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To pursue a diagnosis...

(22 Posts)
JonesMalone Thu 27-Apr-17 15:13:53

...for dyscalculia? As a grown woman.
I read a post on here about a lady who's daughter has just been diagnosed dyslexic at uni. and it got me thinking about this.
Would a diagnosis help me? Is there a benefit to knowing?

I have always struggled with maths and at the age of 16 started outright failing (I didn't grow up in the uk so had to study maths until 16).
I seem to have an inability to comprehend basic skills blush
I will add numbers and get different answers each time, I mix the sequencing of numbers up. I can only remember dates (like birthdays) by visualising it's place on a calendar because 27/04/17 is almost as meaningless as a phone number. The only way I remember phone numbers or pin codes is by remembering the pattern on the keypad.
It has come to a head recently because I've had to really start managing my money (not like the childfree days of having spare cash) and I just can't. Like I know the theory but i can't put it in to practice.
Hubby and I got in to an argument about money issues and we sat down to go through everything. He was astonished at my workings, the processes I use and the figures I come to.
I can't get it through to him that numbers are literally like looking at Chinese writing. I know it means something and given time I could work it out- but I don't know it and I'm not going to remember it.

Just feeling thick and stressed. I know if I'd have had a diagnosis as a child I could have gotten help. But any point as an adult?

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Thu 27-Apr-17 18:21:13

I'd try a tutor first. It could be that if you have come to it late that you didn't have the logic processing for it or that you couldn't see the practical applications.

I find it much more useful when it is relevant to life rather than odd equations that aren't everyday.

See how you get on and they can maybe highlight if they think there's an issue. A night class at college might be useful as well.

UppityHumpty Thu 27-Apr-17 18:46:06

People with true dyscalcula can't be taught. Suggest you get maths tuition - if you don't learn anything new, then it's probably worth paying for the test.

bookwormnerd Thu 27-Apr-17 18:54:33

I would say it depends if effects job. I was diagnosed with dyslexia at university. It was helpful as I got extra time with exams and someone who helped me organise my essays. However I only had assesment as uni did it for free and would help my study. I wouldent have been able to get the help except for fact I was at university. If it adversly effects job I would say go for assesment as then work can make sure allowences put in for you. If its day to day life the assesment may help in a way to explain it to you but would you be able to get support without paying through nose.

Trifleorbust Thu 27-Apr-17 18:56:47

In all honesty, I can't see how it would help.

imip Thu 27-Apr-17 18:58:30

This is me also! I was born at 34 weeks in 1971, and I kind of put it down to that.

I have a degree in politics and economic history. Whenever the economics involved numbers rather than concepts, I just couldn't understand. I was fine otherwise.

Remembering PIN numbers really stresses me out, esp now as you need to know more numbers/letters.

I never learnt my times tables. As an adult I know know a few learning as my dc learn. Just the easy ones!

justnowords Thu 27-Apr-17 19:01:48

If you genuinely believe that is what you have then I would go for a diagnosis, even if there is no help or cure. At least you can have an explanation for why you are the way you are, rather than people thinking you are irresponsible or stupid (which you would be neither).

WilliowGreen Thu 27-Apr-17 19:03:09

I would say you are not unreasonable. It is also not correct that true dyscalulia cannot be taught as UppityHumpty said. People used to think that about dyslexia.
The difficulty may be in getting a diagnosis. If you are at university there is funding available for diagnosis and specialist teaching.
People with dyscalculia have learned coping techniques and managed to pass GCSE maths but obviously maths will always be more difficult.
One thing to be aware of is the emotional impact. Even people who pursue a diagnosis often feel shocked when the revive it. The language of the report can be negative and hard to read about yourself.
I would suggest you think about whether the diagnostic process would benefit you or if it would be more helpful to focus on improving your maths to achieve whatever goal is important to you.

Crumbs1 Thu 27-Apr-17 19:04:34

Why would you need a label? Buy a calculator or try good tuition.

Toysaurus Thu 27-Apr-17 19:33:30

It's something I would do if I had th money. Maths to me is more than hard, it's like a different language. I struggle with clocks too because my brain says 4pm when it's 8pm for example.

It's not about a label but about understanding yourself.

CaulkheadNorth Thu 27-Apr-17 19:37:30

Is there a website or something that offers tips on supporting or teaching students with dyscalculia? Could you try some of those things? I can't see how a diagnosis could help unless you're currently studying.

JustDanceAddict Thu 27-Apr-17 19:37:45

You could be. I think I am at some level - haven't got a recognised maths qualification, I transpose numbers easily so really have to concentrate when writing phone numbers down, I also do the PIN pattern thing, I get simple arithmetic wrong, etc. I doubt I'd bother to get a diagnosis now as I've coped thus far and I get by with money etc. If it was affecting my daily life then I might & see if I could be helped in any way.

limon Thu 27-Apr-17 19:40:45

Go for it. I was diagnosed aged 40. Had always known my brain didn't work well with maths. Was great at languages but failed maths o level 4 times. It was very liberating to finally understand I wasnt thick .

Itsnothingoriginal Thu 27-Apr-17 19:52:15

Agree that you could take action now rather than worrying about a dx. I failed GCSE maths 4 times before school just gave up on me. Maths has always been a huge source of anxiety as I just can't see or retain numbers in my head.

I recently did an adult learning maths course as I couldn't help the kids with their homework and was absolutely amazed at how many strategies I've built up over the years to cope with the issues. We were shown the new techniques they teach kids these days and lots of things finally started to make sense. At the end of the course I took the equivalent of GCSE level maths and passed!!

My confidence has really improved now and I'm not actively running away from anything involving using maths or numbers any more. I'd really recommend looking into local courses if you can.

Bubblesagain Thu 27-Apr-17 20:00:34

Yes I would - I got diagnosed (not labelled as I'm not a jar hmm ) with a SpLD as an adult, it helps understand that the "failings" are not just from lack of trying and helps understand how I can work around it a lot better as you approach it from that angle of ok I have this rather then just Urgh why do I suck at this and just gave me peace of mind really that it wasn't me being "thick".

UppityHumpty Thu 27-Apr-17 20:23:24

It costs hundreds of pounds to be tested (quoted 550 recently!). I know I'm severely Dyslexic but have never wanted to waste the money because I've developed strategies. That's why I suggested the tutor - if you can be taught there's no point paying for the test, you can develop coping strategies. If you can't then it may be worth it.

Tainbri Thu 27-Apr-17 20:38:55

No of course you're not being unreasonable (speaking as parent of SEVERLY dyslexic and dyscalculic child) but if you get the "label"'what will it achieve? In my child's case I get it because the diagnosis means he gets funds for help at school but do you want from it?

JonesMalone Thu 27-Apr-17 21:16:18

Thanks everyone for your kind and helpful comments.
I had no idea that testing costs so much. I guess that decides it!

I suppose what I want out of it is a better understanding of what is (possibly) up with my brain. And I suppose coping strategies or ways to improve my skills.
As kids, my brother was diagnosed with severe dyslexia- the worst case they'd seen in my country. He was given a lot of mental exercises and things to help him learn. Now he reads books for pleasure and when chatting online you'd never really guess he has an issue. I'm not looking for the same level of help but maybe something to understand how to help myself.

It's not affecting my job but I feel I'm really struggling in my personal life. It actually causes me a lot of anxiety and at the moment is making me feel incredibly stupid.

JonesMalone Thu 27-Apr-17 21:21:33

I'm also not entirely sure a tutor would help. I know how to do maths but it's almost like my brain doesn't respond. I have trouble registering the numbers.
And two the person who said get a calculator- even that doesn't help.
Hubby sat and watched me adding up my bills and was amazed that I hadn't realised I was missing numbers and mixing them up.
He also couldn't believe that my own logic didn't tell me that adding 5 numbers under 100 shouldn't give me a figure over 700. hmm

WilliowGreen Thu 27-Apr-17 21:26:51

A good book about SPLDs in general is called that's the way I think by David Grant. There are some good resources for dyscalcuilia but mostly aimed at children/ basic maths. The dyscalculia toolkit by Ronit Bird is good but is geared for parents who want to help their children. She does have a website though with more information. The idea is to use concert material to help you work things out until you have consolidated your learning.

UppityHumpty Thu 27-Apr-17 21:47:56

Is it different if you use a computer? I find my dyslexia measurably improves when I use my laptop.

JonesMalone Fri 28-Apr-17 20:17:13

Thank you willowgreen, I'll check them out.
Uppityhumpty, I've never noticed much of a difference

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