View Full Version : math "dyslexia"

12-08-05, 08:25 PM
Hi everyone, well, I know that I definitely have dyscalculia even without being officially or professionally diagnosed. I will be bringing this up with my doc tomorrow.

Having failed math in school, still not being able to do simple math at the age of 47, etc etc., sometimes I really don't think that I need anyone to tell me the obvious. Although I've been told that my grammar and spelling are great....

Anyway, here's the problem. I am going to be tested in math in order to be enrolled in a school for blue-collar work. Now I'm terrified that I will bomb the math test and not be able to enroll.

So should I tell them about my LD and ADD and hope for the best, or what? Wouldn't this be discrimination if I don't pass the test and they won't let me enroll?? I'm taking the test on Tuesday, and really can't cram years of math that I didn't understand to begin with...Now I'm upset that if I don't pass I will never be able to do this kind of work, which I love.....

12-09-05, 03:37 PM
mymind I think in this case you should speak up.
And tell them what you are dealing with.
Find out how they are willing to work with you on this.
So you can continue on with what you want to do.
Even a note from your Doctor explaining the situation and that you will be capable of doing the job may help.
Very Best of Luck
I hope it all works out for you.

12-09-05, 09:40 PM
Hi, thanks for getting back to me, since this is so important to me, and I finally narrowed down some employment choices which was tough I really can't blow it this time.
I went to see my doc today, and explained this to him, but really didn't get anywhere. I've heard and/or read that you have to be "officially" diagnosed with this disorder, like I was with ADD to begin with.
In the letter from the job, it said that if you don't pass the first time, you can continue to take the test til you do pass it. However, your employment will just keep getting pushed on into the future until you do pass...I gotta pass it first round!
I went to the library today and took out some math books, some on GED math, etc. Even though I've graduated college, who has the need to do this math anyway?? It's been light years since I've done any of this...
Thanks again!

12-10-05, 07:54 AM
mymind...I have the math thing too. I reverse numbers and have problems counting money and remembering phone numbers. I haven't retained much other than the basics from school and could not grasp fractions until adulthood. So you are not alone there.

Maybe you could gather more information on the types of math they will be testing for.
I wish you the best. :)


12-10-05, 07:55 AM
I see I'm a little late in my well wishes. I hope you let us know how things go :)

12-10-05, 02:31 PM
Hi mymind That's a good idea getting the math books. :)
Have you tried a thread in the college section of the forums?
Maybe some of the members who are students or teachers.
Can give you advice and/or help on how to study math for the test.
I can see why you want to pass it the first time.
Too bad the doctor wasn't more help.
Keep us posted let us know how it's going.

12-10-05, 03:07 PM

My son has dyscalculia (I think, at least in his case, it's a symptom of ADD and not an LD) and scores very high on math understanding and low on "calculation". My advice:

1) Keep in mind that your problems are most likely due to inattention, not understanding of mathematical concepts. Reviewing the material (if you can get through it) will probably help a LOT.

2) You didn't say if you were on ADD meds or not, but either way, keep the "focus" issues in check as best you can. Research shows that the performance effects of test anxiety can be reduced with focus. If you can focus on each individual question and tune out everything else including the rest of the test or what's riding on it, you'll do much better.

3) With standardized math tests, there is a strategy that works better than others. If you see a problem that is completely unfamiliar, don't try to work through it. Your guess or instinct will probably be better than the answer you come up with using a flawed process.

Good luck!

12-11-05, 12:59 AM
good luck - check out the school's disability support provisions to see what your rights are

12-20-05, 09:40 PM
hi everyone, sorry that it took me awhile to get back to all of you. I believe that I definitely have dyscalculia, found some more info about it online and I fit 100%. Now on to being "officially" diagnosed....
Yes, I do have ADD, diagnosed in September. Currently on 60mg Strattera and 50mg Zoloft. I don't really notice any real change with the ADD, but definitely with anxiety and depression. The Zoloft has been a God-send for me!
Unfortunately, today I found out the test results. Yeah, you guessed it, I failed. As I was taking the test, I didn't think it was that bad. So I thought I had a chance. Passed the English with no problem....but to be a lady carpenter or anything blue-collar you have to be able to do math well. Even though I've been a graphic artist most of my life. Had to use numbers all the time.
But I'm a visual person, give me a ruler, a measuring cup, whatever, and I can figure it out, no problem. Give me a written test and you may as well fail me before you begin.
The school did say that you have one more chance to pass the test. If you don't pass, well, adios amigos. They are willing to work with you and are well aware that people like us are, by law, are supposed to be allotted extra time on tests if needed.
I could go on, but hopefully someone will remember this thread and get back to me!

01-05-06, 02:16 AM
I thought it was just me that couldn't do math!

01-10-06, 07:59 PM
I can relate to this thread. Although i have always been able to do basic math easily, and calculate medication dosages -- in fact, i tied for the highest math/meds test score in my class of 82 students at Nursing school.

HOWEVER, my inability to pass a formula-based course of Statistics (and other STATS courses), means that i am unable to get that last HALF CREDIT and graduate.

I am currently fighting to get my student loans written off due to my disability, before I default on them.

My math testing showed i am in the 80th math percentile for Symbolic Math and other areas. But there is some type of (processing?) problem somewhere -- undiagnosed.

So here i sit, unable to get a job and pay off my degree. I really do feel my life is destroyed by this.

And i have Grade 12 Math.


Best of luck to all of you,


PS i would highly recommend "Every Day Math Demystified" to anyone, OR, a Tutor.

01-18-06, 01:58 AM
Hi Emma, I've been wondering about a "higher level" math disorder too. I looked into dyscalculia, and it seems like there is a HUGE range of what it could be. One of the thigns they said was that sequencing can often be a problem, it doens't have to be number reversals or addition.

I definately have big problems with certain kinds of math, (especially sequencing a math problem, you know - like figuring out what order to do stuff in, etc) And also interpreting graphs. And also I have no memory at ALL for numbers & math methods. But the thing is, I'm a mechanical engineer! (graduating in 4 months) so I've had all the way up through calc 4, linear algebra, etc... and USED it all the time. I definately struggled with it every bit of the way, but I did it, which made me think there was no way I could have a math LD.

And yet.... I had to get tons of extra help with math as a kid. I had tons of support from my parents (extra classes in mulitplication, and stuff like that) And even now I still ask my friends when there's a mulitplication fact I can't remember. I've never EVER remembered math "tricks", or even things like the quadratic formula, or trig. (which I have to use in almost all of my classes, and should be basic facts of life by now) And then... there's that dang sequencing stuff....

I've scraped by in all those classes (classes in my major!) working my butt off and always kind of wondering why it took me 3 times longer than everyone else to do my homework. Or why other people seem to understand math proofs WHILE the teacher does them on the board. But becuase I've scraped along, I've really compensated for all those problems in math, and I'm not sure if it would show up on a test for dyscalculia. I mean... when you do algebra enough, SOMETHING has to stick... so I think on a "normalized" test I would show up as normal, (or maybe a little bit under the norm, but not a lot) even though my professors and classmates think I'm retarded because nothing they show me ever STICKS.

But yeah, back to the topic, I have a lot of problems with math, but NOT with number reversals, and not with "understanding" math concepts (like fractions) I can understand stuff just fine, but I can't always do it.

I dunno if maybe those things are just side effects from ADHD or if there's somthing else there. I have thought it was a math LD for the last year or so, but it could be a "processing" thing or even just a memory thing. Hard to say.

02-14-06, 05:36 AM
Well I dunno... you're all talking about biology and neurochemistry at the end of the day. Maybe meds will help maybe it won't. You can't hold information in your immediate memory because that's basically what ADHD is right? Let's agree on this construct for arguments sake.

So what the heck is the point in bashing your brains and making things harder for yourselves? Why not just find work that doesn't involve math?

You know to be frank here I really can't understand for the life of me why no one here fights this out to Supreme Court. The ADA needs some ******* caselaw built up! I mean for $#%(U& sake, you fail the entrance test so can't be a carpenter and end up doing something else. Meanwhile if you'd just whip out a %$#() CALCULATOR and a formula sheet what the heck is the problem. Oh I forgot silly me.... that would not be a REASONABLE ACCOMODATION! Seriously I don't know if this country is just going to hell or if I'm just a sane person in an insane world!

02-14-06, 05:43 AM
In fact why don't we just all wail about and let society segregate itself? Let them build up tests and special exams for selection to the better echelons in the social order. Let them do this against the weak and powerless first. Society can start by expanding the 'out groups'. Those for exclusion can be criminals, disabled (ADHD), the poor etc.

I tell you what if you don't want to fight for what few rights you might have as a subgroup - we'll lose everything!!! To second that - if you don't even know what you're rights are then do you really have them? Mark my words - this is the direction this is all going. Call me a liberal if you like!