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Do you tell people that you have dyscalculia?

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College Math
#1 Print Post
Posted on October 28 2011 08:41 PM

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Joined: 2011-10-28

I got my GED a year before my class and started college about 7 years ago. I bombed out 3 semesters in, but not before I failed remedial math twice and got myself under state legislation requiring anyone who fails state mandated classes to be in them until passed. The problem is that my history shows me if I take math during the summer I have a chance of squeaking by while if I take it with anything else I fail everything.

Five years, a 12 step program later and 300 lbs lighter, I'm back in school. And still under state regulation. They let me slide for this Fall semester and put off math until I could gather documentation of my disorder. So I got tested through DARS. And to my shock they told me yesterday that I don't have a math disorder. But when I went to Students with Disabilities she told me there's a 20-something point gap between my IQ and my math score so unless they're scoring it differently that I do have a mathemathics disorder.

I was floored when DARS said I didn't. Throughout my childhood testing told me I did. Reading about Dyscalculia makes me cry with a "it's not my fault, I'm not bad, I'm not stupid, it has a name" sensation of overwhelm and relief. It's like a description of me. And it goes so far beyond inverting numbers and signs. It explains geography, memory, remembering names, my issues with right/left, directions and freaking clocks!! It freaking explains me at Zumba when the steps get too difficult for me. I know I have it. But how do I handle the professional saying I don't?

Because it seems to me that what I'm being told is "waste money, be frustrated beyond reason and imagination, weep openly in class and get physically ill (dizzy & nauseated) and we will put a road block between you and a degree AND tell you you need the degree to function in society." I literally just cried in some woman's office because I just tested at 8th grade math (which is why DARS told me I don't have a learning disorder) and the exam to get me out of the state disciplinary regulations tests to 9th grade.

She gave me the Spring semester off from math with the thought of doing it over the Summer as my only course. But I still feel like I'm going to get hit.

I'm smart, damn it, and I can do amazing things! I just feel totally blocked. How do I circumvent bad legislation, ignorance and administration with tied hands?
#2 Print Post
Posted on October 28 2011 10:26 PM

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Posts: 3265

Joined: 2008-12-31

hey Ashley!

Reading your post I thought of several things - one is, our member here who may be in your area - that "DARS" you mention reminded me -

and also, I have math LD and do Zumba, martial arts and other various physical things and always have trouble with left and right, patterns, sequence, auditory processing and also mimicking moves.
So for Zumba i often just end up doing my own thing and don't worry about anybody else. I chose to take part in a public Zumba demo that was part of a charity event and it was a lot of fun - about 30 "Zumba-ers" plus instructors and crowd wander'ers.

Am sorry to read about your issues with DARS and school. I was tested on my university's recommendation after continually failing remedial college math, and was shown to have dyscalculia. Haven't had any issues getting things done in that regard but I know that sadly your story is a common one.
I think I also tested at about 7th/8th grade math but the discrepancy between that and my educational level, my other grades and my issues with the math class I was struggling with at the time, provided a combination of evidence in my favor...also I have many of the ""soft" background signs that point to higher chance of having math LD - mom had problems in pregnancy, possibly given DES, I was born several months prematurely, speech/language issues, was in Special Ed.... bones missing from inner ear according doc. at time, always huge difference between math and other grades.

I know you're smart and I'm very glad you recognize that too!
I hope the person I'm thinking of here will be along to see if indeed she has some more to offer you where you are
#3 Print Post
Posted on October 29 2011 09:48 PM

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Posts: 6322

Joined: 2008-05-25

Dear AshleyReneeTX,
It sounds like you got the same psych lady that I got. If not the same one, maybe one with the same self-serving agenda. I had to be re-tested to get the right diagnosis. Such a frustration. Like you, I'd failed the developmental math course,... Elementary Algebra, three times. And, like you, I'd had tears in my eyes when I'd read the symptoms of dyscalculia. I knew that that was 'me'.

Now, what we need to do is figure out how to get you re-tested. First, I think you need to tell your DARS advisor that you disagree with the diagnosis. You don't have to 'convince' him that you are right. You just have to 'tell' him, so that he's been 'informed'. Tell him that you want to be re-tested by a better psychologist. My 'good one' was an Educational Paychologist with a Ph.D. If yours was already an Educational Paychologist with a Ph.D., that's fine, but you 'still' want to be re-tested by another one.

If 'telling' your DARS counselor that you want to be re-tested doesn't work, then there's a number you can call to complain of the services you've received. I didn't do this, as I was able to convince my DARS counselor that I needed to be re-tested.
I'll send you a PM. Thanks for answering her, RW. I've been swamped in school, and also my knee has decided to give me trouble. Haven't been around much lately. - jus'
Edited by justfoundout on October 29 2011 09:49 PM
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