Adults with LD or ADHD

Peoples reaction to dyscalculia?

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Joined: Aug 16, 2004
Posts: 94
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Posted Oct 20, 2004 at 12:09:26 AM
Subject: Peoples reaction to dyscalculia?

I have a question for you; how do people react when you tell them you have dyscalculia?

In Denmark, dyscalculia is also called “number blind” – dyslexia is known as “word blind” so dyscalculia has been named something alike. Because of that, a lot of people with dyscalculia walk around saying that they are number blind, without knowing that it exists, as a way to explain their difficulties. I did too! But people just laughed. It said it as a joke, because I didn’t know about it, so that’s why they laughed. Now that I know that this number blindness-thing is for real, and I tell people about it, they just say something like “well it seems logic enough, that when you can be word blind you can also be number blind”. A couple of people still laugh because they don’t believe me, but that’s just ignorance.

Christa, who is the “head” of the dyscalculia association that I volunteer for, has some grim stories about people’s reaction. I remember one, that was about a psychotherapist who had made a website were he wrote that people who had dyscalculia also was retards. GrrRrrHH! I’m not a freaking retard… I have no hard feelings for so-called retards, besides hating that word. I grew up with these “retards” at my special school (there is nothing wrong with me besides growing up with this undiscovered ld and the problems with people around me who didn’t understand my difficulties and thought I was just a “problem child”). But I do have the ability to take care of myself (and actually most of these “retards” can take care of themselves, with the right help, like in group homes without people taking care of them all the time – and the ones who cant are people to). But when people hear that word, they think the craziest things, and a freaking psychotherapist (I don’t know what the laws are in America and other countries, but in Denmark anyone can be a psychotherapist and there is no “top dog” keeping an eye on these people) should NOT be talking about stuff he doesn’t know ANYTHING about. It is true that many “retards” have a hard time in math, from acalculia, but that is not the same thing as dyscalculia. Then people with dyslexia would be retards too, and then 15% of the world would be retards… Also, a lot of people with acalculia aren’t “retards”; they have just been in an accident but can do other things normal. And even if you cant do anything normal, you are NOT a retard. Like I have said before, in my dictionary, “retard” is a word for sick people like Hitler; no one else deserves that title.

By the way, the psychotherapist deleted the website after Christa had contacted him and yelled a little :-p

Comments about peoples reaction to other ld´s are welcome :-)

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Joined Jun 13, 2003
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Posted:Oct 20, 2004 12:52:15 PM



Great thread idea!

I think that here in the US, dyslexia is kind of thought as the generic term for learning disablities. Although I'm dysgraphic, I ususally just say dyslexic in casual conversation. If its more it important, I will say "Dysgraphic, it's similar to dyslexic but I can read well, just not write well."

The term "learning disability" is taking on a new meaning, retarded. So, some people understand when I say my son (or myself) have a learning disability and some do not. I almost hate to say it but I've begun emphaisiing that he is GIFTED and has a learning disability in writen expression.

If one were to say one had dyscalcua here, no one would have a clue as to what you meant, the term just isn't used much.


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Joined May 27, 2018
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Posted:Oct 20, 2004 3:55:54 PM

I must move to Denmark. Gosh! That was a great post ellyodd. I think that dyscalculia is just a big mystery in the U.S. In the south it means, a lady who is scared of numbers, in the north it means, a lady who is bad with numbers....I think there is a lot of gender bias with math ld.

But, in the U.s. everyone has dyslexia or ADD. Even if you do not, it is easier to say you have dyslexia, as the other poster pointed out, than anything else. Because, no one knows what dyscalculia means in the US, really. Sad thing. We need more research done, I think, or we with dyscalculai need to move to ellyodd's country.

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Joined Aug 16, 2004
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Posted:Oct 20, 2004 9:15:14 PM

Well.... Thanks, both of you, I did not know that I was writing something as good as you say it is :lol:

Dyscalculia is even more unheard of in Denmark than in the us or england - so it's not that we get treated better here. There is no research in dyscalculia in Denmark, only a little in "teaching math for people with dyslexia". I'm working to change that :wink:

But the fact that we use the word "word blind" and therefore "number blind", does make things easier. People understand that word. "Dyskalkuli" (the danish term for dyscalculia) is a weird word... So we have a good start, there.

When you try to explain people what dyscalculia is, maybe you could say "picture dyslexia is called word blind, and then you can understand that dyscalculia is number blind" - but maybe it just works to say "dyscalculia is dyslexia just with numbers"? Even though that is not completely true, it does make some sense...

Yeah, math is something that girls have problems with, is the common idea. That is true - BUT, the ld dyscalculia IS 50/50, so when people say that dyscalculia is a girl problem, it's a lie. But normal trouble with math is a girl problem.

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Joined Jan 23, 2005
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Posted:Jan 23, 2005 2:21:04 PM

As i posted elsewhere, i am a 32 year-old male who just recently has been diagnosed with dyscalculia (although, throughout high school i wondered if there was such a thing as "numerical dyslexia", due to the so-called "careless mistakes" i would repeatedly make on math tests).

When i tell people that i am entering college for the first time in my life, and that Algebra scares the HELL out of me, they often sympathize. But, when i tell them i have Dyscalculia, and i describe it briefly as "numerical dyslexia", most make the dyslexia/dyscalculia connection and say "wow, makes sense"

As far as all people with Dyscalculia being "retards" (how goache), in taking tests to determine my LD, i found out my IQ is in the 75% percentile (meaning i am smarter than 75% of people in the world) and i was told that i completed and/or mastered some facets of the test that had NEVER been completed by anyone this psychologist had tested.

What a relief it was to find out that i'm not stupid, but rather, my wiring is a bit askew.

Smiles, gooup

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Joined May 23, 2005
Posts: 7

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Posted:May 23, 2005 7:41:21 AM

I totally relate to your comments, group.

I learned only yesterday - and am still a bit in shock - that my lifelong failure in and fear and loathing of anything numbers-related actually has a name and is a recognised learning disorder.

Like many dyscalculics, I had/have above-average ability in anything language related
(I have degrees in journalism, literature and education), but still almost break out into a cold sweat when confronted with simple things like changing money, orienting myself geographically, memorising and applying formulae, and so on.

How different my childhood and early school years might have been if dyscalculia
had been recognised and acknowledged. Even Phys Ed classes were a nightmare for me.

One can only hope that in the very near future educational programs will include practical and effective strategies to enable dyscalculic children (and adults) to master basic maths concepts.


It's never too late to have a happy childhood.

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