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aspies are supposed to be mathies

friday 16 september 2011

coming up through grammar school, high school, and college, I didn't know that Asperger's was the name of the thing that gave me so many difficulties in the world. nor did I know that aspies are in general very good at math. so I struggled through every math class, not liking the subject, not having any love for juggling numbers around to get the answers that would get me the grade I wanted, that would keep me from shaming myself (I liked to get good grades). and I muddled through, staying on the decent end in terms of the grade.

then came high school algebra. agony. sentences made of symbols and numbers. a code to be learned for managing these sentences, and making them come up with the right answer. and while I was an excellent juggler of words -- their spelling, their grammar, their syntax -- my brain just recoiled from the coldness and inflexibility of numbers. for my entire freshman and sophomore years I had to stay after school at least twice a week to get extra help from the algebra teachers. and I could see how flummoxed they were by my math inadequacy, because they knew what good grades I got in every other subject, and of course they had access to the IQ tests kept in the guidance counselor's files. they couldn't fathom why I was so clueless in the math class.

I love science, and when I reached college, there were some sciences I wanted to study. I would do very well the first month or so, when everything we were doing was writing answers based on information we were supposed to have memorized, and I was a great word and picture memorizer. I started each science course with an A.

which did not last long. there seems to be no science in the world that you can study without knowing math, and solving equations, and recognizing formulae and what they mean. back again to extra help in professors' offices. writing extra-credit papers on a science theme in order to get my grade up to a shameful C. my difficulties with math not only ruined math for me; they ruined science too.

now that I know I'm an aspie, and that so many aspies excel at math, I feel especially cheated that I didn't even get competency at math as part of my Asperger's, much less excellence.  (asperger's blog)
sehnen sehnen 51-55, F 1 Response Sep 16, 2011

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The main problem I had with math was word problems along with rounding numbers.