused..."
Elvis Costello
 
reverend blamo
#5 Print Post
Posted on July 01 2008 01:28 AM
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Location: Island of Misfit Toys
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Dear Testers, Educators, therapists and teachers, thank you for realizing quite early that there was something wrong. Thank you for forcing my parents to take me to various doctors. Thank you for telling me I was "bright" a "wonderful child" and all the other positve things you said that I since forgot. Thanks for actually caring, for being a friend to a mostly friendless, weird kid. Thanks for letting me draw. Thanks for being genuinely impressed at some of the things I did and said, I do remember these things.
I think I was able to partially repay you for this when I worked at a residential treatment facility and got to help kids kinda like me. I learned compassion from all of you and was able to share this with them.
Most of all thanks for being patient, for understanding how I felt, and doing all this in what was almost volunteer work in a crappy school system.
I will never forget.
Bob
Edited by reverend blamo on July 01 2008 01:36 AM
"I used to be disgusted, now I try to be amused..."
Elvis Costello
 
Laura
#6 Print Post
Posted on July 01 2008 05:50 PM
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Location: Scotland
Posts: 1229

Joined: 2006-11-16

Wow!!! What a great thread Grin

Right

THANK YOU TO

Mrs S, The Learning Support Teacher from Primary 5-7
I loved the fact that you never judged me. You never shouted at me and you never patronized me. Thank You for your patience, your support and for being you. You were and probably still am a fantastic Support Teacher. You taught me to be myself and not to let other's put me down. You inspired me to follow my heart and to this day i still want to be like you a Support For Learning Teacher. I know this will never happen but deep in my heart it has already came true. You inspireded me to help others as i am doing now. I saw you about a year ago when i was working in the Supermarket and i so wanted to tell you all of this. But thought it would of been way too weird
THANK YOU AGAIN YOU ARE A REAL STAR AND A GENUINE ANGEL
BEEN THERE DONE THAT, GOT THE T-SHIRT
 
Simone Rogers
#7 Print Post
Posted on July 01 2008 08:33 PM
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Location: England
Posts: 8

Joined: 2008-06-30

Dear Mr T

Just wanted to say I didn't end up in St Christopher's Special School.

I ended up at university.

And now I work in one.

So F**K you!!!!!
Cool

 
reverend blamo
#8 Print Post
Posted on July 02 2008 02:11 AM
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Location: Island of Misfit Toys
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Joined: 2007-10-25

PS: I want to publicly tell Lisa that she is brillant for coming up with this idea. I feel so much better haven written this and reading some others.
"I used to be disgusted, now I try to be amused..."
Elvis Costello
 
Laura
#9 Print Post
Posted on July 02 2008 09:05 AM
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Location: Scotland
Posts: 1229

Joined: 2006-11-16

Dear The One Bully

You bullied me in Primary 3 when we were 8 years old all because you where on a BEHAVIOUR DIARY and i wasn't. You missed behaved and got the reading for our First Holy Communion took off of you. All the kids names in our class were put back in the hat to be re-drawen. My name ironically was pulled out of the hat. Now granted i could not read at this point in my education. I went to Mrs McK and told her i didn't want to do the reading. She told me we were going to get through this little problem i had. We spent hours and many tears may i add and months of shouting etc to get me to read the bloody reading. You wanted to get back at someone so yip it had to me. I loved my lovely long hair and you ruined it as you cornered me at dinner time and pilled my hair, hitting me, swearing at me and taunting me. You called me names that have stuck in my head to this day. I know you don't give a toss as why would you. I went on in my educational development receiving an Intermediate 2 B in my final exam in English. This is after i speak hours upon hours revising as i am not as clever as you are. Sorry did you carry on in school. Oh no you didn't you dropped out of school when we were in 4th year aged 16 years old.
"A Letter From St. Paul To The Corinthians"

You bullied me in Primary 6 aged 11 years old. Why did you bully me. Oh yes it was becasue i received special help in Maths. Yes i admit i was technically 3 years behind our age in Maths. Yes i was humiliated. Yes i was frustrated and yes i just wanted to cry. You made my life hell. You read a note that the Support teacher( She is in my good post further up- a total god send) left for me. This note explained what my homework was for that day. You had no right to rummage through my school bag. Nor did you have the right to read this note. You thought you were big reading the note out as i was entering the room. WOW!!! you are a big girl. Then when i turned and cried you thought this was hilarious. Then you got hauled up infornt of the deputy head. Nothing happened as the school was powerless a syou well knew. However your mum was called into the school becasue of this incident. You weren't laughing then were you heehee!!!!
The next day Mrs S was furious this had happened and when i went to my special lesson's with her she was fumming. She wanted to speak to you but i refused as i thought you would hate me even more. She told me to ignore you and if you attempted to say or do anything to me to go and see her or another Support teacher.
I hated you for doing this to me. You were horrible to me

Now i am a Support Worker where are you, oh ye you got pregnant at 17 years old and work part time as a cleaner( I AM NOT DISHING CLEANERS JUST HER) You tried speaking to me in high school and i ignored you and you said out loud get over it, it was 2 years ago. I hated you for that as it still hurts even today.
BEEN THERE DONE THAT, GOT THE T-SHIRT
 
justfoundout
#10 Print Post
Posted on July 02 2008 12:30 PM
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Location: Texas USA
Posts: 6315

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7/2/08
Dear Laura,
Isn't it just the most ludicrous thing how 'the bully' will also think that he/she has the 'moral superiority' to give you the 'spiritual guidance' on when to 'get over' what THEY themselves have put you through? I had one bully in my life who did this to me for many years. There was never an apology for the bullying,... just the further insult of criticizing me for any resentment of the bullying. I've gotten far away from that 'bully' person. I had to get away from others who are 'impressed' with her, too. But it was worth it. I'm sorry for the pain that this 'bully' person in your life has caused you.
justfoundout
Edited by justfoundout on July 02 2008 12:31 PM
 
Lostinspatial
#11 Print Post
Posted on July 02 2008 01:04 PM
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Location: That would require me to know where I was
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Awww, I can't take credit for the idea, it was a group effort. Simone & Evie had been talking about how they wanted to tell off dance teachers & I wanted to tell off the vice principal. I figured this would be a good outlet & we wouldn't get arrested for stalking like we would if we told them off in person or via snail or e-mail! Grin Plus I figured the folks who treated us well/with respect should be acknowledged too. I may even track some of them down to thank them by letter. Don't worry, I won't track down the vice principal!

I did get inspired to e-mail my elementary school though & ask them if the staff were more aware of visual spatial LDs. I'll let you know if I hear back.
Edited by Lostinspatial on July 02 2008 01:09 PM
 
Laura
#12 Print Post
Posted on July 02 2008 01:11 PM
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Location: Scotland
Posts: 1229

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Thank You so much JustFoundOut that means a lot to me. Yip people are so cruel
BEEN THERE DONE THAT, GOT THE T-SHIRT
 
Lostinspatial
#13 Print Post
Posted on July 02 2008 01:13 PM
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And how could I forget Mrs. H (my 4th grade teacher before the move)!?

She helped me out with comma placement. I had a really hard time writing numbers 1,000 or more because of comma placement. Since I was having a hard time with it, she came over and helped me count from the lowest part to the highest by singing one two three comma, which was accompanied by a hustle/bus stop dance move. And she did it several times until I "got" it. For years, I used to "sing" (in my head) the comma song as I wrote out numbers. It really helped!
Edited by Lostinspatial on July 02 2008 01:15 PM
 
Tigerfeet
#14 Print Post
Posted on July 02 2008 08:26 PM
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Location: Scotland
Posts: 51

Joined: 2008-06-24

The Bad

Dear Mr McE,

I would like you to know that you put me through one year of pure hell in High School. You said that I was lazy and that I didn't pay attention, so you moved me to the front of the class and called on me to answer every question you asked in front of the entire class. You stopped me from asking my friends for help understanding the work by banning me from speaking and from asking questions during class. I even tried meeting you after class to let you know I was having trouble comprehending the work but you just told me to try harder and do extra homework. I was in the top band for everything else after all, what else would cause my maths problems but laziness?! Angry

You took to calling on me to explain my working when I did actually get a question right. Needless to say, the way I used to work it out was never the 'right' way. You ridiculed the fact that my mental arithmetic was non-existent and that I could not give the answer to simple multiplication without counting out my entire times table. How many times did you call on me to answer a question you know damn well I couldn't answer, just so you could have a target and unite the rest of the class against me... The dislike I saw on your face, for me as a struggling twelve year old girl and your student, still makes my stomach clench with anger.

I remember you had a printout of pi to so many numbers around the classroom wall. You called on me to recite it. I think I got three numbers out before making a mistake and you went to town on me. You called me an imbecile in front of the class because I couldn't read out this horrible, long number without getting mixed up, and you encouraged everyone to laugh at me. You made me feel so ashamed of my 'stupidity' that I had to go to the girls toilet after class to cry. No wonder I started skipping your classes and no wonder I failed that year so miserably.

You gave up on me that year - you refused even to try to help me. I was of no interest and no consequence to you. Well, I tell you now, Mr McE - you are of no consequence to me. You are a contemptible little man sadly lacking in compassion and basic human decency. How you ever became a teacher is beyond me.

The Good

Dear Mr W,

Thank you for picking up the pieces left by Mr McE after that year, for your frank and friendly teaching methods. Thank you for your insistence that all students should find the way that works best for them and thank you for encouraging group talk and lateral thinking in your classes. Thank you for seating me near the front of the class so I could speak privately to you. Thank you for letting me speak freely to my fellow students, for your generous homework deadlines, and for listening to my concerns over the work (even if you didn't let me drop a group like I wanted.) Thank you for enabling me to pass Standard Grade Maths. Most of all, thank you for making me feel like a normal human being and not some subnormal freak who couldn't do maths.

Also much love and thanks to my classmates and friends R, S & L, who were in the top percentile of my class, and who I was seated with the whole year. Some of your clever rubbed off after all, guys. Grin
 
evie dee
#15 Print Post
Posted on July 03 2008 08:21 PM
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Location: Detroit, Michigan
Posts: 570

Joined: 2007-12-01

Dear college movement teacher,
I will not name names because you know who you are. You humilated several times inf ront of the class until I was either on the verge of tears, or pissed off to the point of punching things-guess which one happned? The latter. You're damn lucky I didn't come after you with an uzi! And let's not forget the time you humilated me in front a room full of teachers! Telling me that I had no sense of musicality and that I had trouble with the beat.
Guess what? Five and a half years half passed. I have been in several stage shows-okay, two, but still-where I was an extra. And guess what? I can sing. I can't sing alto, but I'm a soprano. I"ve been singing for a number of years before you ever came into my life.
And guess what? I have a degree!
I've been dealing with people like you my whole life-and guess what? You haven't knocked me down yet. All you did was just make my spirit rise even more. Where are you? Oh, yeah. You were either fired or quit. You're just damn lucky I didn't file a complaint about my public humiliation with Wayne State University.
You are truly the epitome of evil!
Love,
Eva

Dear Greg,
You were the only one who believed in me. And I thank you so much for that! If you ever need a set of golf club covers, I'll knit you a set, free of charge.
Love,
Eva

Dear high school dance teacher,
Kiss my a$$! I have dyscaculia.

Dear fat boy who bullied me in math class,
I know that it was a remedial math class-so I'm going to let bygones be bygones for a minute. I know that teasing me and other people weren't your fault. Maybe you felt insecure about yourself and your weight. Maybe that's why you felt like you had to take what you didn't like about yourself out on other people.
I have a learning disability called dyscalculia-that certainly doesn't make me dumb, like you have called me so many times. I have taken several testes, failing the math section miserably, but suprassing reading comprehension, English, and vocabulary. The results came back that I was reading well beyond the grade level-I had tested well into college reading level.
I know that you most likely dropped out of school. I sometimes wonder if you finally did soemthing about your weight. I have depression, and I finally did something about it. Maybe if we run into each other, we can talk. I know that I have certain things that I don't like about myself, but you get over your insecurities and move on.
I even started my own knitting business. I got a bachelor's degree. What have you done with your life?
Love,
Eva
 
http://myspace.com/evie_dee
cajundrama
#16 Print Post
Posted on July 07 2008 11:49 PM
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Location: West Hollywood, CA
Posts: 6

Joined: 2008-05-25

Dear Auto Insurance Agent,
Yes Iím fully aware that the Jag I rear-ended is a very expensive car. Sorry, I have dyscalculia. Usually I would never use this as an excuse, but I swear that bumper of the car was way further away in my mind! So sorry that Iím a really bad judge of space and distance, but please donít make my rates skyrocket. Please. I'm usually a decent driver, but sometimes my visual spatial skills are sub par. Maybe we can even come up with a dyscalculia fender bender discount? Thanks and look forward to seeing you when I pay that deductible, but since the $500 kinda looks like $005 to me can I only pay that? Thanks!
~Cate
Edited by cajundrama on July 08 2008 04:48 PM
 
Purvi923
#17 Print Post
Posted on July 17 2008 05:30 PM
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Location: New Jersey
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Dear W.

Thanks for always being such a jerk at work. Thanks for undermining my self confidence and making snide remarks at every opportunity. Thanks for accusing me of lying when I can't remember something. Thanks for trying to make me look bad in front of our co-workers and our boss. Thanks for taking all your misery out on me. And most of all, thanks for making work so much fun. I look forward to seeing you and hearing your bs every day.
 
Purvi923
#18 Print Post
Posted on July 17 2008 05:34 PM
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Location: New Jersey
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Dear Mom & Dad,

Thanks for always loving me and always being there for me. Thanks for always believing in me and for letting me know how great you thought I was. Thanks, mom, for holding me when I cried and for fighting with the schools when they did nothing about the kids who made fun of me. Thanks, dad, for saying that I was your pride and joy. Thanks for accepting me as I am, even though I know you were disappointed when I didn't do as well in school as you would have liked or when I dropped pre-med because of chemistry and calculus. Thank you for being such wonderful parents.
You're the best!Grin
Edited by Purvi923 on July 17 2008 05:35 PM
 
dawn
#19 Print Post
Posted on July 17 2008 08:04 PM
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Location: england
Posts: 463

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Lisa, this is the most wonderful thread . It should be given to all schoolteachers for training purposes because it highlights the long term hurt the teasing causes and it shows how marvellous teaching can be and how appreciated a good teacher is. Some of these comments are so powerful in that they show younger dyscalculics that they CAN succeed and find a path in life despite everyone's jibes and low expectations.
 
evie dee
#20 Print Post
Posted on July 17 2008 10:18 PM
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Location: Detroit, Michigan
Posts: 570

Joined: 2007-12-01

reverend blamo wrote:
Dear Mom and Dad,
I just wanted to take this chance to thank you for making my childhood a living hell. For doubting my ability to do ANYTHING well and heck, while I am at it, thanks for the neglect, verbal and physical abuse. Thanks for discouraging everything I enjoyed. What kind of living could I have made as an artist anyway? I mean my dream to animate at Disney or work for Industrial Light and Magic was just silly. Those dumb movies they made. Where are those companies now? Probably out of business.
And thanks for squashing the joy out of building cars, trucks and motorcycles. What a waste of time that was. I mean I did make 200% profit from the sale of the boat I inherited from you after restoring it. And I get compliments on my Jeep everywhere I go but what is that worth. My Jetta is one of the fastest around...never beat another waste of time and money. Good thing I make good money. Thanks so much for telling my grandfather how disappointed you were in me and how you doubted if I was even straight. ( I am, but so what if I wasn't?)
I can't forget you mom, thanks so much for keeping me humble by telling me " I regret having you" or when I asked why I was being tested so much telling me " To see if your retarded" Imagine the massive ego I might have if it was not for this compassion. I might have grown up dependant on others if you and dad didn't each favor a brother and sister each. Of course I can't forget the final act of love, throwing me out of the house for spending the night with 2 lesbians. Heck, they tend to come in pairs you know. Besides it was the first time I ever drank...you wouldn't want me to drive home after that would you? I've only had my liscence a few weeks. Besides I had to prove I wasn't gay to dad.
Your son, Reverend BLAMO

PS. I inherited my LD's from you dad...what did you think, I caught them from some where?

Dear REverend Blamo,
WOW! I really hate it when that happens to people. Sorry you had to get kicked out of the house like a promnight dumpster baby. (Sorry for the Family Guy reference, I'm watching that clip right now, and it's on my mind!)
Love,
Eva
 
http://myspace.com/evie_dee
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