Saturday, January 29, 2011

College Student with Dyslexia & Dyscalculia

VISITORHi.  I encountered your website while searching on Google. To make a long story short, I was diagnosed with Dyslexia when I was about 5/6 years old. My mom noticed that I was not understanding basic math  concepts and not able to read or even right my name. My mom brought it to the attention of the school who at first refused to test me because of the cost but with help of a very influential community leader my mom along with the help of my aunt succeeded.
On occasion, I was removed from the class to get help with my reading and writing development. Then, when I started the 3rd grade my teachers didn't know what to do with me when I wasn't understanding subtraction and multiplication. Their solutions to the problem was for the aide to take me to the library and work on geography or silly little assignments that had nothing to do with what I was not understanding. Many times during the IEP meetings my mom was told that I would never go beyond 3rd grade level math. This continued on until the 5th grade. It wasn't until 6th grade that I had a special class period "resource" where I would receive individual attention with help with home assignments.
During these three years, the school thought it would be beneficial for me to not take a science like all the other students and to switch my regular math class for a special Ed math. To say the least,  I don't believe the teacher was qualified to be a special ed math teacher.
My story isn't complete..... I am 22 years old and continue to struggle with basic arithmetic. I feel very ashamed and embarrassed.  The school recognized my disability as dyslexia. I don't know why the schools never tested so i could have the title of also having dyscalculia. I feel that my college refuses to recognize me as a person with a real disability because I physically look like everyone else. It is now time for me to take action! I am reaching out for help! Are you aware of any legal rights or people that I could turn to in my state if California?

DYSCALCULIA.ORG:  I am sorry to hear that the California school system mishandled your education. I will assure you that we will work with you to find a solution to your problems. 

To start, you should look at the general guidance for young adults:

Where are you attending college? Please send me the name and email of your dean or advisor and also please send the same info for the director of special student services. I will send them information about your disabilities and request appropriate accommodations for you. What I will ask for is similar to the information found here:

I think you will find some relief in reading what researchers think causes dyscalculia.

We will try to match you with a local expert, if you share your location. 

Also, you are going to need assistive technology to succeed in college. We need to bring this to the attention of your instructors. Here are some ideas: There are regional AT lending libraries that may be able to help you obtain the AT but your school loans and school funding can also be used to purchase the tools you need to succeed. I recommend that you get the electronic versions of your text books. 

If you tell me more about the courses you are taking and their format, I can more adequately find the resources for you. As always, we want to use the most simple, inexpensive, and easily available tools to make the curriculum accessible to you and to provide opportunities for you to successfully interact with, practice and apply new information, and ultimately demonstrate mastery of it. Hang in there. Help is on the way.


  1. My daughter struggled terribly with math, space & time concepts her entire life. It wasn't until she was in 10th grade and failing math & science courses that she was evaluated for LD. She excels in reading & writing. Unfortunately her school district CCUSD fought against her receiving remediated math to qualify for college admissions... So I sued & won in mediation.

    She now attends a small private college and struggles with pre algebra. We are currently going to the CA DEPT OF REHAB to get testing done & a recommendation to the school. My hope is that they allow her to substitute logic or statistics (which is what I had to do to get my MA in Clinical Psych), so that her college carreer isn't halted due to disability. She has failed twice and her GPA dropped significantly; I failed three times but was on the honor roll at school & told to go to a Junior college until I passed... I went to Disabled Students and got evaluated & was told that I had Dyscalculia so the school (CSUDH) allowed me to take statistics & measurement. I passed both with A- and achieved my MA in clinical psych with ease. My daughter struggles much more than I do & I pray that she is given a chance to succeed.

    It's a shame when educators and those who are charged with encouraging students to excell in innovative ways, fail to meet the needs of students who, with just a bit of understanding & creative planning can achieve the same successes as those individuals without impairment.

    1. Was you able to get help for your daughter? I would love to hear what was done for her. My daughter is so frustrated and discouraged at this time in Comm College. She is unable to pass refresher Math but makes A's and B's in all other classes.

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  3. My son is diagnosed with dyslexia and dyscacluia. We asked for a reduced college load ( the dorms require that he carry 15 credit hours) and were told that he had to have 15 credit hours. He ended passing 3 of the 5 classes this semester and because his grade average dropped below 2.0 was told he could no longer live in the dorms. The only modifications they would give him was the use of a calculator!

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