Thursday, May 5, 2016

Math Difficulties and ADHD

VISITOR:  I Am someone with math difficulties. I am also an adult who was late diagnosed ADHD. Currently, I am being treated for my ADHD with medication and cbt. Math & numbers have always been a 'dread' to me. My dad used to conclude that 'math just wasn't my strong suit.' I agreed but have never understood why until hearing about math LD. To this day, if it involves numbers, I feel a familiar 'heaviness' come over me. I just check out. I struggled terribly with math all through school but managed to get through (but not without failing and having to retake some classes). I did play a musical instrument but preferred to play by ear because reading music didn't make sense. I don't do well with reading and following directions. It's often too much to take in & takes to long to process and so I prefer to 'wing it'. If I have to use a ruler to measure anything, I opt to 'eyeball' it or I struggle through the task or I ask my husband to do it. Generally speaking, if something involves numbers (finances, measuring, helping my daughter with math, etc)...I run the other way. It has become a way of life for me now and I am interested in knowing more in relation to my ADHD. 
DYSCALCULIA.ORG: Consider filling out the Learning Disabilities Checklist, because you also have difficulty reading.  Then see our pages on Learning Disabilities.  Learning Disabilities can look like ADHD, because if you can't follow along or keep up or comprehend, you can't engage, and your attention naturally goes elsewhere.  Your off-task behavior, if it is active, will be called "hyperactivity" or inappropriate activity.  All of this inattention and off-task activity is a natural result of failure to engage with the task at hand. The task may involve listening, reading, visual-spatial reasoning, math, and so on.  It is like someone speaking to you in a foreign language. You are motivated to and do attempt to understand, but eventually cannot engage and attend for very long.  The mind seeks out satisfying experiences. When we cannot derive pleasure or satisfaction from a situation, we tend to move on. In summary, if you could read well, you would read. If you could think and work mathematically, you would not avoid doing it. The trick is to figure out how to acquire skills that have historically been difficult to acquire; and then once you get the skills, to exercise them regularly, so you don't lose them.

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