If I Could Change One Thing...

Tell someone you have dyslexia and most people seem to know what you're talking about. Tell someone you have dyscalculia, on the other hand, and you'll get blank stares usually followed by, "What's that?". That's what it was like talking to my highschool guidance councelors, teachers, peers, bosses, co-workers and friends about my learning disability. When I have to do math I feel stupid. What's worse is that when I have to do it in front of other people I can sometimes have full blown anxiety attacks because it stresses me out so much. I need a calculator for most simple math and even then I have to check three times to make sure I did that correctly. When I look at an analog clock I have to count by fives but even then I don't have any real appreciation of what time means. I don't have a real appreciation of what numbers mean. I am precluded from persuing 50% of careers because most programs require you take university level math courses, a prospect that gives me nightmares. None of my teachers could ever understand how I could excel in all other areas but do so poorly in mathematics. No matter how well I did in other subjects math always made me feel like an imbecile. Having adhd certainly didn't help and it got me labeled by some of my peers and even some teachers as actually being stupid. This caused a giant dent in my self-esteem and every time I do math that dent resurfaces. I can't tell left from right without checking to see which hand I write with. I find it really hard to follow most sports games. My dyscalculia even effects things like muscle memory and coordination - As a child I was quite late learning how to walk and was never any good at sports. Dyscalculia affects my entire life. When someone asks the age old question, "If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?", I always know what I'd pick.
HelloGhosty HelloGhosty
18-21, F
5 Responses Aug 6, 2010

i understand so much, now days they even require algebra for cosmetology, i tried to search for a career with little math requirements and there are far and few. we're sunjected to low paying jobs, and in some cases poverty.

My dd 11, has dyscalculia, the school refused to acknowledge it though because in 3 grade she was able to score "on level". Once division and larger multiplication were thrown at her it became a nightmare. I so worry about her future!

I too have dyscalculia as I was hopeless at Maths and Arith at school. I still need my fingers to be ablce to count. I work in education but certain admin jobs are beyond my reach especially if they involve figure work. My dyscalculia manifests itself in strange and unexpected ways: I teach basic IT but have been having problems understanding the sequence of the assessments - the only reason I can come up with is because they all have different numbers and certain procedures have to be followed and it totally throws me. Heaven help the students having a teacher like me! Seriously, though, it is a mis-understood learning difficulty and can cause problems with low self-esteem but most people seem to dismiss it as 'of course you can count'. Only it isn't that easy...

I wish the education system actually was modernized to acknowledge that there isn't just the wrote way of learning, instead of excluding 1/3 of the population give them the realitivey simple tools to 'learn' in teh way that bests suits how the brain was put together in the first place.

I know exactly how you feel cause I have Dyscalculia too.<br />
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Some of my symptoms are: I can add, subtract & multiply by counting on my fingers & using a calculator but I've never been able to divide (& still can't) , I can count money but if you paid me for something or bought something from me I wouldn't know how much change to give back to you & paying for something I bought is hard sometimes, I have trouble telling time on non-digital clocks & I have trouble keeping track of time, I can't cook or bake without a timer because again I'm not good with time, I'm not good with directions to places (giving them or following them), & again some things I need a calculator for.<br />
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Because I have so many problems in math finding a job is hard for me & let's face it there are some people out there that can't put up with or tolerate an employee who has trouble doing basic math & can't count money all that well without counting on their fingers or using a calculator. Also everything in life involves math. So I've decided to work for myself & open my own small baking business because I love baking & all I need is timers to help me other than that I've got no problems & my mom is a cook so I can get her to help me if I do have problems lol (Food Network is one of my favorite channels lol). Right now I'm doing something else that'll help me earn money that I'll save & later use to open my business but right now I'm working for myself doing something here at home.<br />
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And I also agree: if there was one thing I could change about myself it be to not have this disability.