DYSCALCULIA AND AUTISM
Fun Fact – Rain Man is a 1988 American comedy-drama road movie directed by Barry Levinson and written by Barry Morrow and Ronald Bass. It tells the story of an abrasive, selfish young wheeler-dealer Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise), who discovers that his estranged father has died and bequeathed all of his multimillion-dollar estate to his other son, Raymond (Dustin Hoffman), an Autistic savant, of whose existence Charlie was unaware.
Fun Fact – Rain Man had a budget of $25 million
Fun Fact – At the box office it took $354.8 million
Fun Fact – People assume that every Autistic person is just like Raymond in Rain Man
So given all this information what has Rain Man go in common with today’s blog post?
Well, have you heard of the term Dyscalculia?
Dyscalculia is a term referring to a wide range of life-long learning disabilities involving maths.
It includes all types of maths problems ranging from an inability to understand the meaning of numbers, to an inability to apply mathematical principles to solve problems.
But what are the symptoms?
Not knowing which of two digits is larger, i.e. understanding the meaning of numbers
Lacking effective counting strategies
Poor fluency in identification of numbers
Inability to add simple single-digit numbers mentally and
Limitations in working memory capacity.
Poor mathematical concept development
Lack of understanding of mathematical terms
Confusion over printed symbols and signs
Difficulty solving basic maths problems using addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
Poor memory of number facts (i.e. times tables)
Trouble in applying their knowledge and skills to solve maths problems.
Weakness in visual-spatial skills, where a person may understand the required maths facts, but has difficulty putting them down on paper in an organized way.
Frequent reversal of single figures and reversal of tens and units (e.g. 34 written as 43)
Difficulty in reading text compound the student’s problem in maths.
How is Dyscalculia Identified?
Educational psychologists use a series of tests to determine if a person has dyscalculia. An evaluation reveals how a person understands and uses numbers and maths concepts to solve advanced-level, as well as every day, problems. The evaluation compares a person’s expected and actual levels of skill and understanding while noting specific strengths and weaknesses.
Dyscalculia Symptoms in Adults at Work
Even if your job doesn’t directly involve math, you may still be confronted with it at work. If you have dyscalculia, symptoms in the workplace may include:
Gets anxious at the thought of having to do math unexpectedly at work
Trouble handling money or keeping track of finances
Frequently runs out of time while doing a task, or fails to plan enough time for all the things that need to be done
Trouble understanding graphs or charts
Finds it hard to understand spoken math equations, even very simple ones
Skips numbers or transposes them when reading a long list or spreadsheet
Finds it difficult to use Excel formulas
Uses fingers to count or marks pages with tally marks to keep track of numbers
Often gets several different answers to the same math problem; needs to check work over and over again
Unable to remember math rules or times tables
My school years
When I attended high school and as part of our curriculum we had to select maths as one of our learning options.
I was placed into a maths group which was for those who the school felt couldn’t be seen to be competent to achieve anything greater than being given a certificate which stated that you had passed a maths class.
In England when I was at school it was called GCSE’S (General Certificate of Secondary Education).
This certificate was to show that you could do basic mathematics i.e. 2+2=4
You get the idea.
When I informed my mum, she made an appointment with the head of mathematics and stated her case.
It became a Kramer V’s Kramer situation.
In the end I was moved up from what was viewed as ‘the Dumbo class’ and moved into group 4.
I can’t lie here and say that I didn’t struggle.
Because I did.
A private maths tutor was hired.
I did pass my Maths GCSE at grade D.
To learn more click on the video here
Carry on the Conversation
Do you have Dyscalculia?
Do you have any strategies in place to help you?
If so would you share them with me?
Let me know in the comments below.
As always, I can also be found on Twitter: @AutisticNick9 and at my email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.