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Disabilities Living with a disability, either physical or mental, can be both challenging and life changing. For support, questions and discussions relating to disabilities, post here.

Do you have a Learning Disability? -
February 18th 2012, 04:47 PM

I'm ashamed in having a learning disability. I am normal and I have a lot of friends. I'm good academically and I do have good grades. I've gotten the Honor Roll a few times. What's different about me? I am terrible at math. I'll be 18 in September and even with simple addition and subtraction, I still count with my fingers. I've made it up to Algebra 2, but I know it's common for most people to use calculators, I even use it for simple math all the time. Problems like "9+8" or "7+5" I still don't have it down. Even though some people aren't good in math, I always get frustrated with math problems. Weird thing is, I'm completely normal like any teenager. Why exactly do I have this learning disability and do you have it?

Re: Do you have a Learning Disability? -
February 18th 2012, 05:14 PM

Hello Sam,

I have many problems, far worse than you. I have got ADHD, bit of autistic myself, also more importantly, I am hearing disabled, I am profoundly deaf, I can not hear on my left. Only right with CI (Cochlea Implant) & ADHD is related

Re: Do you have a Learning Disability? -
February 18th 2012, 06:35 PM

I'm dyslexic and I get math problems all messed up. I'm in college and on my recent algebra test I got the concept correct, but did the basic math all wrong so I got the question marked wrong. (for example I needed to multiply 4 x 3, so I said the answer was 16) I use my fingers as well while doing addition and subtraction. I do it discreetly so people don't see me doing it, or I tap my pencil on the number 6 times when it's 6 while I count up. Just find whatever works for you, it's okay if it takes you a little longer to work a problem out. Try not to rely on the calculator. I don't even carry one with me to my tests so I force myself to work everything out myself. I think it helps me, because after I do a problem so many times I tend to start remembering the answer without doing the work.

We were made to be courageous.

Everybody falls sometimes
Gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes and make a new beginning
Anyone can feel the ache
You think it’s more than you can take
But you're stronger, stronger than you know
Don’t you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining

Re: Do you have a Learning Disability? -
February 19th 2012, 02:37 AM

I'm very much in the same boat as you. I can't do basic multiplication, it takes me ages to make simple change with cash, and I depend on a calculator for anything math related. I still count on my fingers, I can't do simple addition, etc. There are a lot of reasons behind the why and it's different for everyone.

And there is nothing wrong with relying on a calculator, given that in the "real world", you have all ability to use one when needed. During high school and for some tests like the SAT's, you may not be able to use one, but beyond that it'll be available.

The best advice I can give is to embrace it and be willing to use resources and don't EVER let anyone tell you that you can't do something because of a learning disability. I've turned it into a strength instead of something I put myself down about, there isn't a point. I'm learning disabled and people will just have to deal with it.

I was told I wouldn't graduate high school -- and I'm currently pursuing a Master's degree and graduated with Honors in Psychology. If you want to do it and work hard, you can. =)

Re: Do you have a Learning Disability? -
February 19th 2012, 03:16 AM

I have taken the same math course for the past five years (grade 7-12). I'm now in my first year of college and I'm taking the same course (pre-algebra). Why, you ask? Because I do terrible without a calculator. And in order for me to make progress and go further in math courses, I need to do exams without calculators. I still count on my fingers, I get simple arithmitic wrong, and I get confused so, so easily about things that are really simple for other people. It's so frustrating but you can overcome this. I don't know WHY you or I or anyone else has this problem but I know that it can be overcame. I guess what I do is use the resources available. Instructors, plenty of pre-tests, calculators, tutors, etc. Eventually, you won't have to worry about this because you'll be able to use calculators everywhere outside of school. I'm sorry if I wasn't of much help. I just wanted to let you know that you're not alone.

Re: Do you have a Learning Disability? -
February 19th 2012, 04:44 AM

I've always had problems with math too, ever since I was young. I could never understand why I couldn't just get it right away like everyone else did. I also use my fingers to count when doing simple math like addition and subtraction - if I don't, I just feel like I get lost in the numbers. And when it came to solving problems I always had the hardest time trying to answer them. Somehow I made it all the way through high school and didn't do too bad! I never really thought of it as a learning disability, though I guess technically it would be considered one. The way I got through it was, like a couple people already said, by taking advantage of the resources available to me. Extra help, tutors, any extra time given to finish exams etc. When it comes down to it, and you work hard enough, you can do anything you put your mind to.

Re: Do you have a Learning Disability? -
February 19th 2012, 05:35 AM

I do not have this problem as I was able to enter math and science classes that were 1-2 grade levels higher than the grade I was currently in. I was able to skip one grade but was unable to skip more because my English and language comprehension were shockingly poor. Early on I was put in accelerated programs because for whatever reason, math and science "clicked", they were easier to understand than languages. I could do a math or science test 2 grade levels higher and get a fairly high mark (around 80-90%). I can read quite fast but tell me to do a book report, write a poem or try to correct a grammatically incorrect sentence and I'd sit there for a while, put it a lot of effort and get a half-assed mark. Much of this was due to family issues as my parents were often on business trips so I stayed at home with my grandmother who unfortunately, spoke little English. Instead, she spoke Ukranian and Russian but it's very difficult to learn a language from someone who cannot translate the word for you, so more often than not it boiled down to a guessing game. She could help me with math but not with any English.

I was placed in after-school programs where my English comprehension was steadily improved as well as placed into an accelerated math program where I was not allowed to use calculators (i.e. graphing equations in 2-D and 3-D, trigonemetry, circular trig, multiplication and division of very large numbers, etc...). It is indescribable how helpful this after-school program was. My grandmother moved out of the province so I stayed with my grandparents on my mother's side who spoke German but their English was much, much better than my grandmother from my father's side.

Perhaps you'd benefit from similar after-school programs or hiring a tutor. You could also try memorization, such as memorize the sum of 9+8 (17), 8+8 (16) and 5+8 (13). In doing so, when you're given a question you haven't memorized, such as 10+9, you can draw from what you already know, even if you have to write it on paper. For example, you memorized 9+8 = 17, so use that as a reference point and count up by one, so 10+8 = 18, then count up one more and 10+9 = 19. There are addition and subtraction charts online or you can make one for yourself.

Try not to feel ashamed of yourself. You don't need to be amazing at math to be successful, even if you want to study science. For example, I'm currently taking three research courses and in one of them, I have 2 lab partners, one of which has surprisingly poor math skills. He has immense difficulty trying to calculate how many seconds are in 5 minutes (5 x 60 = 300) as well as trouble adding, such as 30 + 30 = 60 genuinely confuses him. I know he struggles because it's a biomedical research course and we do a fair amount of statistical data analysis of results as well as have to do mental math calculations during the experiment. He frequently asks the third lab partner or myself to help him calculate if he doesn't have a calculator handy. He's taken first-year math 2 times and dropped out because of a failing grade mid-way through, he'll be taking it for the third time next year. He understands the physiological and pharmacological concepts without needing any help from either of us.

I can rip you off, and steal all your cash, suckerpunch you in the face, stand back and laugh. Leave you stranded as fast as a heart-attack.
- Danko Jones (I Think Bad Thoughts)

Last edited by OMFG!You'reActuallySmart!; February 19th 2012 at 05:42 AM.

Re: Do you have a Learning Disability? -
February 19th 2012, 05:40 AM

Im ashamed too sam. I suck at math too in school I barley passed math got low grades 70s barley passed. I fail most math test and that really frustrates me to the point Ill cry. I try so hard in math and still suck at it and sometimes fail the test}: Im in college now and Im not even in the college math yet. I have to take the non college math class first before I can get into the college math class. I understand your frustration I rember in high school i would cry over math home work wanted to literaly die because of math. In college I struggle with it and I work so hard at it and still get low grades }: I fail the test a lot of the times even though I study really hard. Its frustraing as hell so I get you sam. If you ever want to talk about it or vent you can pm me.