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Re: Do you have a Learning Disability? - February 19th 2012, 04:35 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.


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Last edited by OMFG!You'reActuallySmart!; February 19th 2012 at 04:42 AM.