(sorry for such a long post)
Introductions are in order!
My names Ali, and i am 22 years old and have recently graduated with a BA in Journalism and Public Relations.
First of all, let me say how glad i am to have found this place.Me and maths have always hated each other, and that too with a passion.I was a slow child - never walked till i was around 3 and never learned to read till i was 8.
That soon changed however when my mother, tired of all my questions bought me a set of children's encyclopedias, telling me all i wanted to know was in those books.And so i started reading, and read anything i could get my hands onto. Infact i enjoyed it so much, that when i was bored i often cracked open the Encyclopedia Britannica for fun!
Now to mathematics. I studied in Pakistan for a vast majority of my life , and had the same teacher for close to 5 years, he moved up one class every time i did. Numbers made me nervous. When called upon to do numbers on a board,it took me ages to simply comprehend/write the questions, and i simply could not remember formulae. I would understand them one day, but the next day i would have forgotten then. My left and right were differentiated by the fact that i wrote with my right hand.I could not tell the time on analogue watch till i was at least 12. Word problems made no sense to me, even when i read them over and over again. If possible they were worse than maths.
Somehow i was always classed as "lazy" and careless student when it came to maths - Other subjects such as history and science i ad no problem in. Sports and Art however where another problem. My hand eye co-ordination is absolute crap, and if you threw something at me, id probably drop it.
I excelled in all other subjects i took - my grades ranging from B's to C's but never dropping below that - Except when maths came in.
After my o levels i actually ritually burned my maths books, hoping never to look back on them again.
Even today, i get slightly anxious when im left to deal with money and directions, even though i work part time in cab office as a telephonist.
This post seems nearly pointless but at least i have it of my chest, and get to ask - Should i bother getting tested for dyscalculia at my age? Im partially afraid to get tested incase im just "dim"
Edited by CygnusR on July 25 2009 03:09 PM
That eloquent and concise post came from the mind of someone who is 'just dim'?, I don't think so somehow! However, I can completely relate to the problem of trying to be confident when your brain goes into cotton wool mode when confronted with a few figures. You know you are bright, it's just that sometimes it gets a bit difficult to convince others when you stumble over simple maths! Your academic record alone shows you are not dim!
A diagnosis will not change anything, it won't enable you to become a mathematician but it might help you to be a little less harsh on yourself during those interminable moments when you are trying so hard to remember even basic rules of maths and directing your frustration at yourself.
I had to wait until my late 50s before I found out that there were indeed others who have been toiling with this dichotomy, and I have called myself much, much worse than merely dim!
Since finding out about this condition and getting myself on this forum, I have been learning to come to terms with the notion that my brain may work a little differently to most other folk, but then in my heart of hearts I think I've known that all along!
Nice to meet you Ali
Location: Texas USA Posts: 6102 Joined: 2008-05-25
Dear CygnusR (Ali),
Ditto on what Shasta said. Your post was great. I'm so glad that you've received a BA in Journalism and Public Relations. Congratulations.
I think that most of us with a pressing need for the diagnosis are trying to get a degree and are being held back by the math requirement. But, like Shasta said, I can also see how getting a diagnosis can give a certain degree of comfort, even when a person doesn't need it for any overt purpose. On finding out that perhaps you are just 'dim',... that's actually funny,... no, I don't think so. However, let me mention that my first testing returned a verdict of 'not trying hard enough' rather than a MLD (Math Learning Disability). So, in effect, if I had let it stand there, it would have done to me the equivalent of what you are fearing for yourself,... just confirm the worst of our fears or accusations. I could see that there was something wrong with the diagnosis, and I pushed for a re-testing, finally getting the Mathematics Disorder diagnosis. What I'm saying is,... yes, that can actually happen,... but, no, it wouldn't make anything negative 'true' about you. It would just be the lack of knowledge on the part of the psychologist assessing the test. What happens is that high IQ people frequently 'fall through the cracks' when being tested for MLD. We've found ways to cope and compensate beyond what a person with a lower IQ can do, so it looks like we're doing 'normal' in math. It takes someone who really knows what he is doing to 'find' the indications of dyscalculia in people who have already learned to compensate for their math deficit. I think that you'd enjoy having that diagnosis for your future self-image. Welcome. - jus'
Edited by justfoundout on July 26 2009 01:09 AM