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Do you tell people that you have dyscalculia?

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A struggling Sped student/ teacher
#1 Print Post
Posted on October 09 2009 07:43 AM

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Hello everyone, my name is Jamile, i am 23 years old and i think i have a dyscalculia. I am from the Philipiines and dyscalculia or learning disability are still not known much here so kids and teachers are having a difficult time adapting how to teach and how to learn math and those math related subjects to people with dyscalculia.

I was not diagnosed to have one , but since i can remember i am always terrified of numbers, especially times tables, is still gave me goosebumps cause i was tutored by my father and i always managed to have a new bruise after the said tutoring session. At school, i am always called lazy by my teachers cause i can do well in language related classes, but not in math. Getting bullied is such a big problem too, cause its so hard to explain to your groupmates when you have group homework that you really cannot process the formula that they kept on discussing about. Its really frustrating and they cannot understand what you are going through.

When i got to college and found out about this new course called "Special Education', my mom signed me up for that course and i guess it helped me alot , cause it opened my eyes that i was not alone on this disability. Also by studying Special Ed, i was able to help students that have the same difficulties that i have, and they know that i can relate to what they are going through. I also try to boost their self esteem and confidence. But sometimes i felt insecure if i could really be an effective SPED teacher if i can't teach a simple subtraction without re-learning it again or divisions and multiplications...

But i will not let that stop me from pursuing this career. I already finished my undergraduate degree, and now taking up a graduate certificate majoring in SPED again which can be continued to masters degree if i got good grades. Although with the math subjects, i have to study double time...

I stumbled upon this forum when i was browsing youtube cause i need materials for my LD class, i assigned myself for this report cause i want to know more about dyscalculia, which is not well known here and how to handle students with with this disability. Cause i want to make a difference for dyscalculic kids here in the Philippines and for myself too..

Sorry for the super long introduction..and the grammar, cause english is my second language.Smile Thanks again for this forum cause it comforted me that many people are really trying there best to advocate dyscalculia. If this was known in the 90's maybe life would have been easier for dyscalculic people..Smile
#2 Print Post
Posted on October 09 2009 10:20 AM

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Hi Smile I'm a teacher, personally I think the BEST people to teach children with learning disabilities are teachers who have those learning disabilities and have learned to do stuff in spite of them. Thats not to say that someone who doesn't have disabilities can't be a good teacher of children that have them, it's just they've never experienced what it's like, they'd have to do a lot more research and reading to really understand how much they can affect kids and what kinds of approaches work and what doesn't work.

Just for an example, I'm dyslexic... I learned to read and spell (eventually!!) using phonics, I work as an EFL teacher teaching students a new alphabet not just a new language, and I've not only taught phonics successfully but I've trained other teachers how to teach phonics, and about how to help students who are slow to pick up literacy (we can't diagnose dyslexia but sometimes its obvious that a student has it!) and I've also written courses and a short teacher training course for teaching phonics. Your average person who recognises words by what they look like couldn't hve done that without doing about ten times as much research first.

Also years ago before I knew dyscalculia existed and it was all lumped in with dyslexia, a boy I knew who was also diagnosed with dyslexia and had "dyslexia related maths problems" - I recognised that he had the same problems I'd had in maths and I tutored him in maths, teaching it to him the way I understood it, and his mum told me his maths grades went up dramatically after that, that his class teacher could hardly believe it.

However, my own GCSE maths teacher who I've posted about before, I don't think even knew about dyscalculia, she just recognised that I could understand maths concepts when they were explained/taught in the right way but had a lot of difficulty with actual arithmetic, and that I learned maths in a different way from the other kids, and she made allowances for this and always explained things to me separately to make sure that I understood what was going on with the numbers in my own way.

I think some people are naturally excellent teachers regardless of how their brains are wired up! But I do believe that if you have a learning disabilty yourself you have a big advantage in teaching kids who have them.
Edited by dhakiyya on October 09 2009 10:21 AM
#3 Print Post
Posted on October 09 2009 01:59 PM

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hi jamilla! welcome to the forum, hope its very helpful!
i agree with everything dhakiyya said, theres really nothing i can add..... other than i too, wish exedingly that this was known better sooner.
~i wish i was more helpful..... teeco Cool
#4 Print Post
Posted on October 09 2009 03:32 PM
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Re: dyslexia; have the kid read through a colored sheet of plastic. Blue, yellow, or red, in that order, seem to work best.
Blessed are the PURR in heart!
reverend blamo
#5 Print Post
Posted on October 09 2009 11:01 PM

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Hello and welcome jamilla, Glad to have you here. You English seems to be fine....

I have a special place in my heart for SPED teachers. Even though I was diagnosed as a child, I knew nothing about my LDs and learned about them from soon-to-be teachers I was in college with.
"I used to be disgusted, now I try to be amused..."
Elvis Costello
#6 Print Post
Posted on October 10 2009 03:06 AM

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Joined: 2009-10-09

Hello Everyone.. Thanks for replying to my post. Smile
dhakiyya: I am really trying my best to be a good teacher and i wish that they would learn from me... Also thanks for the boost of moral, i hope i could become more confident in my teaching profession, but i will keep in mind what you said that the best teachers are those that have the disability themselves. Smile

Thanks teecobug! Smile

Reverend blamo thanks for the welcome.. Smile
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