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Do you tell people that you have dyscalculia?





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Graduate school and dyscalculia
Amica
#1 Print Post
Posted on August 18 2011 11:40 PM
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Hi--

I believe I have dyscalculia. I was never officially diagnosed with it, but ever since I started school I had trouble with math. My parents tried to help and even got someone to tutor me in math and always the issues were the same: I "skip" steps when doing calculations resulting in wrong answers. It seems that my problems have always been: lack of planning how to do a math exercise and making procedural mistakes.
I have no problem recognizing numbers, formulas and such. Also, I can do easy math.
However, I am looking to change professions. I have undergraduate degree in psychology, but would like to apply for graduate degree in Organizational Leadership. One problem is that because my undergraduate studies were not Business, I might have to take math classes and some business electives.
MBA 501 Mathematics and Statistics for Business
MBA 502 Economics for Business

What should I do? If I get accepted into the program, should I tell my advisor of my problem? Should I get a doctor's note?

Thank you.
 
CheshireKat
#2 Print Post
Posted on August 19 2011 01:28 AM
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If you believe that you have dyscalculia and plan to pursue further education, then I think it would be really prudent of you to seek a formal diagnosis. With a legitimate diagnosis you will be eligible for a host of services from your graduate school's department of disabled student services.

You will probably still have to take those classes, there's really no option to waive required graduate courses like there is general education math classes. But you could, as a student registered with disabled student services, receive accommodations such as calculator use, extra time on tests, a note taker, etc. These things would increase your chances of success by giving you extra support - the calculator will help you not make calculation errors, the extra time allows you to slow down and stop skipping steps, etc.

I am planning on going to graduate school as well, fortunately my program does not require any sort of mathematics but my accommodations will still be helpful to me even in my non-math classes. In addition to dyscalculia I also have ADHD so having extra time on tests and being able to take my tests in a quiet, low-distraction test environment helps me focus and makes it more likely that I will be able to perform to the best of my ability.
"The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings." - Eric Hoffer
 
justfoundout
#3 Print Post
Posted on August 19 2011 10:22 AM
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8/19/11
. Best Answer. Two thumbs up. ;) - jus'
 
Amica
#4 Print Post
Posted on August 19 2011 01:41 PM
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Thank you so much for you advice.
 
justfoundout
#5 Print Post
Posted on August 27 2011 04:56 AM
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thomaslues, this forum doesn't allow advertising. - jus'
 
Bonnie Abzug
#6 Print Post
Posted on September 01 2011 08:33 PM
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Amica,

You really want to get a formal diagnosis, so you have some official support. I already had a PhD in a heavily mathematical field by the time I figured out what was "wrong" with me. I obviously figured out strategies to help myself succeed, but I could have done more with help. A formal diagnosis would probably permit you to take tests with the formulas provided.

I'm so glad you are deciding to go to grad school. People with dyscalculia are amazing thinkers. Despite being unable to add or remember my phone number, I am regularly complimented on my mathematical abilities. Perhaps this is because I can't afford to be sloppy, and I'm used to beginning a math problem with a blank slate every time. If I have peace, quiet, a calculator, and a notebook, I often figure out difficult calculations before my colleagues.

Yeah, you should tell people. In order to be effective, I explain myself to anyone who might benefit from knowing. I always write everything down. I have to look at my notes to recall even simple values or dates. I rely on my support staff when possible to remember and record numbers for me, because they do a better job. I'm so slow at computer programming, I use a windows based statistical package to the horror of statistically minded people. I don't even try to memorize formulas, even simple ones I use every day. I have them on sticky notes all over my work space.

In the end, all of this organization has made me very good at what I do. I'm forced to prepare and have notes to discuss my research, so I don't often make the mistakes that other do when they speak without preparation.

Good Luck!
 
justfoundout
#7 Print Post
Posted on September 02 2011 12:32 AM
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9/1/11
Welcome to the forum, Bonnie Abzug. I'm glad to hear that through organization and careful planning you've been able to have a successful career. Good for you!

If you'd like, you might also open your own Thread on Introductions. It just makes it easier for everyone to find you and greet you. - jus'
 
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