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To expect a 15yo NT child to be able to tell the time?

(113 Posts)
clary Thu 13-Nov-14 23:21:40

Just that really. Teenager I was talking to today got out phone to see what the time was - I pointed out a nearby clock - "I can't read that" by which he meant not that he needed glasses, but that he didn't know how to tell the time on an analogue clock.

I was really shocked - is this usual? Are we, thanks to mobile phones and their ubiquity, moving to a time when young people will only understand a digital clock? And does that in fact matter?

thegreylady Thu 13-Nov-14 23:25:03

My dgd will be 14 soon. She has dyspraxia and is also unable to read a clock face. Buying her a digital watch was life changing. She is a high achieving girl who has no other problems although left/right can be a pproblem.

ancientbuchanan Thu 13-Nov-14 23:25:36

Unusual, although could be dyscalculic.

Elysianfields Thu 13-Nov-14 23:28:30

My 22 year old Ds can't easily tell the time either although he understands it and can explain it, but just not read a clock. He does better with a backwards one actually. He's dyslexic. He is numerate though, got A level maths.

noblegiraffe Thu 13-Nov-14 23:31:04

No, it's not usual. I'm a maths teacher and pretty much all kids can tell the time. I've known a handful who can't but it's not common.

honeysucklejasmine Thu 13-Nov-14 23:33:46

I taught a girl in year 9 who struggled. If she was putting a cake in the oven, she'd always ask "what time will it be in 20 minutes?". She could read the time that was displayed in the clock, but couldn't move time forwards mentally.

dangly131 Thu 13-Nov-14 23:33:53

Left handed children often find it easier to read clocks backwards.

merrymouse Thu 13-Nov-14 23:37:28

I don't think that is representative of 15 year olds.

Andanotherthing123 Thu 13-Nov-14 23:42:23

It is unusual but I couldn't tell the time (or say my alphabet or months of the year) until I was 13. By then I'd fallen so far behind at school I was put in the remedial set and then repeated a school year to catch up when I was diagnosed with dyslexia. Took me a few years to find my academic feet but by 18 I was doing a degree, followed by an MPhil, worked in journalism and communications.

I still make mistakes telling the time though!

scousadelic Thu 13-Nov-14 23:42:41

It's unusual but it does happen. My friend's NT son, 25yrs old and very intelligent (qualified to PhD level) can't tell the time on a clock

HeartShapedBox Thu 13-Nov-14 23:43:57

I was 12 or 13 before I could read a clock face.

top level class in all subjects, no medical conditions, just couldn't do it.

the head of the maths department took about six months to finally drum it into me.

I just didn't get it at all.

Riverland Thu 13-Nov-14 23:45:28

What does NT mean?

I know a very numerate literate teen who can't read a clock or tie shoe laces. I assume there's some connection there!

BackforGood Thu 13-Nov-14 23:47:06

YANBU at all.
Of course a 'typical' 15 yr old can.
There will always be exceptions, but....

QueenTilly Thu 13-Nov-14 23:49:04

It is pretty unusual. Is it not possible that he's not actually NT?

x2boys Thu 13-Nov-14 23:51:22

I was in junior four showing my age here before I could tell the time properly I remember really.worrying about it!

Shallishanti Thu 13-Nov-14 23:53:11

I think it's lack of practice. And it's a disadvantage not to be able to do it, having time graphically represented is very useful when it comes to imagining 'how long till...' or seeing the relationship between 10 mins and an hour etc
So I'd encourage anybody who is able to, to make the effort to learn to tell the time properly

TinklyLittleLaugh Thu 13-Nov-14 23:53:26

My reasonably bright (three decent A levels) daughter can't tell the time on an analogue clock. We had to buy her a digital watch to do her exams as the clock in the exam room meant nothing to her.

Interestingly she has recently started a new course at a different college, and some of the routine tests they give everyone on entry, threw up the possibility of a dyslexic type problem. DD reads a lot, has a B at A level English so I think that is quite unlikely.

She reads quite slowly compared to me though. But is pretty hopeless at arithmetic, tables and the like.

x2boys Thu 13-Nov-14 23:56:34

River land NT means neurotypical so no apparent special.needs.

DomiKatetrix Thu 13-Nov-14 23:58:27

I know of a few NT teens who can't easily tell the time from a clock face. I just assumed their education had lacked in that department.

QueenTilly Fri 14-Nov-14 00:01:15

Sometimes analogue clocks are explained badly.

For example, "big hand" and "little hand", as they're often described, can create lingering confusion. The hour hand is not always obviously the "big hand".

SheffieldWondered Fri 14-Nov-14 00:03:13

One of my brothers left school with no qualifications but has since qualified as an electrician. I was a bit confused shock when I found out he left school not knowing the alphabet. shock I think he was about 25 when I found out. He is not dyslexic either although his English is poor. He has kids now so I would hope he knows it now.

clary Fri 14-Nov-14 00:05:39

That's interesting about possible dyslexia/dyscalcualia. Didn't know there was a link. I might look into that as he could be undiagnosed (certainly no diagnosis of either).

He didn't seem bothered about it but I agree it would/could be an issue with cooking etc, how long is 20 mins, and more to the point exams, when of course you cannot take in your phone.

He can tie his shoelaces btw (I was so amazed about the clock thing that I asked! He said of course I can, I'm 15!)

Shahrazad Fri 14-Nov-14 00:11:22

My DD1 struggles with analogue clocks but can easily calculate time differences in her head. I finally stopped worrying about it a couple of years ago - she's a bright girl who isn't struggling with anything at school, so it's not holding her back. I just make sure she has a good digital watch at all times.

I on the other hand can only cope with analogue watches, which have to be with plain white faces and all 12 numbers shown in Arabic numerals. I hate digital watches and get stressed by Roman numerals or watches with 'missing' numbers. I have time-space synaesthesia which might explain why some watches and clocks 'feel' wrong and upsetting to me.

Or I might just be a tiny bit odd.

Riverland Fri 14-Nov-14 00:14:34

x2boys thankyou for responding to my question! smile

clary Fri 14-Nov-14 00:18:52

Then I am too Shaharazad, I like a watch with all 12 numbers, and in Arabic not Roman numerals please. YY to white or maybe cream face too.

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