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Do you tell people that you have dyscalculia?





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Could I be a nurse with dyscalculia?
coffeelover
#1 Print Post
Posted on April 21 2012 06:03 AM
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Hello, Im from houston Tx.

This forum has been a blessing, I have spent years wondering what was wrong with me. All through schooL my teachers told me I was lazy and that I couldnt have a problem because I was a very, bright and articulate student. After reading this forum I have no doubt in my mind that I have dyscalculia. I was born at 6 months and a half (a premie) weighed 2, lbs and 4 ounces, I was a strong healthy baby and needed no support of any kind just needed to gain weight!! I grew up as a normal child , until I reached 5th grade started to have problems in math. My math only got worse to where I wouldnt even try. ANYWAYS I made it to college and am in my first math class since, All I can say is that I am failing the class. All the symptoms match me to a dime! I want to know if I will ever be able to be a nurse? Is there a program to help with better learning or grasping math? Also if anybody knows where I can get tested in houston tx?,,,,,,,Anything would help........I am really determined I made it up to here (in college) God only knows how hard it was because of my horrible math!... I cant give up now!!!
 
Ladyhawke
#2 Print Post
Posted on April 25 2012 04:40 AM
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Location: Canada
Posts: 151

Joined: 2011-11-18

Hi coffeelover,

Validation is one of the best feelings in the world, isn't it? Smile I felt wonderful my first time posting here when I read through other people's posts and identified so strongly with them. Welcome the forum! Grin

I wanted to become a nurse more than anything when I was young, but never being able to pass a math class shelved that idea in a hurry. You, however, have an opportunity to get tested; and, if diagnosed, it may be possible for you to complete your training with accommodations made by the school you plan to attend. I would strongly encourage you to get yourself tested. It may change your future. Smile

By the way, my second daughter was a preemie, she was two months early and like you, she only needed to gain weight. She was a little bigger than you when she was born weighing in at 4lbs, 2oz. Smile You'd never know she was a preemie now though! She's 5'6 and 120 lbs! Grin

Anyway, I hope you can find somewhere to get yourself tested. Seems to me there is someone on this forum from Texas, but damned if I can remember who... Sad ... was it Jus? I'm sure the person will put in an appearance sooner or later and maybe they can help you out.

Again, a very warm welcome to the forum. I look forward to reading more of your posts. Smile

Ladyhawke
Algebra? When I learn decimals and fractions, you're welcome to try teaching me, but unless you have the patience of a saint and are very long-lived, good luck with that... Grin
 
RottieWoman
#3 Print Post
Posted on April 25 2012 01:19 PM
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hello coffeelover!

I was also born a few months premature, spoke very late, had issues with fine motor and things like learning to use a straw and put gloves on.I was in Special Ed for speech and language but the learning disability wasn't caught til college. According to my parents, I weighed less than you and they had to use doll clothes or have stuff made for me.

I was always interested in being a vet or vet tech and "played vet" with stuffed animals as a kid, but for me, that wasn't a realistic goal.
I wish you the best for your goals!

Hopefully you'll soon another Texan here who can offer you some local assistance...yup, it's 'jus, Ladyhawke Smile
 
justfoundout
#4 Print Post
Posted on April 25 2012 03:31 PM
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Location: Texas USA
Posts: 6315

Joined: 2008-05-25

4/26/12
I somehow missed seeing your post. And actually, with three classes and so close to the end of the semester, there have been days at a time that I couldn't spare a moment for anything fun.

On being a nurse,... in the three years or so that I've been on this forum, there have been at least three people who wanted very much to be a nurse, only to find out, after jumping through all the hoops they could, that they just couldn't do the math to get through the classes. Yet, it seems that I've also seen a couple of people here who did become nurses, but who did it before even knowing about dyscalculia, and who (as I recall) had not been tested and diagnosed as dyscalculic,... just felt strongly that they 'were' dyscalculic. I'm suspecting that the difference between those dyscalculics who became nurses and those who couldn't had more to do with 'at what time in history' (i.e., 'when') they went through the classes than with their math ability. It seems to me that the math requirement has been raised and tightened up in current years. And to my knowledge, getting the MLD diagnosis didn't help a single person to become a nurse. The 'accommodations' for a math learning disability just don't carry over into the math classes that you'd be required to pass under the nursing program. In a program such as nursing, everything depends on how that 'program' is set up. The disability office will likely keep itself safely uninvolved in your negociations for any extra 'help'. I've even seen one dyscalculic get as far as having the support of (as I recall) a dean over the nursing program, only to have him later 'cave' and pretend that he'd never backed her at all. She was devastated.

I'm not saying this because I want you to give up yet. If this has been your dream, your goal for a long time, please don't let me be the one to discourage you. I'm just repeating what I've read here on the forum.

Call DARS (department of assistive rehabilitative services) to see if you qualify for them to pay for your testing. Or, see if there is a University in your area that has psychology graduate students who need subjects for testing with the Wechsler or Woodcock Johnson. If you take the Wechsler, ask to be given the 'long form', not the 'short form'. - jus'
Edited by justfoundout on April 25 2012 03:35 PM
 
Marthinika
#5 Print Post
Posted on April 25 2012 03:55 PM
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Location: Belgium
Posts: 8

Joined: 2012-03-28

Hi there,

I was searching for the same info - is it possible... Thanks for the post justfoundout. I have my interview for access nursing on Monday and start to doubt more and more. All I'm interested in is science related but I guess that'll have to stay an 'interest'. I'm 30 without a degree and pretty desperate to get a last chance now that people know a bit more about this. Where I live we still don't have any testing facilities, even less for adults. I would move country for my studies as we don't have adult education here either (almost inaccessable) but I didn't want to take such a risk. Was talking it down, that the maths required will somehow be feasable, also heard from other enrolled nurses in my family that they had little maths and what they had was fairly easy. Now I doubt, the graduate way won't be easier... Wonder if I can still change subject? I didn't mention it on my application either since I thought it might help little (nothing about support etc. mentioned on the uni's website) and I didn't want to destroy my chances.
Btw, I even did some kind of test with some village psychologue 15 years back - it was positive. I never received any papers and she said it wouldn't help me anyway since it's not recognized, nobody would care or know what to do with that. I should just give up school, look for a job and say that I was too lazy to study, better than telling them I have some 'disorder'. That was 15 years ago in Germany and destroyed my future. I didn't give up since, what else can I do. I really hope you will find support and a way! Cheers
Edited by Marthinika on April 25 2012 03:57 PM
 
justfoundout
#6 Print Post
Posted on April 25 2012 06:55 PM
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Location: Texas USA
Posts: 6315

Joined: 2008-05-25

4/25/12
Welcome here, Marthinika. You are much younger than me. I hope that you'll still find something that you'd like to study and can actually finish and use as a career. You had a smart psychologist to recognize your LD 15 years ago. She probably wished that things were different for you, too. - jus'
 
Marthinika
#7 Print Post
Posted on April 26 2012 09:37 AM
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Location: Belgium
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Joined: 2012-03-28

Hi and thanks justfoundout. I doubt that she was smart and wished me anything but it was probably just the wrong time and place. I'll keep on searching but probably write off nursing Frown Good luck to you all!
 
justfoundout
#8 Print Post
Posted on April 27 2012 01:52 PM
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Location: Texas USA
Posts: 6315

Joined: 2008-05-25

Oh, sometimes when we are 'reading' we don't get the same impression as when we can hear the 'tone' of the verbally told story. Please drop back in whenever you feel like it. :) - jus'
 
alan01
#9 Print Post
Posted on May 02 2012 07:21 AM
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If you think you can, just go and have a try.Grin
 
RottieWoman
#10 Print Post
Posted on May 02 2012 01:29 PM
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hello alan01 !
Do you have math LD/dyscalculia?
 
Barbaradee
#11 Print Post
Posted on May 04 2012 05:53 PM
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Dear Coffee Lover and Marthinika,

Yes! I believe you can do it. However, you are really going to have to put yourself "out there" to get it done. Some educators and colleges won't do anything to help you - that is just the sad truth. You may want to take a beggining math course, even if it isn't required, to start from square one. Make sure you talk to your instructors and let them know that you have dyscalculia. Even if your college isn't willing to help you - your professors might be! Talk to the department secretaries before you enroll in a math class and see what professors might be willing to help you.

I made it through the Paramedic program and I have a two-year degree. The pharmacy calculations and the IV rate calculations were terrifying to me at first! However, because I could picture them in my mind to "real life" I was able to better understand.

Remember - much of the math you do in medicine is just for school. In the real world, many of the pieces of equipment you use will do the math for you. Case in point: Most people in my Paramedic program were really stressed about calculating the dosage for Dopamine. Dopamine is mixed with an IV solution and then delivered at a specifc rate over a specific amount of time based on the patient's weight...in kilograms. We used to sit around and make up weights and dosages for one another just to practice. At the end, we had a 10 question exam and the only way to pass was to answer all 10 dosage calculations correctly. (And, yup...you had to show your work!) I was sweating bullets!! At the end of the exam grading, the instructor got us all together and brought out a piece of equipment called an IV flow regulator. We don't carry IV pumps on the ambulance so this was a little attachment for the IV we had all used before. Just at the moment most of us were rethinking our career choice - he flipped the regulator box over and said - "I know this was very hard and you are probably panicked about doing this in an actual emergency. Good news - the Dopamine flow rate is actually listed on the back of the flow rate package. None of you will ever have to do this again."
 
RottieWoman
#12 Print Post
Posted on May 05 2012 12:36 PM
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hello everyone, welcome!Smile
 
KatB927
#13 Print Post
Posted on May 10 2012 07:16 PM
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Hi all.

I am new here too and am returning to school in the hopes of becoming a physicians assistant. I had the same reservations about going into a medical profession as well. I have found it challenging but now that I am AWARE of what my issues are when I am doing the math, I know what to look for when I'm doing my work. I am in the process of getting tested for an official diagnosis. I was unofficially diagnosed in my last semester of college for my undergrad degree (I was literally 2 weeks from graduating and at the time I didn't think a test was necessary, but initial interview said all signs pointed to it).

I will say this about - I believe it CAN be done. But I think you will need to work 3 times harder than others who find working with numbers effortless. I've had to seek out my own resources and pursue help on my own. No one is giving me any slack so it has been up to me to make sure I have my own butt covered. However, I am very early in my studies. We will see what happens when I am in my clinicals.

Good luck if you do pursue nursing. I think if you are motivated enough to find the resources to help yourself, you will do just fine. Smile
 
Marthinika
#14 Print Post
Posted on May 11 2012 02:16 PM
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Location: Belgium
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Joined: 2012-03-28

Thanks Barbaradee for the encouraging post. My problems is that I don't have the possibility to talk to professors and would leave start all over in a new country in order to study. The unis I contacted where not supportive and said that when you're even doubting you might have dysc. you shouldn't embark on a nursing course not to speak about risking everything and maybe losing precious time. (I'm almost 30..)
I'm happy for you that you were successful and wish you the best for the future!
I am motivated but I've also ADD and lots of self-doubt in things I'm not sure about. Since it's a new town, colleges, country etc I don't even know how much support I'd be able to get. Since it's not possible to start this year anymore I've decided to 'play save' and try to go on a non maths degree (still trying to figure out the safest way :-) )
Thanks for your thoughts and support.
 
justfoundout
#15 Print Post
Posted on May 14 2012 06:59 PM
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Location: Texas USA
Posts: 6315

Joined: 2008-05-25

5/14/12
'Safe' is good, Marthinika. I just left an advising session with my Disability Counselor. I'm enrolled in a Spanish class for students who want to go on to 'teach' Spanish,... and that's what I'd like to do. However, the class syllabus says, "...Exam evaluation: item analysis, item discrimination, and curving (examining distributions and the calculation of z-score and t-scores)." My Disability Counselor read this on the syllabus and advised me to do everything possible 'not' to take this class. She even suggested that I go talk to the Spanish Advisor to see if she might know of any other class that will be opening up in Summer One that I could take instead of this class containing the math. The class is called Acquisition of Spanish, BTW. So, just looking at the title, it doesn't set off alarms about the math contained within the course.

Sometimes friends and classmates are well-meaning in telling you to 'go ahead and try', but they have no idea what 'your/our' disabilities are. And they also have no idea what a failed attempt will cost us personally, in time and money. Even if we put out the basic information here on the forum in order to request opinions, we will always 'hold back' information of the most personal nature. No one reading on a public forum, such as this one, should think that they have 'all' the information on another person's case. It's nice to hear that others think we are smart enough to do 'something'. But if you've ever been wild-eyed trying to do homework or study for a test that you don't understand, you know that you never want to be in that situation again.

Have you already taken Biology? - jus'
Edited by justfoundout on May 14 2012 07:02 PM
 
Ladyhawke
#16 Print Post
Posted on May 15 2012 05:20 AM
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Location: Canada
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Brilliant observation, Jus! I was actually trying to compose a reasonably well thought out post to speak to exactly what you posted. Thank you for pointing that out for all of us. Smile

You're absolutely right, Jus. No one can know everything about another person's struggle with math and for some it may be simply too steep of an incline to ascend with the LD they have. I know for a fact I can rarely pass a math class; even the lowest level math in a community college is difficult for me.

I feel as though I need a strong foundation to even get me to the level a community college would demand. For me, it would mean starting right from about grade 1 math and working my way up to even get to the level the college would expect; and, by then the course would be over and I'd be left with another fail on my record The only option for me would be to hire a tutor or go to Sylvan or something along those lines (BEFORE I enroll) to get me to that level. The trouble is, with Dyscalculia (as we Dycalculics know all too well), often we can "know" the required math only to fail duing the exam becasue we've forgotten everything we studied the night before.

Any time I have passed any kind of math quiz/test or what have you, it was mostly sheer luck that my math memory didn't evaporate right beforehand.

However, in view of the fact that many people here want to believe they can do univesity level math (and perhaps they can), I would like to extend my sincerest best wishes that you are able to complete your math courses and pursue whatever career appeals to you. Smile.

Ladyhawke
Algebra? When I learn decimals and fractions, you're welcome to try teaching me, but unless you have the patience of a saint and are very long-lived, good luck with that... Grin
 
Barbaradee
#17 Print Post
Posted on May 15 2012 04:35 PM
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I agree that everyone's level of disability is different - however, I also hate it when people say or believe they "can't" do something. A lot of it depends on the college/university requirements. For example, the largest Community College near me, doesn't require "advanced math" to become a nurse. The AAS (Associates of Applied Sciences) program for a 2 yr RN has no math requirement at all! The only math is part of the nursing program itself and involves drug calculations and medication rates. People who are enrolling do need to take an assessment test - but that is used to determine what assistance might be needed. It isn't used to "fail" anybody. That is the great thing about Community Colleges - many of the educators really want you to succeed - and they know the difference between "required" knowledge and "ticket punch" coursework.

In the US, all Universities/Colleges are required to have tutoring assistance. It is vastly different than the High School system. I have also found that many of the Professors are eager to find help for the struggling students - especially in the Community College enviroment.

I walked away from some amazing opportunities - because of the "can't do math" attitude that had been shoved down my throat for years. There is more to life than math! There is a heck of a lot more to healthcare than math!! (I know - I work in the field) I have seen brilliant people who can't do the job of working with people - healthcare is about people.

No - I can't do math - that is just a plain fact. I failed a lot of tests in college and I really had to struggle to get through the math. The good news was that it was "basic math" so it really did start at the lowest level. It is important to remember that a D- is still a "passing" grade and we can make up for it in other areas. Because of all of the technology in healthcare - most working nurses don't do any day-to-day math at all. It is all done with the equipment. Getting the "ticket punch" isn't easy - but I believe it is possible!

Barb

 
Barbaradee
#18 Print Post
Posted on May 15 2012 05:04 PM
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One other thing to think about are "alternative plans." There are a ton of jobs in healthcare that are patient-centered that don't require a lot of math. If you are intersted in the money, then a Bachelor's in Nursing is the only way to go. Welcome to Organic Chemistry and Statistics! However, if you are intested in Patient Care...there are a lot of other options.

BSN - 4year - lots of useless math.
RN AAS - 2 year - basic math/maybe chemistry
LPN - 1 year - basic math
Paramedic Specialist - 2 year - basic math

Other options:

Radiology tech - some math
Surgical Tech - basic math
Phlebotomist/Medical Lab Tech - basic math
CNA - no math
Med Aide/CNA - basic math

There is a whole list for people who want to work in healthcare that doesn't require any math! They are good jobs. I am in healthcare and I don't do any math. Yet, I make a good wage and I spend my whole day caring for patients.

It all depends on the money you want to make. I don't make anywhere near what a BSN does - but I also didn't have to take Organic Chemistry Grin And that makes it all worth it!

 
justfoundout
#19 Print Post
Posted on May 15 2012 10:12 PM
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Location: Texas USA
Posts: 6315

Joined: 2008-05-25

5/15/12
Coffeelover, who started this Thread, asked if she could be a nurse with dyscalculia. She is in Houston, Texas. I'm in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas. For what's required in Texas, I'm pretty much 'up on things'. But Marthinika is in Belgium, and my quick swing through Belgium (long, long ago) admittedly doesn't qualify me to assess how much math she would need in order to get a nursing degree.

In Texas, passing the TSI is required for getting into the Nursing Program. In fact, getting a higher score than what is required to pass the TSI may be required. Even students who are TSI exempt for other curriculum would still have to pass this test in order to get into the Nursing Program.

I was TSI (TASP, was the previous name) exempt. However, I took the test when I started my Paralegal degree. I passed the reading and writing portions of the TSI with flying colors. But, true to form, I did not get a passing score on the math portion of the TSI. I know first hand the personal cost in time and money that can be incurred by starting a program which you can not finish due to the math component. After finishing all of my Paralegal courses with a GPA of 3.8, I still could not get my diploma due to the math component. It took two additional years of struggle (after finishing all of my paralegal classes) to get those math credits substituted and to receive my diploma. The nursing program at my college, however, would not have considered a math substitution.

I'm sure that different States and different countries have different requirements for becoming a nurse. Some links to the nursing program at my previous community college follow. - jus'

https://www1.dccc...ursing.bhc

https://www1.dccc...ss/tsi.cfm

"... If you are TSI exempt, you are still required to meet DCCCD course prerequisites usually by taking an assessment test to determine college level readiness skills. Some DCCCD course prerequisites could require a higher cut score than those outlined by the THECB TSI state minimum requirements..."

https://www1.dccc...ements.cfm

"TSI Standards in Reading, Writing and Math must be met with required course prerequisites."

https://www1.dccc...ndards.cfm
Edited by justfoundout on May 15 2012 10:23 PM
 
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