My Journey with Dyscalculia

Emily Gee

 

When I was asked to write about myself, I, of course, jumped at the chance to do it!

 

I then realised I felt stuck on what to say about my journey with Dyscalculia. I am still figuring my neurodiversity out! You would have thought by now, after being diagnosed at a young age with Dyscalculia, Dyspraxia and Dyslexia, I would have understood it better by now, but my journey of discovery is ongoing.

I could portray Dyscalculia as a ‘superpower’…however that would be a really big fat lie.

It’s exhausting and frustrating. 

Yes, so far this all sounds depressing… because it is. Maths and I are not close friends, I don’t think we will ever will be. 

It’s simple: I cannot do numbers, not because I am ‘bad’ or ‘rubbish’ at maths like some adults I hear saying. I actually can’t do it. 

Growing up has made me more aware of how do manage dyscalculia and how I deal with it in my day to day life. 

I graduated from the University of Winchester where I trained in Musical Theatre with a 2:1 – I am very proud of my achievement especially as the end of the course was during Covid-19.  

I recently moved to London to pursue my career in the Arts – at the moment I work Front of House at Lion King West End.  

 

I feel I have always had two options; I could mask my learning difficulties (pretend they didn’t impact me) or start a new journey spreading awareness of dyscalculia in order to help others who have similar difficulties as me and feel the same about maths.

 

I decided to go with option B! I wrote an article for the British Dyslexia Association back in 2019, and so began my quest to raise awareness. 

 

I often reflect on my own journey and what I have been through in the education system.

I feel the education system  failed me. My parents made sure I learnt the basic maths skills at home (telling the time, learning number bonds, basic times table and fractions). It wasn’t breezy for them or me – especially when I was a teenager and I didn’t give a flying monkey about maths!

 

However, with a lot of patience and understanding, I did eventually get there – Children with dyscalculia need targeted specialist help.

 

Now being an adult living with this difficulty, I am dealing with new challenges and figuring out new ways of dealing with them.

 

The money/ budgeting aspect surrounding adulthood is something I am still trying to get my head round… For me being an adult with dyscalculia is a whole different and new kind of ball game compared to me as a child  with dyscalculia.

 

Now, my objective is to change the education system for good!

We need to make sure dyscalculia is seen and heard in society. 

The government is going to restrict students, who do not gain a pass at Maths and English at GSCE, into  going to University by blocking funding. This will prevent a number of Dyslexic and Dyscalculic students from moving on to the next step of studying. I was able to study an area I love and I believe everyone should have this opportunity.

We have to fight for our dyscalculia rights.