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Doctor Blake
Doctor Blake, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 146
Experience:  Ph.D., Ed.S., NCSP Clinical Psychologist; 15+ years of experience; dual licensure
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I think I have dyscalculia, for ever since I was a small child

Resolved Question:

I think I have dyscalculia, for ever since I was a small child I have had difficulty with math, especially when the number of digits exceeds 3 or 4. Before entering a community college a couple of years ago, I had been out of school for nearly 10 years. When doing algebra problems, I find that I can try the same problem several times and get different answers every time. In addition, I am constantly confusing my left and right, which to me is strange for a man of 33 years. I am tired of hearing that all I have to do is try harder, or apply myself more. The reality is, other than math, I am an a student. I am not stupid, but I am afraid that my poor math skills could damage my ability to excel in school, for that is my goal. Aren't there treatments for this? I am tired of being considered stupid by people who are average students in every other subject, while I excel in practically everything else. Please tell me that there is something beyond practice, practice, practice, because even when I do, I forget everything to do with it after I am through with it.
Please help,
Aaron
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Doctor Blake replied 5 years ago.

Doctor Blake :

Good afternoon and welcome to JA.

Doctor Blake :

First of all, dyscalculia can be diagnosed through a relatively straight-forward psychological assessment that would include an overall assessment of cognitive abilities; a more specific assessment of your math skills and (in all likelihood) may also assess visuo-spatial viso-motor skills as well.

Doctor Blake :

In some cases, dyscalculia is a very specific and localized "learning disorder" associated with math... in other cases, it may be a symptom of a larger "learning style" that may present as a unique neurodevelopmental pattern.

Doctor Blake :

Once it is clarified if your dyscalculia is specific to math only - very specific educational treatment plans can be developed to address your needs.

Doctor Blake :

If the dyscalculia is a symptom of a larger processing concern, there are also treatment (and educational) protocols that can help.

Doctor Blake :

In either event - when address learning differences - the solution to address them either involves: (A) remediation to fix the underlying problem area or (B) accommodation to help you learn how to function despite your specific areas of weakness. In most cases, a combination approach is employed - to allow for improved functioning while trying to address the underlying problem. In other cases, remediation may have to be abandoned altogether in favor of accommodation.

Doctor Blake :

A strong website (English-based for Americans and Brits) that I have recommended to parents (and students) before is: http://www.aboutdyscalculia.org/resources.html

Doctor Blake :

Ah, I see you're on... I'll stick around for a bit to see if I can be of any help.

Customer:

I appreciate this, do schools generally test for this and if so, are they generally successful? In general, I will "get" math the day I am studying it, but then the next day forget everything I learned the previous day, so is this typical?

Doctor Blake :

Public schools will assess for dyscalculia, certainly. It really depends on the nature of your college/university whether or not they will assess (at their cost) rather than having you find an independent evaluator. I would check with your department of special services or student services to find out more.

Doctor Blake :

The "getting the math one day and not the next" can be a symptom of simple dyscalculia, yes... but just as dyscalculia may be a symptom of something broader, so too might be the behavior you describe. Having an evaluation that puts the WHOLE PICTURE into context will be very helpful. :)

Customer:

Thank you so much, I will check into it today. Unfortunately, I have to get to my class now, will this be sent to my email as well?

Doctor Blake :

Great. It should be sent to your e-mail, yes.

Doctor Blake :

Best of luck. Please click ACCEPT.

Customer:

thank you

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