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Mar 17, 2021

Hi, hello, hey there....

I figured since I did a post earlier this month about my migraines (and mentioned briefly about my ADHD), I thought I might do a post on my dyscalculia.

What is dyscalculia, you ask? Basically, it is a math learning disorder. Many have never heard of it and I, myself, never heard of it until a few years ago. I wish I had heard of it much sooner; it might have saved me a LOT of stress.

Growing up, I struggled with math classes. I couldn't even count to ten until I was about six years old. Math just confused me and numbers would get jumbled in my head (and still do). When I got to middle school and we had to begin learning some basic algebra stuff, I was so lost. There were many math tests and math classes that I failed over the years. As a kid, each time I failed a test or a class, I would get into trouble by my mom and step-dad. I was never tested for a learning disorder...probably because dyscalculia isn't as well known (especially then) as other disorders, like dyslexia for example. So, I just thought I was stupid.

Years later, when I was in community college, I had to take beginning algebra...and I failed it. And I failed it a second time. And a third time. Finally, I eventually passed the class...barely. But with every failure, I would become so depressed. I felt like, maybe I was too stupid to finish university; maybe I should just drop out; etc (I ended up not finishing uni anyhow, but that's unrelated to my dyscalculia and a whole other story). It wasn't until I was nearly finished with my degree program that I was tested and found out that I had ADHD and a learning disorder, which was eventually diagnosed as dyscalculia.

So how does dyscalculia affect me?

For me, while I can do simple math (addition, subtraction, etc), it takes me longer than the average person and I really struggle with it when under a time pressure; my brain goes blank. Also, I do rely on counting on my fingers at times, still, as an adult.

Furthermore, it takes me a bit longer to figure out which number is bigger, when comparing numbers. For example, when I play Among Us, on the one map you have to match up the temperature on the left to the one on the right. It always takes me a few seconds to figure out which direction I need to move the number on the left, in order to get them to match up.

Additionally, when hearing a number being said aloud, the numbers get jumbled in my head (especially if they are single digit numbers). I often have to have the number repeated again, because I get them mixed up.

Another area that dyscalculia affects me is map reading and directions. I have a very difficult time following verbal driving directions (if they are said all at once; GPS is a bit different, but I also have a visual to look at, which helps). Reading a map, trying to figure out how to get from Point A to Point B is challenging, especially if I cannot physically move the map.

Lastly, dyscalculia (along with my ADHD) makes time management challenging. I mentioned in my last post that estimating how long something will take or how much time has passed is really difficult, which makes being on time for appointments (and meeting deadlines) nearly impossible. I'm frequently late to things. Both the ADHD and the dyscalculia contribute to this "time blindness." (So if I'm ever let for the lessons, please forgive me; I try my best to be on time).

I just wanted to share this because I know dyscalculia isn't as well-known. If you hadn't heard of it before, now you have.

Thanks for reading. Have a great week (and happy St. Paddy's Day!)

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