The Math Problem


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Most dyslexics tend to be better with math than with other subjects. However, confusing to many people is that we tend to do better with higher math (algebra, geometry, calculus, etc.), than with basic math.

I think the reasons are really quite simple.


Why we do better with math in general:

There is very little reading involved with these subjects.

The spacing of the questions/problems.
Unlike other subjects, most math textbooks, place a lot of space between examples and questions. Plus, making each line slightly different in examples (placing each line in a different color). Thus, the text is easier to read.

Why we do better with Higher Math:

The Higher Math tends to use symbols (X,Y,Z), rather than numbers that can be reversed.

In the higher math subjects, a fixed set of rules always apply for order and placement of numbers and letters. Thus, we have a better idea how a problem should read. If something appears incorrect, we know to double check the information. For example variables, of the same power and base are always placed in alphabetical order. (For example: Y times Z times X times 5 will be written -> 5XYZ )

By the time we reach the higher math courses most dyslexics have figured out ways around the annoyance.

Why we have more trouble with Basic Math:

It takes us a little longer to learn sequences.

The spacing and size of text.

We are starting to learn the more complex basic math at about the same time in school that we are first becoming aware that there is something different with us. At this stage we have not yet figured out ways to work around the annoyance. Thus, we are frustrated and confused when we are first learning the basic math.


Please take the following test for an example of how I felt copying very simple math equations.

Click here to start.


The best solution I can give to help with this problem, is to use a pointer when copying the problems and to read each individual number rather than the whole number.

Example:    37   
          + 26
        ------

Do not read as thirty seven plus twenty six, but rather as three, seven plus two, six.

A little slower to copy information, and confuses others at first, but I make fewer mistakes.


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Copyright © 1996 by Timothy Allen Roach All Rights Reserved.
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Page Last Updated: 8/19/01 7:13:16 PM