Hello. I'm a high schooler who recently discovered this disability and think I may have it. I have always excelled in most subjects except math and have always had the most trouble with it.
When I was young I seemed to understand that 2+2=4, as long as I could see proof of it. If I had to do addition without my fingers, though, I was lost. If it weren't for memorization, the same would still hold true today-I still use my fingers all the time, though!
I remember being very dissappointed as I moved up in grades and started doing harder math (multiplication, division, etc.) It took me two weeks to understand division, which absolutely infuriated my little 9-year-old self, as I was used to learning things in a day or two. My confidence took a huge hit because I wondered if I had become stupid.
My math skills improved gradually, though the dreaded "math anxiety" developed. My memorization and application has improved greatly, and I'm usually fine as long as I can triple-check my numbers to make sure I haven't added incorrectly or mixed the numbers up (which I still do far too often!) If I'm timed or distracted, though, my math skills disappear. :/
Sorry this is so long. I just wanted to share my experiences.
Also, any tips for learning higher-level maths? I really want to learn Calculus, but am having trouble.
Thanks everyone for sharing your stories. I feel so much better knowing there are others who struggle.
Location: Texas USA Posts: 6101 Joined: 2008-05-25
Hi ardent author,
I'm so glad that you found out about dyscalculia. During elementary school, especially by the time that I reached 4th grade, I went through the same 'have I become stupid' feeling that you did. I really liked the way that you described the whole experience of having been 'such a smart little girl' and then seeming to have met a 'waterloo'. It was very disconcerting. In your case and in my case, we learned that memorization and using our fingers were our allies, and we were able to navigate through and around the math obstacles. But in the case of some here on the forum, they got a worse deal than we did and were never able to pull out of the mire. I think that in those cases where an adult noticed that there was a problem, but didn't understand what that problem was, the dyscalculic child may have been worse off than we were. Left to our own devices, we figured out a way to do math. But if, for example, an adult with authority would have forbidden me to use my fingers, (and given my poor memory), I don't think that I could have done math at all.
Our forum member, Cheshirekat, recently passed Pre-calculus. I don't remember if she took Calculus. I failed Elementary Algebra three times, so, of course, I can't help you there. Are you wanting to do a degree that requires Calculus? Just curious. Nice meeting you here. - jus'
Thanks for such a warm welcome. It's so nice to hear stories so similar! I wonder where all the dyscalculics are. I've only met two in person. :/
I am not sure whether I want to pursue a degree in a mathematical field, but I'm really interested in physics and want to understand it fully through the mathematical component. If I find that I can do it, I'd really like to teach in a science/math field so I could help others with what is such a tough subject for all of us! It's all wishful thinking at this point, of course! xD
Location: Texas USA Posts: 6101 Joined: 2008-05-25
There has been a recent and sudden drop in posting here on the forum. I think that some of the members are off having too much fun doing 'other things',... you know, going out with their 'real life' friends. But they will be back.
I had a great math teacher for one of my developmental math courses a long time ago. She said that she was really a 'word person', not a 'math person', but that she knew she could pass the certification process to be a math teacher, and that she'd always have a job if she went into the math field. It worked out well for her and for me, too, since she was a person who actually listened to my questions. I think that, with your good attitude about math, you'll be happy pursuing an understanding of mathematics. If the career in higher math becomes unattainable, you know that you can re-direct those math classes so as to help others in (as you so aptly described it) 'such a tough subject'.
I did get an A in pre-algebra, in the developmental courses, and other students would come to me for help in understanding our homework. Yes, that gave me satisfaction, so I can see how you might enjoy teaching math. As long as it was 'arithmetic', I could do it, and sometimes do it better than others who were without MLD (Math Learning Disability). Again, glad to have you here, too. - jus'
welcome again, ardentauthor, I saw you in the "driving" section.
I'm in my 30's and still count on my fingers, and don't hide it.
I was diagnosed with math LD or dyscalculia my first year of university, after continually failing remedial math there.
I didn't learn to count money or tell time til high school, and still have issues with that; have never worn a watch and don't know how to use a ruler.
I talked very late and my folks thought I was deaf, was in Special Education for speech and language but the learning disability was never caught.
Labeled with "math anxiety" in high school after huge blow-up in meeting with my high school Geometry teacher, mom and guidance counselor, where I was supposed to explain or show what it was that I didn't understand in that class which I was failing. I didn't even have the words to explain how utterly alien it all was and burst into tears.
So they put me into counseling at the school but did not test for LD.
As you can likely tell, I won't have any tips for learning higher-level math but I also wanted to give you a hey there