My friend has been saying I have dyscalculia. I gave him my last College Algebra test that I got and showed him all of the problems I solved. He is still adament in saying I have dyscalculia. He would like to see me get tested for it. After researching a bit on Dyscalculia, I found the testing is quite expensive. I'm 25 years old currently and have failed 3 Intermediate Algebra class.

In Highschool, I took Algebra class in Freshmen year but doing terrible in it, my counselor took me out and placed me in Special Education Math class. I was diagnosed with "listening disability." Back then, my counselor wrote how I "excelled" in math but reading comprehension and writing suffered. It left me thinking though if I really excelled in Math because if I did, I would have learned Pre-Calc and Calculus by the time I was Senior - I think?

I remember when I was young, my dad would sit by me, helping me with Fractions. I had a difficult time understanding simple problems with addition and subtraction. He used to point the finger on the table with force and with sharp voice. It was with mixed number I believe that's what they were called.

Throughout my Math class, simple arithmetic were done using my fingers for addition and writing down the numbers below or on top for subtraction - to remind myself I have to carry over the one there. In my Algebra class, we are able to use calculators so my fingers and carrying one over has become obsolete but I might enter a wrong number, which makes me slightly paranoid if I got the right answer or not. In my College Algebra class, I studied for my class two days prior to the test. Once the test came, I still got a D. I honestly thought I did well. Checking my work, he marked me off for many simple mistakes, like not properly copying down the negative here or it used to be a positive but writing a negative instead - but surprisingly to him and I, I still got the right answer. This test was open-book, open-notes so no fomulae were memorized but I still did horribly. This made me feel very discouraged and discouraged of school in general. Also, being open-book, open-notes didn't matter much as many simple rules were either forgotten or if given a problem to use the previously learned rules, I would be lost. Oh, yes. I also have another where I was solving the problem right. 10+3 came out and I wrote the final answer as 23/2 (we had to divide 2 to both sides). This is a VERY simple mistake, but I didn't see it. Some of these mistakes I made, I just do not understand WHY I made them or even why it is wrong - as I thought I did them right.

Similar mistakes described above happens in my Geometry class as well. In my Geometry class, we use a line above the two points to mark the segment between - say, A to B, and a ray infinitely going from A to B. My mistake may be that I'll have a ray written on my test paper but remove the ray and make it a segment instead. At times, we have to use Algebra to prove why the problem is correct. I noticed in my previous quiz, I would find the measure of an angle if two lines are crossing between one another with a transversal cut in between, what the angles are. I missed basically all of them, even though I gave my reasons why and how I got them.

I'm very sorry this thread has become long. I am very curious if I am suffering from dyscalculia and/or other learning disabilities? I'll see if I could see someone tomorrow at school and talk about it with them as this is really affecting my life.

Location: Texas USA Posts: 6315 Joined: 2008-05-25

10/10/10
Welcome fellow dyscalculic! I couldn't resist saying that. LOL. Yes, you do sound a lot like me. Sometimes I'd get algebra problems right only because I have a good sense of proportion. If I can 'draw a picture' of the problem, I have a good chance of getting the answer right, even though I can't work it by any algebraic formula.

I failed Elementary Algebra three times, never passing it, so for you to have made it into College Algebra does show that your math skills are superior to mine. I was rather good at Geometry. I like 'shapes', and I'm interested in negative and positive space in paintings, their proportion and their balance, etc., so I put my heart into Geometry. I believe that we have something else in common. In my Paralegal courses, I had a couple of teachers who would demand an answer to a question while asking it forcefully 'in your face'. I can't think under those circumstances. It's a shock to my system. And, I can't answer the question when the teacher speaks to me this way, even if I would otherwise know the answer,... because my IQ drops when I'm in 'fight or flight' mode. Just trying to ascertain the person's intent uses up so much of my brain that there's nothing left over with which to 'answer the question'. I don't like for people to speak to me harshly. I think that most people don't like it, but I don't like it 'more' than most people.

It would be great if you could get tested. You'd get accommodations to help you get your degree. These accommodations can help even in classes that don't involve math. Nice to meet you. - jus'
Edited by justfoundout on October 11 2010 03:14 AM

Location: Munising, MI, USA Posts: 848 Joined: 2010-10-09

You sound a lot like me. I'm a self-diagnosed, in the process of working on getting an expert to diagnose me. It took me several months to get to the point where I began to feel like I could accept the diagnosis, when and if it comes, and I have found that by joining forums for people with dyscalculia, has helped me to become more comfortable with this whole process.

Get tested, the worst that they can do is tell you you're fine, now go pass your math class! lol