OPINION

Dyscalculia - Not Having Fun With Numbers

September 23, 2008
Deepti Lamba

Today was a day of revelation for me. I held back tears when memories of misery and utter frustration rained down on me while I waited for my children's bus to come. I had inadvertently stumbled on a condition that made me realize I wasn't dumb as a doorknob when it came to mathematics.

For years I believed I had some kind of a dyslexia. I could read and write well but when it came to math I was just plain dumb. My brain would shut down and the numbers wouldn't make sense. I still cannot handle change.

Yesterday at a grocery store, the cashier muttered something about owing two rupees and I wondered whether the store owed me 2 rupees or I owed them. I got nervous and antsy. Who owed who? My brain came to a standstill. Dumb Dee Dumb it sang to me. I cleared my throat and asked - Do I owe you? The reply was a no and I was shown the bill and explained the difference.

I didn't hate myself at that moment. I have long since accepted my condition - dumb and a secret I've long since kept. I still have trouble remembering my husband's cell number since the first five digits are the same as mine. I used my fingers to count the similar numbers while I penned the sentence. I still use my fingers to add and subtract. I used to have trouble distinguishing my right from my left. I still visualize myself in a place when I give directions. So what's wrong with me? I have dyscalculia. Its a learning disability in which one cannot comprehend math, numbers, and more.

The DfES defines dyscalculia as:

A condition that affects the ability to acquire arithmetical skills. Dyscalculic learners may have difficulty understanding simple number concepts, lack an intuitive grasp of numbers, and have problems learning number facts and procedures. Even if they produce a correct answer or use a correct method, they may do so mechanically and without confidence.

Dyscalculia is dyslexia for numbers. But unlike dyslexia, very little is known about its prevalence, causes or treatment. Current thinking suggests that it is a congenital condition, caused by the abnormal functioning of a specific area of the brain. People with dyscalculia experience great difficulty with the most basic aspects of numbers and arithmetic.

Best estimates indicate that somewhere between 3% and 6% of the population are affected. These statistics refer to those who are ‘purely’ dyscalculic – i.e. they only have difficulties with maths but have good or even excellent performance in other areas of learning.

 

Its not the end of the world to finally put a tag on what I have lived with all my life. There will be those who would deny the condition. Those who'd say I could have worked harder, been less lazy, less dumb, less paranoid, less angry, even less suicidal but it doesn't take away the condition or the fact that there are those who suffer from it.

Its close to nightfall and I cradle an empty feeling in my heart. I finally know that some part of my brain is different, I know why I always scored so low in IQ tests. There is no triumphant feeling that I made it despite my disability. There is no other feeling except the knowledge that I am not dumb and that this disability made me who I am.

Related Article: Inside story: dyscalculia

Deepti Lamba is a writer, an editor for Desicritics. She can be found at Things That Bang
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#1
Chaitanya S
September 23, 2008
02:54 PM

Dipti,

Dyscalculia or not, Math is an 800 pound gorilla which can lay low the most intelligent of souls. The more you think you've mastered (a.k.a tamed) it, the uglier it gets.

People shouldn't be too concerned even if they do suffer from dyscalculia. They are perfectly safe unless they venture into fields which involve number crunching (however basic).

And anyway, low IQ isn't a sin.

#2
Ledzius
September 24, 2008
01:57 AM

I got reminded of the email signature line of John McCarthy, inventor of the Lisp programming language, that goes as "He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense. "

#3
Deepti Lamba
URL
September 24, 2008
02:53 AM

And he who refuses to look beyond arithmetic is called a geek:)

#4
tanay
URL
September 24, 2008
03:28 AM

dee, interesting article..but my take how you tackle numbers is something like a game to me...with time it builds and becomes a part of life, no extra effort needed..

since i was a child, when i used to go out to the local bazaars over the weekend(born and brought up in a steel township), the vegetable vendor would offer some quantity of vegetables of different varieties..by then i would have asked him the rate for one kg of tomatoes and if my maa had got say 1250 gms of tomatoes, my engine would be already on doing the calculation..so i come up with my number....with time, you don't have to make that extra effort, it just flows, i guess..

i don't attribute this to any kind of geekiness or IQ check, just that how one approaches that..

simple example:

amount is 120
loss is 10%
final amount ???

approach 1 : 10% of 120 = 12
so final amount = 120 - 12= 108.

approach 2 : 90% of 120 = 108
so final amount = 108.

that's exactly what i meant when i said, how i approach it, just to cite an example.

#5
Deepti Lamba
URL
September 24, 2008
04:59 AM

Tanay, I encourage you to read up on learning disabilities. It isn't all that simple as having a weak understanding of the subject or making a game out of it.

There are reasons for it as explained in most articles on dyscalculia- it has to do with the way the brain works. You can see symptoms and causes online if you are interested.

At the cost of sounding boorish it isn't something those who haven't been around people with learning disabilities would easily understand.

Which is why its important to read up on learning and other disabilities.

I am not looking for sympathy, pity or help. I have lived with it for 33 years of my life and have my coping mechanisms.

The reason I wrote it here is to bring it to light that there are kids who have learning disabilities and their childhoods are ruined since neither the parents nor the teachers know about these sorts of disabilities.








#6
tanay
URL
September 24, 2008
05:46 AM

agreed dee, and do get your point and will try to read the books and browse the web.

i understand what you have said in the post and that's perfectly Ok, if we have certain disabilities..i can't help it much, if i have such an disability, just that we need to spread this awareness..and not take this in an in-correct way and impose do-this-do-that conditions on kids...

my reply @ #4, was more on lines that there is no geekiness or IQ involved if i miss a calculation... so even if you missed a Rs.2. calculation as you pointed in the post, that's Ok.

#7
tanay
URL
September 24, 2008
05:48 AM

agreed dee, and do get your point and will try to read the books and browse the web.

i understand what you have said in the post and that's perfectly Ok, if we have certain disabilities..i can't help it much, if i have such an disability, just that we need to spread this awareness..and not take this in an in-correct way and impose do-this-do-that conditions on kids...

my reply @ #4, was more on lines that there is no geekiness or IQ involved if i miss a calculation... so even if you missed a Rs.2. calculation as you pointed in the post, that's Ok.

#8
Aaman
URL
September 24, 2008
08:40 AM

There are many types of IQ apart from pure numerical or quant abilities. Dyscalculic people are often extremely gifted in terms of imaginatio and creativity, which might explain your writing abilities.

#9
Adam Caller
URL
September 24, 2008
09:28 AM

Dee, thank you for writing so openly about your own experience with dyscalculia. At Tutors International we often meet children who have difficulty with numbers and we have found several approaches that work well the minimize the impact of this learning difference on everyday life.

I have found that by far the most significant characteristic of the difference is understanding the value of a number relative to other numbers. Without this skill it's hard to estimate whether the value one gets from a calculation is right, almost right, or completely wrong. Tanay's example above assumes the natural ability to have a feel for the approximate outcome of a calculation as a way to establish whether the technique used was correct. This is often impossible for those with dyscalculia, as your response indicates.

I appreciate that you have developed managements strategies, probably by yourself, and that's impressive. Children usually can't do that...or rather they do find things that work for a while but then when they fail the drop is even bigger. A skilled and experienced full time private tutor for those families that can afford it is the best solution available, and Tutors International have an exemplary track record in this area.

On a personal note, if you would like to discuss this with me personally, please do get in touch through my web site.

Regards
Adam

#10
Ayan Roy
September 24, 2008
10:54 AM

I agree with Aaman here. There are many types of intelligences one can possess. A person may be deficient in math but may be great with art.

Unfortunately, since we have to use numbers very frequently in our lives, dyscalculia may stick out like a sore thumb.
Deepti, it's great that you have managed to come so far, accepting and working around your disability, and it seems you've done quite well.

To live with such disabilities, one needs a lot of personal mental strength and some understanding and care from one's loved ones, teachers and colleagues.

If I may share a minor disability of mine: (off topic)

I personally have a mild form of "dys-kinesia" if anything like that exists. I have had poor physical orientiation and terrible hand eye co-orination since my very childhood.

I can't dance for nuts, am a horrible fielder and catcher (in cricket), and have a pathetic aim. I was terrible at sports and still am.
I used to be the butt of jokes in school and in my colony playground because of the way I played and the way I walked and moved around, ran and jumped, which seemed very funny to the other kids.

I routinely bump into things, doors, table corners, and people by mistake. My hands, arms and legs sometimes move involuntarily without my wanting them to. I have a poor grip and things sometimes just slip though my fingers, hands and arms.
I actually am very scared and apprehensive to pick babies up, because I fear I may drop them.

I unconciously keep shaking my legs, hands and fingers when I am sitting idle. It's almost impossible for me to thread needles and do precision work, because my hands shake too much.

I used to be very bothered by all this when in school, but as I grew up, I learned to accept all this, and avoided situations where I may be asked to call upon my physical faculties.
This unfortunately translated into giving up of sports and athletic games, and social events like dances and dance parties; however, I seem to be doing okay while jogging and walking on my own!

Love and peace to all,
Ayan

#11
smallsquirrel
September 24, 2008
12:01 PM

I think this proves that we all have different abilities and areas where we are all weak. I am dyslexic. And my reaction to it is "who the hell cares."

I think we need to be careful in labeling such things, only because it can cause us to fall into a mental trap of "oh I cannot do such and such because I have X"

I do not think that is what you are doing here, Dee. And I also do think it is important to be able to indentify things in the way that you were finally able to. It is disconcerting to feel like something is fundamentally wrong and not know exactly what or why.

But you can do math, you just do it different. If you really could not relate to numbers in any way you would be totally awash in daily life.

I also have some of the same things you describe. I have to count on my fingers. I am virtually non-directional, esp if people use "go north 3 kms" (ugh) and right and left still escape my brain sometimes.

What I think would be interesting is for you to understand exactly what coping mechanism you have developed that allows you to relate to numbers, and where/when/why that mechanism breaks down in certain situations. For me it is when it is straight numbers that I cannot relate to anything pictoral or a word or a concept.

Excellent piece. Delve deeper!

#12
Deepti Lamba
URL
September 24, 2008
03:00 PM

Adam, thank you for commenting.

My math tutor drove me into deep depression at the age of 13. He used to verbally assault me and call me all kinds of things for being a 'brainless twit'. I had to suffer his harangues for three whole years. It was hell on earth for me.

In the end I got so weary I just memorized math and hoped to god the same problems and equations came so I could at least get passing marks.

Its good to know that kids with learning disabilities have places where they can get help. They come with a lot of emotional baggage as well and need to be dealt with gently.

Ayan, kindred souls of sorts you and I?;) It never was easy to be the butt of others jokes or snide remarks for me either. And like you I try my best to avoid situations where my disability comes in. Generally go to stores where they have electronic systems, carry lots of loose change and my fingers have always been my savior;)


BTW, it would be nice if you would write for DC. There is so much that needs to be said and done. We need to speak out to make a difference especially in India where all these concepts are relatively new for most.

SS, I couldn't understand what Tanay was trying to say. His natural flow was a dried spring for me. It was like an alien language that I couldn't decipher. It is a strain even in daily life. Addition, subtraction, balancing a cheque book or reading beyond thousand throws me into a tizzy.

A few days back I botched a tip. I didn't add it properly and I blanked out. I didn't get upset since this is the way I've always been.

BTW took me a long time to understand the damn clock as well.

PS: Could this be why you and I are such strong willed individuals?;)














#13
Chaitanya S
September 25, 2008
01:48 AM

SS: "I am dyslexic".

I've never had the privilege of meeting such a person before, hence the curiosity. Is it really difficult to distinguish different alphabets, words and sounds ? Or is it something else ?

#14
Deepti Lamba
September 25, 2008
10:21 AM

privilege?!

#15
smallsquirrel
September 25, 2008
10:44 AM

Chai... I did not know I had it until I was in college and tried to take Russian. I could speak it perfectly but could not properly learn the cyrillic alphabet. when shown a character I would write what looked to me to be the same, and yet I would be told they were markedly different. I saw no difference at all. I was tested for dyslexia and was told that I had some form or another.

Clearly as a child I developed some coping mechanism for the english alphabet, so I have no problems with it. I never had trouble with sanskrit or kannada. I had a lot of trouble with Chinese and stopped trying.

There are many forms of dyslexia. None have anything to do with sounds. Dyslexia, by definition, has to do with reading and comprehending written language.

As you can see, even though I am dyslexic, I have no trouble with writing, and I have learned a number of other languages.

Strangely, though, if I turn on "revel codes" in word and look at it for long enough, I do something to my coping mechanism, and for a while after I cannot read english either. no lie!

#16
blokesablogin
September 25, 2008
04:53 PM

Deepti: You see, I consider you, from your writing as a very insightful person! I never in my "mind" associated the word "disability" with you.
This leads me to my interactions with kids with "disabilities". I personally do not like that term. Kids are kids. some can dance better some write better and some do math better. "NOt having the ability" to do something is a wasted effort, I think. It is amazing to just see what kids CAN do! (or for that matter adults!)
It is amazing to see just how as parents and society we are trying to "fit" a square peg in a round hole and wonder why it never fits!

#17
Deepti Lamba
URL
September 26, 2008
05:03 AM


Menakshi, well of course its frustrating if we get stuck with the negative connotation of the word. The way I see it the term - disability is used for people who aren't able to perform certain activities the majority (supposedly) can easily do.

Its like being a blind person who is regular in all other ways but needs to come up with more creative ways for getting around, cooking, reading etc. Its about living daily life as smoothly as possible.

Either one can sit and mope over one's condition or pull up their sock and come up with ways to deal with situation they find themselves in.

But again I am talking about it as an adult- the no self pity mantra. For kids its important to be able to help them tide over.

Anyone who thinks kids with disabilities are wasted effort are deluded souls.

Sometimes the brightest in school turn out to be mundane individuals and the back benchers and the 'nalayak' take the world by storm.

Once a conditioned is diagnosed the quicker the sense of empowerment the child can have.

Hope I made sense:)



As such I doubt there is such a thing as a 'normal person'. We all have our issues and




#18
asha Dhody
September 26, 2008
12:37 PM

deepti,
i read your article ,you are certainly not dyscaculic, your intelligent writing ,shows the tremendous reserves of intelligence in that little head of yours.As regards nos i am double your age but fail to understand the no language . The article is great the message meaningful. every human is blessed with something good ,never underestimate another human's shortcoming ,but look deeper to find some other quality he has.
Some guys excel in art ,others in sports or acting and take the help of others to tide over their shortcomings.
you may have noticed that most blind people are blessed with beautiful voices. you can write and do things which others cant. let your husband look at the nos leave the boring jobs to him and you count your blessings being able to express your thoughts in such a sensitive and absorbing fashion which makes us all so proud

#19
smallsquirrel
September 26, 2008
01:26 PM

I am really confused here. no disrespect to people, but why do you guys (tanay, blokes, asha, chai) seem to be confusing a disability with a personality flaw?

It is not a moral issue.

Look, having a disability is nothing to do with not being highly intelligent in other areas, or not being able to dance or color in the lines or throw a flipping softball. It is about having an actual problem with the way your brain processes a certain kind of information. Some people simply cannot process certain kinds of information. It leads to seriousl problems!

Sticking your head in the sand and simply saying "oh! yay! we're all differently abled!" is not solving the problem. If you take an otherwise brilliant kid with dyslexia and do not get him help, he will grow up thinking he is STUPID. When in fact, he only has a challenge that he needs tools to overcome.

Would you take a blind child and tell him "oh, well, some kids cannot draw, so don;t feel bad." and not teach him to read braille and give him other coping mechanisms?

This is not about labeling a child as disabled and making him fit into a box and making him a victim. this is about recognizing an issue and solving it before it becomes a soul-wrenching problem!

I am sorry if this sounds rude, but I am astonished that people have read what dee has to say and then dismiss it with "oh you're just fine, dear." obviously this was a problem for her, a serious problem. it is not as simple as looking inside one's self and finding the good. it is about understanding a lifelong problem that has never been fully addressed, finally finding the answer, and FINALLY feeling vindicated.

Am I right, Dee?

#20
temporal
URL
September 26, 2008
02:06 PM

ss:

you nailed it!

...confusing a disability with a personality flaw?

It is not a moral issue.

... a challenge that ...needs tools to overcome.


:)

recognising it and treating it and getting on with it to the best of one's ability




#21
blokesablogin
September 26, 2008
06:47 PM

Ss- you certainly assume a lot! I revisited my "comment" and see no "moralizing" or feeling "it is ok dear"! On the contrary, working with kids with disabilities, I recognize that some children do learn and process and work differently than the "norm". we need to call a spade and spade and work with the fact that the spade does the work of a spade best! I used the idea of a square and a "round", maybe a spade will work better for you!

I have seen the "reverse" problem in the US, sometimes, where once a child is "identified" as "dyslexic" or whatever, they "carry" that label for a long time and are not "challenged" enough on an even keel- I do not mean academically speaking, rather in life. This has led to certain issues of social integration.

#22
kerty
September 26, 2008
08:11 PM

BB

Identifying something that may be naturally occurring phenomena among humans as a disability or medical condition and putting a fancy label on it may also bring more stigmatization and harm than it would do good.

The notion that we are supposed to be good at everything, that our body or mind has to work perfectly amounts to taking the notion of disability little too far. If a person is not good at something, so be it. I can't sing if my life depends on it but I have learned to live without it and be proud of my non-singing life. And that is what really matters - how well people create coping mechanisms and learn to work around their abilities rather than get bogged down by their disabilities.

Until Deepti and others mentioned some of their 'disabilities', I would not have even noticed that they existed in them. Frankly, some of these labels I have never heard them before and would not even bother to remember.

I can understand where the need for putting labels on disabilities come from - to create awareness, to create support infra-structure, to tailor education to recognize and overcome such conditions, to find medical and technological solutions when they are possible.

Singing disability is perfectly fine as long as it does not seek to negate the singing excellence other people have, that it should not turn into argument against merit of singing.

#23
Deepti Lamba
URL
September 27, 2008
12:25 AM

Kerty, no one is snatching time away from anyone least of all in a class room.I was teacher for kindergarten and first graders and came across two kids with disabilities. Generally when kids with disabilities are identified they are taken to expert places where they are taught more innovative ways of understanding and implementation.

All I did on my part was help them out during my free periods and during tiffin break. They had private tutors to help them out after school.

BB, when people are shoved around through their childhood they do tend to grow up to be defensive about certain issues that caused them misery growing up. We Indians tend to diplomatic but Americans are generally more up front.

Ashaji, I know what you are trying to say:) I am blessed. I was blessed even when I was kid with a loving family. It could have been much worse. But if only these sorts of conditions were recognized back then I would have loved my school, my teachers would have been better for it and my parents would have suffered less worry about my career aspects and I wouldn't have suffered so much frustration.

It is a condition that I have, I am not ashamed of it, it does not hold me back, I don't wear it like a badge, it does not affect my self esteem nor did the knowledge of it plunge my world into darkness.

It is something as SS said that knowing gave validation to what I could never understand with regards to what continues to happen to me.

SS, here is what my mom said- Good it finally got diagnosed, you were always good at what you did but I would still suggest you to sit with your kids when they do math. There is no school pressure to bog you down, find out the methods people with your condition use to understand mathematics. Let it be your challenge.

Which is why I think Adam also suggested that I should get in touch with him.

My mom is one of those never say die kind of a ladies but most of all she is a teacher who believes there is always a way to deal with whatever life throws at us.





#24
smallsquirrel
September 27, 2008
09:04 AM

kerty, your trivialization of real disabilities by comparing them to an inablity to sing shows that you have no earthly idea exactly what a disability is. had you said you were unable to speak, then you'd be on to something.

once again your inability to relate to others makes your input negligible.

#25
commonsense
September 27, 2008
10:25 AM

SS to Kerty:

""once again your inability to relate to others makes your input negligible""

his label for this disability is "i am not politically correct".

#26
kerty
September 27, 2008
10:36 AM

Disabilities are never trivial. We all should be known by our disabilities rather than our abilities. I am all for reality shows that showcase disabilities and who has bigger ones and more dramatic ones. May be that will help us all relate to them and empathize with them better. May be it will inspire some Bollywood Mogul to make movies on them as such movies tend to be sure fire winner at award ceremonies. My wife has Sambharlexia - she can't make Dosa and Sambhar at all. I am thinking of sending the script to Salaman Khan to see if he sees it fit to make a nice movie out of it - without songs, of course. Recognition of our disabilities however small or big means society coming to terms with our specialness, our special needs, that each of us are special persons. And it is about time world at large knows about it and acknowledges it.

#27
smallsquirrel
September 27, 2008
11:32 AM

you know what kerty, I am done with you. [EDITED] if the editors edit that, fine, but you are not worth my time. you are a disrespectful brat.

#28
blokesablogin
September 27, 2008
03:16 PM

I cant believe the "pro-"dis"ability" team just junked Kerty's true "disability" of the inability to carry a tune. It is called Amusia!
Do google it guys. evidently there are genetic factors that affect this "perception" problem!LOL!
This goes back to my basic point. Enough of this "false sympathy"! I know I will be blasted for being totally inappropriate, politically speaking. Deepti is an awesome writer- she has an "ability" to write. PERIOD!

Ok, so, she did have some "inability" to do Math and she was able to give voice to this "dis"ability via her writing. So what? Nothing is lost. And thank God that she did not have parents who forced her to become an engineer making her neurotic or feel like a failure!

As parents and teachers, if we keep THAT simple thing in mind and not try to force a square peg in a round hole, all is well with the world- abilities, inabilities and all!

#29
Chaitanya S
September 27, 2008
06:35 PM

"but why do you guys (tanay, blokes, asha, chai) seem to be confusing a disability with a personality flaw?" I never said anything on those lines.

But I don't care being misunderstood. Now atleast I know how people manage to misread words and sentences if dyslexia isn't diagnosed and treated on time :-)

#30
Deepti Lamba
URL
September 28, 2008
02:05 AM

SS, sometimes its just not worth explaining matters to some people

#31
Deepti Lamba
URL
September 28, 2008
02:22 AM

Menakshi, my parents couldn't force me into anything. Yes, for one thing they were never the 'forcing' type but by then I was a very aggressive brat who knew her mind;)

#32
NowIknow
October 11, 2008
10:13 PM

Deepti Lamba, Adam Caller, Chaitanya S, smallsquirrel (your comment #19 was a breath of fresh air), temporal, and commonsense, please come and visit us at dyscalculiaforum.com. Deepti Lamba, that was a wonderful article that you wrote. Aaman, I think that you are a very nice person, and I hope that you will come visit the dyscalulia forum, too. I know that you wanted to 'comfort' Deepti Lamba. It's just that you don't seem to yet understand the 'reason' and the 'emotion' behind what Deepti Lamba said regarding her IQ scores. She said, "I finally know that some part of my brain is different, I know why I always scored so low in IQ tests." Sure, a high IQ score would naturally have made her feel good. But, in what she wrote, she is not lamenting that she "always scored so low in IQ tests." It is, in fact, a RELIEF to finally know the reason why one has scored low on an IQ test, in spite of being a highly intelligent person. In dyscalculics, the Math IQ score is low. In dyscalculia (i.e., math learning disability) a particular part of the brain where calculations are carried out is damaged, or deficient. This area in question is the left intraparietal sulcus of the brain. There is no more of a 'moral flaw' involved in dyscalculia than there is when a doctor shows you an x-ray of your broken tibia. It is simply a 'body part' that doesn't work. And yes, Deepti Lamba does write beautifully. And yes, the other parts of Deepti Lamba's brain do function marvelously - with an IQ to infinity.

Perhaps the biggest revelation to me was when I found out, a few months ago, that other people are able to 'hold' numbers in their mind. - NowIknow

#33
Deepti Lamba
URL
October 12, 2008
08:44 AM

NowIKnow, thank you for your kind words and I will be visiting the forum:)

#34
dyscalculica
October 24, 2008
12:30 PM

I have dyscalculia too and my childhood in India has been pretty much a downer because of that.
Ayan i think u may have some form of ADHD or ADD.
Maybe you cud try getting assessed.
I recently got tested for dyscalculia but I have some of ur symptoms as well. I was thinking of getting assessed for ADD.

#35
peanut
November 1, 2008
10:32 AM

Everyone has stated the pros and cons of learning disabilities. I agree with each in different ways. I'm asking if someone has a specific type of teaching 13 years in writing, spelling, and math. I looking for anyone with their own experiences that may help me teach my granddaughter while homeschooling her. Sometimes just talking to others dealing with daily situations and getting direct, percise experiences help others. Not everyone can afford tutors and this helps others tremedously by just hearing daily situations expecially for 13 year olds dealing with daily problems of puberty, social and school. Thank you for all who response. It would be great to hear everyday experinces instead of just labeling.

#36
peanut
November 1, 2008
10:32 AM

Everyone has stated the pros and cons of learning disabilities. I agree with each in different ways. I'm asking if someone has a specific type of teaching 13 years in writing, spelling, and math. I looking for anyone with their own experiences that may help me teach my granddaughter while homeschooling her. Sometimes just talking to others dealing with daily situations and getting direct, percise experiences help others. Not everyone can afford tutors and this helps others tremedously by just hearing daily situations expecially for 13 year olds dealing with daily problems of puberty, social and school. Thank you for all who response. It would be great to hear everyday experinces instead of just labeling.

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