Dyscalculia is a term that refers to a disability with math. There is no one definition that will perfectly describe each individual other than he or she demonstrates significant problems in math. The specific nature of these problems is wide ranging, life-long, and impact not only education, but life issues.
The array of difficulties includes time issues, mathematical conceptualization, sequencing problems, spatial awareness, studding awareness and recognition (as in plus and minus symbols), the basic ability to manage numbers and more. Remember, to own a serious difficulty in math, an individual may not demonstrate all characteristics.
One may have a sound strength of time and of mathematical reasoning, but may demonstrate pronounced difficulties in studding awareness and in number management and sequencing. One may have no sense of mathematical concepts and reasoning but be able to do simple calculations. A characteristic that has not been included in the lists for most of the resources on-line is one of the most telling and distinguishing traits: anxiety.
Along with anxiety, number management and sequencing is a huge key in identifying problems with math. Imagine that you are asked to subtract a check amount for $394 from a balance of $937. You try to do so, but the numbers twist and move on you and you manage to subtract $349 from $973.
Imagine that you are given the telephone number of 555 9692 but your mind registers it as 555 9629. The result is failure and often, a looming sense of anxiety. You just do not seem to be able to do it. For those with disabilities in math, managing money and numbers is not only difficult, but it can create panic attacks.
So, what to do? Problems with math are not our fault, and there is nothing that we can do to fix dyscalculia. One on the hardest things to do for those with learning problems is to ask for help. Why? Because asking for help underscores that there is a problem and there is something wrong.
Those with learning problems fear that the inherent flaw will make us unlovable in some way. We, as individuals, strive to present ourselves as pretty close to perfect because many have learned that this position gains us love and acceptance.
The bottom line is that we fear that our failures will render us unlovable, not respected, and unaccepted.
Perhaps, and perhaps not. It is the acceptance of self that most matters. It is the acceptance of self that renders us lovable to self and that then allows us to realize self. It is the allowance of help that moves us forward.
And here is the really critical thing. Asking for help does not really mean that you are helpless, but it means that you trust another to be able to help. A reliance on another goes a really long, long way to establishing understanding and to creating your own community. Besides, many love to help.
What may be possible to you to do?
- Recognize anxiety. When it gets too high, think about asking for help.
- Do not allow people to rattle off phone numbers, but ask them to speak slowly and then repeat the number back as you write it down.
- Ask your bank personnel to help with banking matters. They are usually really helpful and will often work constructively.
- LD Online is recommended. Also, Samantha Abeel’s My Thirteenth Winter: A Memoir is a fine read.
- Accept that you might own a math problem. Do not dwell on that but just accept.
The mind is an amazing balancing process. So you have a problem with math. That only means that you have strengths somewhere else. Ask for help with those pesky math things and then dive into your powers.
Lindy was born and raised in Thailand and spent most of her first eighteen years there with her four siblings and her parents, who were Presbyterian Fraternal Workers. Part of that time, was spent in an isolated and beautiful setting way down the peninsula. She was home-schooled, and her learning differences were not seen or understood.
Because she was “white”, a foreigner, she had no friends, so she read fervently and composed stories to fill her days. It was both a halcyon interval in her life and a difficult time. She has been around the world seven times. Her background in counseling psychology and her empathic take on the world leads to her listening and witnessing of stories.
Stories are significant. Lindy has taught writing to those that could not write at the university level. That led to a focus on learning issues and difficulties and she became a learning/educational coach. She loves that work. Lindy can also cook up a really luscious storm.