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Do you tell people that you have dyscalculia?

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Work frustration
#1 Print Post
Posted on May 25 2012 08:54 PM

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Hi everyone! I almost cried when I found this last night. I'm glad I did. Today at work I had to pick a consumer up. I was told directions but I don't do well with directions. I have to have a physical address that I can place in my gps and go. My co worker seemed to get very angry for no reason really. I tried to explain to her my dyscalculia and was blown off. It just stinks and I feel terrible.
Noni 1974
#2 Print Post
Posted on May 25 2012 09:16 PM

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I am sorry that happened to you. I just found this place myself last week. I feel like all my math symptoms are explained by this one word dyscalculia.

The one thing I've read about on here that for me is not typical is that I am excellent with directions. I was a taxi driver for 6 years as well as a courier for 3 years in a big city and both giving and reading directions are fine for me. Maps are easy for me to read. In fact I had a street guide that I could look at and tell you exactly which block an address would fall on a particular street. It could be that when I think of how to get from one place to another I think in a grid. I never get lost because I have a sixth sense that tells me I've made a wrong turn or went to far. It's just a feeling I get.

I was wondering if you could explain to me what sort of problems people with dyscalculia have reading maps. Maybe if you explained it to me I could try to look back and see if I've ever had a similar problem before I started driving for a living. I'm sure were not all cookie cutters of each other and we each have our strengths and weakness, but I can't seem to wrap my head around not being able to read a map. Maybe it's because I have been doing it for so long it just comes like second nature to me.

My own personal problem with directions comes from GPS systems. I can't seem to follow their directions. I have one on my phone and I hate using it. All I need to find a place is a address mostly and sometimes an intersection and I can plot my way in my head. It doesn't matter what part of my city I'm in I just know where I'm at. I have also been able to navigate in other cities with no problems and no maps. I was recently in Atlantic City and I had no problems finding my way around, even when we didn't drive and we took the public transportation I had no problems finding our way back to the bus station from the boardwalk. Both of my friends I went with were lost though. LOL

Anyway I hope tomorrow is better for you.
#3 Print Post
Posted on May 26 2012 09:29 AM
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Terry, Dyscalculia is caused by a difficulty with Spacial thinking/ processing.
Where we concieve of numbers with spacial thinking.
So that it's not that your Dyscalculia causes difficulty with directions, but that both have a common cause.
Though Spacial thinking is a complex process, so that people can have different sorts of difficulties with it. So that some people with Dyscalculia will have a difficulty with directions, and others wont. But also they can have different types of difficulties with directions?
Also for some people, they can have severe directions problems, but have no difficulty with math at all.
So that you could explain to your co-worker about Spacial thinking causing your Dyscalculia, which also causes difficulties with directions.
#4 Print Post
Posted on May 26 2012 01:13 PM

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welcome, Terry and Noni!

I've always had issues with spatial orientation which is manifested in map issues, body coordination/physical ability issues and various other things.

When I worked as a case manager with adults with cognitive disabilities <a job which also forced me to learn to drive> , we were required to make home visits all over my county <I'm in the U.S.>.
There were occasions where I just couldn't find the place and due to the nature of the work my co-workers and supervisors were very understanding.
On several instances, I went with another case manager, or my husband or my dad would help me.
#5 Print Post
Posted on May 26 2012 07:14 PM

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It's not that I'm super-good at reading maps, but I think that I have a much easier time of it than what I usually read descripbed here on the forum. When I was young, and always a passenger, I could never have told you how to get anywhere in the city where I lived. No one ever told me to 'take notice' of how we would get to where we were going, and no one ever asked me how to get to any destination. I was in High School before I realized that other people my age could navigate and follow directions. (They knew how to get to the art supply store on a different large street.) After that, I moved to South America. When I returned to the U.S. as an adult was the first time I ever needed to read a map. I needed to get to job interviews. I could drive a car just fine. I just needed to find places all over the DFW metroplex. There was no GPS or even Google maps at this time. I think that you and I are most alike in our disdain and disgust over the instructions given by such 'navigation helps'. People have tried to read me (and force me to listen to) the Google instructions to tell me how to 'get to' places, and I find it absolutely ridiculous and a huge waste of time. (They try to tell me how to leave my own house rather than 'starting' at a huge, well-known intersection of freeways near where I need to go.) The same happened when a friend from a different town wouldn't listen to me when I tried to tell her how to get to my house. She dismissed me by saying, "I've got a GPS." Later, she was calling me from her cell phone while circling my neighborhood,... following her GPS, lost.

The only problem that I had when I first started reading maps (and still have occassionally) is that sometimes the whole world 'flips itself' in the East to West directions. I think that I know why this happens to me. It may bore everyone else to hear it, but if ever someone would 'get it', it will be in this Thread. When people talk about Dallas-Fort Worth, they say the names in that order. And, it's commonly called the DFW. Plus, the international airport is the DFW. Well, guess what? Fort Worth is West of Dallas. Hence, I was tending to think of those dots on the map as Dallas on the left and then Fort Worth on the right. WRONG! We know that the 'sun sets slowly in the West', don't we. And we know that if you head West from the middle of the United States, you will eventually arrive at California and the Pacific Ocean. So, if I'm in Dallas, and I head toward Fort Worth, I am, at the same time, heading for California, i.e., West. And, if I'm in Fort Worth (or Grand Prairie, or Arlington) and I head toward Dallas, I am heading East. If I were to keep going, I would eventually arrive at the East Coast, i.e., where Florida and New York reside. But, for some strange reason, when I start physically following a map, my brain has to go through a whole swishy-whirl 'flip it over' orientation so that my perception is grounded in reality. During these moments of mental orientation, I might appear to be daydreaming, but am actually performing a taxing mental exercise. Once I've 'got it', it doesn't flip back over again for the duration of that trip, and for this I am grateful. - jus'
Edited by justfoundout on May 26 2012 07:17 PM
#6 Print Post
Posted on May 29 2012 12:34 AM
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Ugg, reading your story brought up memories of my first year at the camp I work at. Two of us were together, and we were both new to the camp. We got lost. Really lost. It took us half an hour to find our way back to the unit, but we still hadn't found the shower house that we were looking for. We wound up by the water front. The person who was waiting for us was less than impressed. I told that story to the boss this last weekend. She laughed. Three summers has made the story funny, but it sure wasn't at the time!
I'm NOT lost, I'm just taking the scenic rout!
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Posted on May 29 2012 11:46 PM

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Which story, Squeaky? -jus'
#8 Print Post
Posted on May 30 2012 03:13 PM
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The first one that started the thread. Having no sense of direction sucks!
I'm NOT lost, I'm just taking the scenic rout!
#9 Print Post
Posted on May 30 2012 06:36 PM

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Oh. - jus'
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