I am a science writer who has a very uneven presentation of dyscalculia that I am researching in the hope that I can be more successful in coping with it. I am especially hoping that I can find people here who have/had symptoms like mine.
Beginning in grade five, I've had terrible failures in learning math in the standard classroom setting, yet I can teach myself math from a textbook and get terrific scores. I've developed a test-preparation system that has allowed me to get great math scores on paper-based standardized tests, but it's a great struggle to adapt that system to the newer computer based standardized tests.
I am an avid reader who has never had any dyslexia, and I believe that my ability to focus on and absorb text has transferred across academic disciplines to mask or correct my math problems in certain situations (always involving print study and paper tests.)
As a second year violin student in childhood, I also suddenly lost the ability to read music while playing an instrument, though I could still "pass" for a normal kid when reading vocal music.
As an adult, it's a tremendous (and embarrassing) struggle to remember what day or date it is. I always have to consult a calendar and then forget immediately what I learned.
Things like taxes? Financial planning? Fuggedaboutit. I'm completely unable to run programs like Quicken or TurboTax. I open the app and I freeze up completely. I use Excel spreadsheets for finances and print out the hard copy to study it.
In short (...at long last...), it appears that I've somehow been able to develop coping and concealment methods for my dyscalculia when it comes to the world of print/paper, but the increasing migration of math to computers presents a constantly expanding and very draining struggle for me.
Anybody else out there who's come across something like this?
Edited by chromo14 on November 20 2010 02:59 PM
hi chromo! so many of us here do enjoy writing- think you're in good company! I'm also an avid reader. I really enjoyed the Biology classes I had in high school and college; chem, I really struggled with - difficulty with any computations or math-based concepts, as well as the instructions for experiments. I read early and well but like math story problems, the text or directions in this context was just gibberish to me, very hard to process the sequence.
I've always had many problems with math and things like Right and Left, money/change and the like so for me, nothing had changed, but I still wanted to welcome you and let you know I've had my share of frustration too-
glad you found us!
Hey! I can definitely understand issues with remembering dates and math facts. Science is fun, until they try to throw math in it. I have a stack of books that I enjoy reading.
I can also understand issues with reading music. I am a music education major, but I wouldn't have made it out of middle school on my violin had it not been for intervention from my orchestra teacher at the time. She spent an hour a day after school with me for weeks helping me with note reading. I'm sure there were days that she was ready to give up on me, but I finally got it. Today, I can note-read, but still sometimes mis-read notes that are not on the staff.
I'm also like you in the way I've learned to mask my symptoms to some degree, though that is no longer working for me and I am in the process of getting a diagnosis, I hope. Anyway, glad you found us. Good luck!
I'm NOT lost, I'm just taking the scenic rout!
Thanks for telling us your story. I think that the constant computerized 'timed tests' was one reason that I failed Elementary Algebra three times. This happened before I knew about dyscalculia and was diagnosed. Welcome here. - jus'
Jus, I don't know which is worse: timed computer tests, or timed bubble sheet tests! I get SO mixed up on bubble sheets! It takes me forever to get through one. Maybe someday, they'll come up with the perfect timed test that doesn't mix people up when they try to fill in the answers. Or better, just get rid of timed tests...
I'm NOT lost, I'm just taking the scenic rout!
Right now, I feel at the end of my rope. There's just way too much math in college to do anything than it was when my sister was in school (80s-90s period). I could never read music, I couldnt tie my shoes till I was 13, I couldnt read a handclock till senior year of HS and any math skills/formulas/etc disappear from my mind. I stupidly enrolled in a rushed prealg class. Ive given up after 6 times. I feel like Highschool and college has been a complete waste of my time and the most HORRIBLE years of my life. Im a extremely gifted protege in the fields of evolution, zoology and prehistoric zoology. Ive been told by doctors teaching 300 level bio courses I could teach the class, but the math reqs kept me from ever specializing in those fields in school. In highschool and and gradeschool, I was reading doctoral dissertations and I trained myself in the fields of zoology, all by myself, never using a calculator. Now here I am, almost unable to do anything in science because the college refuses you any zoology/bio courses without passing college algebra.
I know the panic you feel.