# new!

Author Message
Posted Aug 22, 2005 at 1:05:31 AM
Subject: new!

Hi folks,

I am a new member. I have not been tested for learning dissabilities yet, but I think I might have one (or two).

I think I might have dyscalcual, but not really sure. I find it hard to add up simple things, like, if someone asks me what 7+6 is, I have to work it out by going like this: 7+3=10, 10+6=16, 16-3=13. Is this how "normal" people add up, or does that sound like a maths disability? I also find it hard to read clocks. It took me til I was in my late teens to learn. I still get confused sometimes (I am in my mid 20s). I hate clocks with no numbers (who invented those? They're a stupiud idea)... THis is despite the fact that I am a uni student and do very well in written work when the task is to explore ideas. I enjoy anthropolgy and linguistics and music. And I love doing research.

I also seem to have dyspraxia.

Anyway, nice to meet you all. :)

-octopus

Posted:Aug 22, 2005 1:12:57 AM
Subject:Re: new!

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7+3=10, 10+6=16, 16-3=13

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P.S. Did I get this right? If I can't add up in some sort of long-winded way like this, I just go blank and have no idea really.

Posted:Aug 22, 2005 2:54:54 PM
Subject:Re: new!

Most people just memorize the answer and don't go through any process at all. They've just recited it enough times to spew it out. Many of them would not be *able* to go through the process you did.

SOme people learn a back route and that is sort of memorized. (By the way, 7 + 6 is often one that people struggle with.) Lots of people would take a route like "okay, 7 + 7 is 14, so 7 + 6 must be 13."

It sounds like you may have some short term memory issues - it's easier for you to figure it all out again than it is to just remember it by rote. And if you struggle with clocks, it could applyl to visual memory too - how are you with driving, parallel parking, and directions? If you've been compensating with superior logic skills, you'll have cultivated mental habits that would get you into uni - and you can probably use them to get through math requirements (unless you want to major in astrophysics or something that means you *have* to take it to that visualizable level). Do you know what the math requirements are?

SOmetimes people can document a disability and get a substitution with logic courses, but many more have failed than succeeded.

You may want to explore different colleges and their teaching approaches for fulfilling the requirement with a transferable course. Here, for instance, the courses are pretty difficult and demanding so some students go elsewhere and transfer the credits; others will take them in "module" form where you can go at a slower pace (or faster, I suppose :-))

Sue J, webmastress www.resourceroom.net

Posted:Aug 22, 2005 4:15:31 PM
Subject:Re: new!

Well, **I** add 7 + 6 by doing 7 + 3 + 3 = 10 + 3 = 13, and I am a university honours math graduate, so there! This is a *good* way to work!! I actually teach methods like this to my students all the time.
It is unfortunate but true that many primary school teachers are very weak in math -- in fact weakness in math is often why they chose to go into elementary edcucation -- and are often sufferers from math anxiety, which they pass on. Having learned arithmetic by rote memorization of verbal formulas themselves, they think this is the only way to work, and they stifle other approaches to math.
In fact, *real* math people use all sorts of visual and logical approaches and rarely verbal formulas. So you are on the right track.
I never found clocks terribly easy although I finally mastered them. My daughter, however, who is a gifted student but not a big visualizer and who has a vision weakness, never did master regular clocks. She insisted on always having a digital watch, and even at age 21 she would look for a long time at a clock and do some calculations in her head befvore trying to come out with the time -- and this is after she passed two semesters of university calculus.
Both of us have pretty weird senses of direction too.
You can have these little oddities and still be a very bright person, maybe with quite good math skills. Try to get a tutor who really knows how to do advanced math and get into it.

Posted:Aug 22, 2005 8:51:31 PM
Subject:Re: new!

Octupus,
You may have some learning differences, but it sounds like your managing them pretty well. As for the addition thing, I personally am very limited when it comes to math. I have no clue how you came up with just the right set of calculations to get the right answer. I cannot get my head around that, but I'm impressed.
As for the clock thing, I can tell time all right on an ordinary clock, but I have a hard time with clocks that don't have numbers as well. You're right, they are stupid. anyway, that's a difficulty that can be compensated for pretty well -- wear a digital watch.
The big question is; how do these learning differences affect your functioning? If you find that you don't suffer any major impairments because of these LDs, you may have found effective means of copin on your own. If so, good for you! If you do find yourself impaired, you might, with the right support, be able to find ways to compensate for those difficulties as well.
Ultimately, if you wind up with the right answer in the end, it doesn't matter how you got there.
Good luck with everything.

"If I have a bag of rocks to carry as I go/ I just want to hold my head up high./ I don't care what I have to step over/ I'm prepared to look you in the eye/ Look me in the eye. REM- "Walk Unafraid"

Posted:Aug 23, 2005 7:34:59 AM
Subject:Re: new!

accidently posted twice

Posted:Aug 23, 2005 7:46:28 AM
Subject:Re: new!

Thanks for your replies folks. :) Feeling quite reassured now. 8)

I guess that I probably don't have dyscalcula - or not much anyway. I do have some maths problems, but I suppose there's a psychological element there. Maths is a much bigger problem for me when it is done verbally. If someone asks me "What's 7+6?" I start thinking it through, and then I start thinking that the person on the other end wants a snappy answer, they don't want to wait around all day, and aren't I meant to "just know" this, etc. until eventually, I just say "err, I don't know"- so I guess it's partly a social anxiety/OCD kinda thing (which I have a lot of the former and a bit of the latter).

Anyway, now I know a maths honours student who also uses processes like this, I might be able to cut back on the mental commentary. (Thanks Victoria :) )

I don't really need to worry about this for uni as my course is purely arts (no numbers involved - YAY!). It's more if someone out of the blue decides to spring some maths on me or if I'm playing games that involve numbers.

Posted:Aug 23, 2005 10:38:25 AM

...Though I do have to worry about my lack of organisation, which is probably my biggest difficulty. I think I might have dyspraxia at least a little.

i seem to have quite a few of the characteristics that are supposedly typical. e.g. I am tremenously bad at sport as I have no hand-eye co-ordination- I just can't catch. And I seem to be in a continuous daydream. I always seem to be going back and forth between places because I forgot to do something somewhere. It feels like i spend half of my time running between my study and my bedroom becouse I forgot where I put things, and I can't figure out where I should do things, coz there are just so many things to do and, err, my head confuses itself trying to figure it all out. I feel like I am in fog.

But then, maybe I don't have it coz there were some fine-motor things I was actually pretty good at when I was a kid (I did a fair bit of art and craft, and my handwriting wasn't bad), though other fine-motor things I'm pretty bad at like sorting out my wallet in a store (Invariably I hold up the queue, or else i stand outside the shop, labouriously trying to put the change into the right pockets), etc. And I seem to be slower than other people at most things (getting dressed, doing homework, getting ready in the mornings). I have beuracro-phobia and form-phobia. i can never remember when forms are meant to go back.

Also, I have some big problems with social situations that aren't to do with social anxiety. For example, I find it hard to read people and social situations. I often don't pick up on the little hints people drop. I have sensory overload issues when I get into a crowd. (Here's an example of me in a crowd: Not that long ago I was in a pub. It was crowded. But I decided to brave it and go over to the bar to get drinks for me and my friend. The bar was 2 metres from where we were standing- but it took me like 15 minutes to get there and even longer to get back, coz I just couldn't figure out how to get through (I had to wait for someone else to come past so I could follow them) By the time I found my friend again, the beers I was carrying had gone to room temperature :( I haven't been to a pub since. They are just too scary for me as people seem to come at me from all directions, which I find very disorienting- i even find this during tea and coffee after church, and the majority of the congregattion are over 80.).

hmm... yeah, it all comes out now... sorry for the long-windedness. Anyway, I'm not completely sure yet if i have dyspraxia or not- (i guess it doesn't matter really except that for uni [and life in general], I need organisation, and I have none, so if i get a label i might be able to get some practical help.)

Does anyone have any opinions on the symptoms/characteristics I mentioned in this post. I have been planning on going for an assesment for learning disabilites. Do you think it is a good idea?

Anyone know what other kinds of help there might be out there for organisationally-impaired people?

Quote:

As for the clock thing, I can tell time all right on an ordinary clock, but I have a hard time with clocks that don't have numbers as well. You're right, they are stupid. anyway, that's a difficulty that can be compensated for pretty well -- wear a digital watch.

Thanks for the tip! Don't know why I never thought of it before...?!

Posted:Aug 23, 2005 11:21:53 AM
Subject:Re: new!

Octopus, so many of your little "things" sound so much like me and several other members of my family. I decided a long time ago to just be eccentric. It's better than being disabled, which in general I am definitely not.

I have no depth perception, aggravated by the worst possible vision treatment in youth that actually made things worse. I can't catch to save my life and am not much at throwing. Luckily we don't have to hunt with boomerangs so that is not a life-changing disability; I just flat refuse to play baseball and volleyball and basketball, instead I do individual sports like swimming and bicycling and downhill skiing.

I have a lousy sense of time so I schedule things very flexibly -- have decided to be self-employed and broke instead of working for a bureaucracy and be driven into stress-related illness.

I do not organize well in a physical sense -- although I have trained myself to organize **extremely** well mentally in order to make up for it -- and my house is planned around that. Everything is on open shelves because if it is put away I will never see it until the next move. I rent out a few rooms to help with the budget, and I always rent to young male students who don't nitpick over neatness and hours, so our lifestyles work well together. Right now I'm trying to excavate four years of papers that collected during four moves and a renovation (anyone who wants to volunteer, please!!), my office is full of boxes of paper, and anyone who doesn't like it doesn't have to come into the house.

I have some social difficulties, "cocktail party syndrome" which makes it very hard for me to listen in a noisy environment, so after several years of not succeeding as I would like as a classroom teacher, I have gone to being a self-employed private tutor working with individuals. I am much happier, wildly successful as far as the students' learning, and slowly getting the business in the black.

I used to get confused in crowds; then I learned to give up and go with the flow, and suddenly no problem. You are most likely letting stress get in the way there.

Good luck with all this.

Posted:Aug 23, 2005 2:30:04 PM
Subject:Re: new!

People don't understand why I *really* don't want to go on RAGBRAI - huge bike ride across Iowa... I've learned to deal with groups riding by being at the front or the back but mob scenes just don't work. (I have been in bike races - the ones in the dead of winter on exercise bikes.)
In crowd &amp; school hall sl ituations I've learned to orient to something solid and mentally plot my course towards or around that and just dodge anything in the way. (Came from swimming that backstroke - lots of people have to find something to look at or swim in circles.)

Sue J, webmastress www.resourceroom.net