Patterns & logic, yes; maths no. Different way of learning?

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Patterns & logic, yes; maths no. Different way of learning? 2010-03-06T00:12:16+00:00

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  • #88288

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    Further to Clyde’s post asking about a possible connection between ADHD and dyslexia, I’ve been thinking about my own strengths and weaknesses lately, and have been puzzled with one question in particular: If I am so good at recognizing patterns and deciphering logic, why am I so poor in mathematics?

    Indeed, even basic addition or subtraction is a bit of a headache. Multiplication and division are pushing it. Anything beyond this is next to impossible. There’s no maths class, from elementary to high school, that I didn’t flunk. But faced with a process or procedure, reading & writing, or anything else abstract (not necessarily visual — but this helps), I’m stimulated and seem to pull things out of the air. Relational models are novel to my attention, especially languages. This includes etymology and composition. Given that mathematics concerns itself with numbers relating to other things, why do they hurt my head so?

    Anecdotal evidence suggests that astronomers with dyslexia often are able to spot patterns in astral imagery before their neurotypical peers. Given that these conditions are essentially inter-related, could it be that my problem with maths is the way I’ve been taught, albeit unsuccessfully so far? What are the learning methods that would work best for me? Are there any schools or academies for young adults that specialize in these methods?

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    #93067

    Patte Rosebank
    Participant
    Post count: 1517

    That reminds me of when I was in high school, and struggling with Math (Advanced Math, with a view to getting into university). I was always at the top of all my other classes, but firmly at the rock-bottom of Math.

    One day, the teacher had us all do the Pascal Math Contest, just for fun, not to submit it or anything.

    Well!

    To everyone’s amazement, I got the highest score in the class. As a reward for this, the teacher gave me 5 bonus marks at the end of the term, so I passed the course by 1 mark. But how on earth had I managed to do it? The question puzzled me for a while. Then, I figured it out. The Pascal was all multiple-choice questions. While everyone else was able to do the problems in order to find the answers, I’d had to rely on logic. How many decimal places? What was the last digit (or two)? Through this process of elimination, I’d earned a score of 90%.

    This definitely seems to support your theory!

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    #93068

    Anonymous
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    Post count: 14413

    Cool story! Thanks.

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    #93069

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    I can relate to this. Patterns is simple Simon. Some math, which usually requires working memory to place hold, not so much. I did an online MENSA quiz, on the Mensa web site. It was not a full test, but merely a quiz to investigate whether one should attempt applying. Of the 25 questions, I answered correctly 20. I was informed that I would probably not qualify. Now after finding the quiz relatively easy, I had a close review of the questions that I answered incorrectly. On three of them I could not find the error in my answer. In the other two, the error were in simple calculations. I emailed MENSA with an explanation of my alternate answers for the three that I questioned. While they did not respond to me, those three questions were changed within a month.

    Patterns, patterns everywhere!

    PS. lets not talk about spelling!

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    #93070

    ellamama
    Member
    Post count: 58

    Although it doesn’t get as much attention as dyslexia, there is a learning disability known as dyscalculia which is analgous to dyslexia but with math. Personally, I think it’s probably as common as dyslexia, but because it doesn’t really affect communication, per se, it’s not as debilitating. I wasn’t diagnosed until age 14. At that time, I found a superb tutor who had lots of experience working with kids with LDs. She brought me up 4 grade levels in one summer and helped me remain on grade level throughout high school. Interestingly, the year we learned geometry, she said that I wouldn’t need to see her. She was right! With tutoring, I managed to hold onto a C in math but with geometry, without a tutor I got Bs and even an A+ on more than one test! Dyscalculia also seems to affect reading music.

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    #93071

    ellamama
    Member
    Post count: 58

    I forgot to mention it (inattention?) but there’s a teaching strategy known as Lindamood-Bell (http://www.lindamoodbell.com/) which reportedly has great results with helping develop learning skills with language and math, too. (I’ve no experience or relationship with those folks but am just sharing what I’ve heard.)

    Cheers!

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    #93072

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    I found that a big part of Math is dealing with the abstract syntext and actually understanding what you’re saying and why. I hated math in highschool since the way it was taught was void of anything fun or exciting. I believe I dropped it when my teacher caught me goofing off and embarissed me in front of the class. I decided I would go into law and wrote my LSAT in univrsity passed it and was a social science away from going to law school. I took economics which I found out later is almost entirelly math in some cases. To my suprise I found that as soon as I knew what the applications were and what all of it ment or implied I found I picked up everything very fast (I finnished 3 years of highschool and 2 years of university math in a year and a bit). I should add this: I was diagnosed with ADD January 4th 2010, I received my HBA in economics May 2009. The important thing is to make it interesting so the superpower of hyperfocus can shine. I hope my experience helped

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    #93073

    Ivriniel
    Participant
    Post count: 173

    Are you familiar with Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences?

    Gardner originally talked about seven intelligences:

    Visual-spatial

    Verbal-linguistic

    Logical-mathematical

    Bodily-kinesthetic

    Musical-rhythmic

    Interpersonal

    Intrapersonal

    But since then he has added two more:

    Naturalistic

    Existential

    The reason I mention this, is that part of the Naturalistic intelligence is recognizing patterns in nature. It could be that you have strengths in the Naturalistic intelligence that relate to your pattern recognition skills.

    In any case, there’s a tonne of Multiple Intelligences Surveys out there online. Perhaps doing one of them might help you understand yourself better?

    Here’s one: http://literacyworks.org/mi/assessment/findyourstrengths.html

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    #93074

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    Math has many components to it that may intersect to show impairment as you get older and as the math becomes more complex. For example, individuals who have problems in Working Memory will have problems with complex algebra as math requires you to hold on to simple information while other things are being done. There are many ways to deal with math problems but a formal diagnosis of a Math Disorder requires an evaluation by a psychometrist who will do specific tests to assess this. The good news is that a Math Disorder is a definable psychiatric condition and requires accommodation including cutting you some slack where Math is a component of some testing requirement. A simple accommodation, for example, is to give you a calculator.

    Good to see you talking about Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences. I remember a child who was mentally retarded but a gifted dancer who went on to NY to join a stage company. If you simply put him into the MR category due to the limitations of the way we define intelligence, he would never have stood a chance to be something.

    ADHD is very similar. The limitation of ADHD is trying to fit a square into a school who thinks everyone should be a circle! A school, a teacher, a VP who sees something else will make the child shine and that, my friends, is the real challenge.

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    #93075

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    Dr. J, Ivriniel, bfox2, ellamama: thank you for your replies. After a lifetime of moral condemnation and academic failure, I’ve finally connected with a specialist in Adult ADHD and am planning to pursue my undergraduate degree. Keeping it interesting, as bfox2 mentioned, is critical. Thanks again.

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    #93076

    BuxomDiva
    Participant
    Post count: 109

    Great news DulcisMinutiae. Are you in Toronto as I need a new specialist myself.

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    #93077

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    I have the same sort of thing. I was tested in High School because I just wasn’t doing well in Math and to my horror as a Trekkie, physics. The concepts of physics, I found easy. Almost simple. That was until I had to do something as simple as calculate velocity. My brain would almost revolt!

    Even now. I have a strong interest in home CNC machines. Again the workings and seeing how it all flows is easy. I’m building a small one now. Then comes the numbers figuring out the electronics, and that and I’m looking at it like .. well you know.

    The testing said I was High above average in logic and comprehension, language and spacial understanding. Math. I was below average. He told me I should be a carpenter or a counselor… huh?

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    #93078

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    Getting psychometric testing is very useful, even as an adult. I also think that vocational testing has a great deal of utility as it focuses your energy in one direction.

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    #93079

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    @ Dr. J

    Where would one get vocational testing in Toronto?

    Does anyone know any ADHD specialists in Toronto?

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    #93080

    BuxomDiva
    Participant
    Post count: 109

    I’m looking for a new specialist myself MerryMac. The only one I know of, other than Dr. J., is Attila Turgay and I don’t know if he’s taking new patients.

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