Basically, what it says. I've been brushing up on my math skills via Khan Academy
, and I'm running into a problem I hit when I was in school. Basically, the math *concepts*, like Algebra, Trig, and the like? I'm able to get really easily. But, manipulating the numbers and doing the basic arithmetic? Hard. Sometimes even with a calculator, I'll miss carrying over a negative sign, and I'll get the problem wrong, despite knowing the concepts really, really well. What's going on here? Is my ADHD not under control? Are these symptoms of Dyscalculia? What? Ideas, hivemind!
posted by spinifex23 to education (28 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Apologies for the length; I'll try to keep it short. I'm 42, in the software field, and really want to study higher math (Calculus and the like) to take some Computer Science classes. I'm brushing up using Khan Academy, and it's going great - except for messing up arithmetic.
All through school, math was always my worst subject, gradewise. Yet I'd do well on standardized tests. Yet, once I hit High School, I suddenly hit Geometry and Trigonometry - and finally math made sense. I liked these subjects, and they came to me easily. Same with some elements in Pre-Calculus, such as Matrices and Limits and graphing functions. Yet good grades would elude me, as I'd make arithmetic mistakes, and get marked way down. And with admonishments to 'pay more attention'.
College came along, I avoided math like the plague, got a Film degree, discovered I didn't want to work in film at all, and fell into software testing. And I'd like to take some Comp Sci classes to learn more. (And please don't start a debate on whether or not I need to even take this path to get ahead in my career, I want to do this.) Turns out that all this time I had problems in school? I had undiagnosed ADHD. Now my ADHD has been diagnosed and is being treated, but I don't think my dosage is high enough.
Fast forward 20 years later, and I'm revising math. And something different is happening - I'm finding it just fascinating. I understand Algebra for the first time ever, and I'm just loving learning new concepts and re-discovering old ones. I completed 262 out of 311 of the exercise modules, and I can't wait to finish the rest. And I am really looking forward to studying math in school, particularly Calculus and beyond. And the Linear Algebra modules in KA, even knowing that they were beginning level, I found easy. But I'm being plagued with the same difficulties doing basic arithmetic and manipulation, even with a calculator. I don't get it. This is pervasive, and really frustrating.
When I was a kid, I never got formally diagnosed with learning disabilities, even though a couple of teachers talked to me about possibly having Dyslexia. When I asked about this in college the first time around, they didn't find cause to test me, as they weren't obvious enough. I really don't want a second go at college to be tanked by the same thing, particularly since I'm really enjoying math for once in my life, and I want to continue, and go as far as I can with it. (And the world really needs more women who like math!)