Learning Differences/Disabilities Survey

We’re going to kick off a round of 4 (or maybe 5) Tuesday surveys (yay!) with a set of questions about specific learning differences (UK term) or learning disabilities (US term). All of these questions are by Quarries and Corridors and I have rather selfishly scheduled them first because I’ve been experiencing so many things mentioned here lately and want to hear about your experiences with them. But not worries – I’ll make sure everyone’s questions are included over the next few weeks.

The questions are detailed, so feel free to answer as few or as many as you want with as much or little detail as you like.

You can answer here in a comment or you can answer anonymously at Survey Monkey. (If at all possible, it would be great if you can answer here. There ended up being hundreds of anonymous answers to bring over from Survey Monkey last time which is awesome but also a lot  of work, y’all.)

Learning Differences/Disabilities Questions

1. As well as an autistic spectrum condition do you also have a specific learning difference (aka US English ‘learning disability’) such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, nonverbal learning disability, ADHD etc? Even if you don’t have a diagnosed/labelled SpLD, do you have cognitive traits commonly associated with SpLDs like slow processing speed, below average spelling, fragile working memory, poor concentration etc?

2. Are you actually unusually good at any of the above? For example unusually fast reading speed, learned to read early, extremely good at spelling, usually good short term memory, extremely good spacial reasoning, adept at doing things efficiently without conscious planning, excellent concentration regardless of interest level etc? 

3. If you have spelling difficulties, has your spelling had much improvement since childhood? Do you still remember how to spell words correctly by remembering how to correct your automatic wrong version? Can you read without ‘reading out loud’ in your head? Can you read faster than you can read out loud? Do you have difficulty pronouncing words you’ve read but haven’t heard said before – even if you’re told they’re said how they’re spelt?

4. Do you frequently mix up two options when speaking or writing (for example confusing ‘train’ and ‘bus’)? Do you find you often miss out small words or parts of words, or tend to add inappropriate postfixes to words (for example writing ‘specifically’ when you meant ‘specific’, or vice versa)? Do you regularly get people’s names wrong in speech even when you know what they are? Do you repeatedly forget the words for things when speaking? When you make these mistakes do you often not realise that you have, sometimes even when proof reading? Do you make more mistakes of these types when tired?

5. Do you often mix up left and right? Do you have difficulty judging distance, speed, size, volume etc? For example, do you need to be careful crossing the street because it’s difficult to judge how fast cars are going? Do you find spacial reasoning tasks difficult, for example working out which way up to put the page back into the printer when you want to print on both sides? Do you have particular difficulty performing manual tasks that ‘cross the midline’, ie, your hands cross over and both do different things? Did it take you an unusually long time to learn to tie shoe laces, and if so did you learn an alternative type of knot to do so?

6. Did you struggle to learn the times tables as a child? Do you still not know your times tables as an adult? Do you particularly struggle with mental arithmetic? Did you have difficulty learning negative numbers and subtraction of negative numbers (without a calculator)?

7. Do you have difficulty reading analogue clocks? Do you find it a challenge to understand/visualise how the clocks going backwards or forwards when daylight savings starts or end will affect time differences with time zones where the clocks haven’t changed? Do you find mental arithmetic unusually difficult?

8. Do you struggle to visualise things and tend to think in words, or alternatively do you naturally think in pictures and have to translate to words? Do you ‘hear’ words or ‘see’ them when you think? Alternatively do you not fit either of those models and think in some combination of them or think in some other kind of unusual way, for example in spacial relationships or in tactile sensations or motion?

9. If you’re asked how to spell something, do you ‘see’ the word and read out the letters or do you have to work it out from the sounds or simply remember the sequence? Do you have difficult learning how to spell new words or speak/write new languages?

10. When you mentally solve non-verbal problems like splitting the bill and working out the tip, or like how to seat everyone at a wedding dinner, do you tend to think them out as mostly word-based problems using verbal reasoning or do you visualise or conceptualise them in other ways?


134 thoughts on “Learning Differences/Disabilities Survey”

  1. 1. I don’t have a diagnosis of any SpLD, and I don’t particularly suspect that I have anything beyond what comes from autism.

    2. I’m very fast at reading. I always read quickly when I was younger, and would get told off during ‘reading aloud’ for not going slow enough for the other kids to keep up. I was also very advanced at spelling. I could hear a word and be able to figure out how it was spelled by recalling patterns of spelling from other words. For example, I quickly learnt about ‘ight’ (pronounced ‘ite’), and was able to work out when that pattern of letters would be used in a word. I also learn spellings very quickly – only needing to see a word once to be able to spell it. I have a few specific words or sounds that I consistently get wrong though. I think it’s mostly because they don’t fit in with the usual spelling patterns that remember easily.

    3. My specific spelling errors are pretty much the same as when I was younger. I find ways to remember them by correcting my automatic assumption that they fit usual patterns. I can read without ‘reading aloud’ in my head, but I tend to absorb the information slightly less clearly. I definitely read much faster than I could read out loud though.

    4. No to all of those.

    5. I have trouble telling my left from right. I have to consciously pause and think about it, every time I need to use one of them. I check by imagining myself writing (I’m left-handed), and then I know that my writing-hand is my left, and the other side is my right. I am always over-cautious when I cross roads because I can’t tell how fast is ‘too fast’ for me to get across in time. Mostly I just never cross if I can see a car coming, no matter how distant. I’m very bad at estimating measurements like distances or sizes – I can’t say how much ‘six feet’ or ‘a mile’ looks like. But I’m really good at comparing one volume to another. I have a weird skill for choosing exactly the right tupperware container to fit the amount of food leftover. But I’d have no idea how many litres that tupperware container held. I don’t have particular trouble with spacial reasoning, midline-crossing or shoelace-tying.

    6. I didn’t particularly struggle with times table or mental arithmetic. But my arithmetic skills are way below what people expect based on the fact that I’m excellent at maths overall. I’m often laughed at for having to pause to work out “7 + 9”, when I can do complex algebra very quickly.

    7. I don’t have any trouble with analogue clocks. I get confused about timezone changes, but I don’t think any more than anyone else.

    8. I guess I think in… patterns? Sort of vaguely visual/spacial relationships, but not like detailed images or photographs – more like diagrams and graphs to represent concepts.

    9. I normally ‘see’ the word. When I’m not sure about a spelling, I have to write it down to make sure.

    10. I don’t particularly visualise them or use words, it’s more like my answer to 8 I guess.

  2. My answers:

    1. I don’t have any diagnosed learning disabilities. My short term memory is well below average and I’ve acquired a lot of language-related problems over the past 18 months.

    2. I’m probably better at spelling than the average person (well, until recently) and I don’t remember actually learning to read. It seems like I just always could so I assume I learned very early. I’ve always been a voracious reader and can (again, until recently) finish a book or two a week.

    3. This question got me curious about how other people read. I always hear the words in my head, which is what I think is meant by “reading out loud in your head.” I read much faster silently and I make a lot of mistakes when I read out loud. I always hated reading aloud in school because it made me sound like I couldn’t read. When I read silently, I actually read in word groups and phrases, rather than word-by-word, which is impossible to do when reading out loud.

    4. Yes to every single one of these.

    5. I tell left from right by “feeling” for my right hand. If I don’t check in with my hands first, there’s a 50-50 likelihood that I’ll get it correct. My husband has learned to confirm my driving directions by pointing in the direction I said.

    I’m terrible at spatial reasoning. Just reading the printer paper question made me flinch because I’ll always goof up which way to put the paper in if I need to print on a specific side. Even with the little diagram right on the printer. I also have difficulty visualizing size or volume, especially very large quantities.

    6. I don’t think so. I had a learning aid similiar to this: https://www.etsy.com/listing/182575560/magic-math-multiplication-learn-time?ref=market Mine had sequential numbers down the left side and across the top, with corresponding sliding panels. When I pulled the side lever next to 7 and the top lever next to 10 it opened a box on the board that said 70. I played with it for hours because it was stimmy and learned my times tables that way. I’m pretty good at math in general, though sometimes my short term memory will make mental arithmetic challenging.

    7. I don’t remember it being difficult. I have a good understanding of how time works in the short term (minutes, hours, days) but difficulty conceptualizing time in the long term (months, years, decades).

    8. I find visualization hard, especially if it’s something I’m not fairly familiar with in real life. I can visualize places I’ve lived well, but if someone tells me a story about an alien world, regardless of how many details they give me, the best I can get is the mental equivalent of an MS Paint drawing done by a 4-year-old.

    I think in related concepts (stored in spiderweb fashion) and translate to words. Often the concepts are vaguely visual though they aren’t anywhere near as vivid as pictures. Sometimes I need to hold the visual representation in my mind to get the appropriate word. I used to think that I thought in words, but I’ve realized that there is a translation required between what’s in my head and a form of communication that I can share with others (i.e. words).

    9. Most of the time I just remember the sequence. If it’s a more challenging word, I might need to visualize it in my head first.

    10. My answer to this surprised me because I was going to say word-based until I tried to do a sample task in my head. I guess I use a visual/conceptual rendering of the problem supported by words.

    1. As an addendum to Q5, I also can’t differentiate between horizontal and vertical without visualizing the horizon and comparing it to the directional plane I’m trying to identify.

    2. I already submitting my answers, but I just wanted to add that I immediately pictured an alien world with details automatically just reading about you picturing an alien world 😀 that’s how much I visualize… everything gets a visual image no matter what. I dislike people using unpleasantly graphic language for this reason and I request them not to do it because some common expressions are just things I really don’t want to have to picture in my head and it derails the entire conversation in my mind.

  3. anonymous answers from SurveyMonkey:

    Q1: Poor concentration, fragile working memory

    Q2: learned to read early, fast reading speed, usually good short term memory, extremely good spatial reasoning, very adaptive,

    Q4: yes to much of this

    Q5: no

    Q6: no

    Q7: no

    Q8: I think vividly in pictures and can animate them in my mind. I usually think in this manner and then struggle to adapt what I “see” into words.

    Q9: I have to be able to “see” the word in my mind to be able to spell it. If I can harmonize this I can work very quickly but need to see the correct word before I can even begin to speak, type, etc. it.

    Q10: I tend to visualise them. Though I am working out the equation quietly, I am talking myself through the steps and visualising their completion using imagery.

  4. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Slower processing speed.

    Q2: Nope, unfortunately not.

    Q3: No

    Q4: Not verbally, but I do when I type.

    Q5: Oh yeah – the printing thing, complete trial and error.

    Q6: No

    Q7: No

    Q8: Tend to think in words, very few images.

    Q9: Too many options! Not got those specific problems though

    Q10: Not sure – again different situations which would lead to different approaches

  5. anonymous answers:

    Q1: No diagnosed SpLD. Had very poor spelling until I learned etymology and some latin, greek, and german.

    Q2: Now have very good spelling and large vocabulary (typos aside). Also I rapidly pick up other spoken languages and can understand some of what is being said in them but not speak them other than parroting back a few words I have picked up from the conversation. I have not got the hang of tonal languages though (chinese dialects) nor been exposed to enough arabic or sub-saharan language groups to pick those up.

    Q3: Spelling ability took a huge leap upon learning etymology, latin, and greek at 12 years old. I spell words from their historical origin. No problem pronouncing english. Also usually get it right in other languages if spelled in Latin Alphabet.

    Q4: no,no,no, have extreme difficulty remembering names not just speaking them, sometimes, rarely, yes, yes

    Q5: No, Yes, things appear closer than they are, I am over cautious especially turning left. sometimes, sometimes, yes – learned a symmetric operation which produces a topographically identical knot but it is too loose so I do a double knot.

    Q6: Yes, have alternate method, no, no, struggled with intro calculus but excelled at discrete math (number theory) and differential equations (high-dimentional calculus)

    Q7: yes, sometimes, sometimes

    Q8: no, no I’m pretty sure something else is going on but I can’t describe it, often no words when I think, I think I think somehow with temporo-spatial something something I can’t describe… words bring up the linguistic origins … biological concepts break down into biochem, chemistry, physics, and ultimately math…

    Q9: No? Nope!

    Q10: Splitting the bill: no problem
    Seating everyone: No problem, there’s the chairs it’s trivially simple by the pigeon-hole principle. I don’t give a hoot where they sit.

  6. 1. several years prior to ASD diagnosis I had a full assessment for specific learning differences and was diagnosed dyslexic and dyspraxic. I was diagnosed with ADHD before ASD but that label has been dropped now. The psychologist said “ASD trumps ADHD”, basicly meaning that I have the executive function deficits of ADHD but the ASD label includes that making ADHD redundant. I have extremely poor working memory; I score in the 5th percentile. I have irlen syndrome too (light sensitivity to specific wavelengths/colours and wear coloured glasses).

    2. I have always enjoyed reading and get a lot from reading books although I can only do it in a distraction free environment. I learned to read very young and found school frustrating for the ridiculously simple books. I also learned to read music very young. I am very good at synthesising information from different sources including reading.

    3. I “know” the spelling for most words but get it wrong when writing. I studied hard to learn correct spelling in primary school and still sometimes use rhymes like big elephants can always use small exits. It feels like the knowledge of spelling is separate from my reading and writing skills. I read silently quite slowly and have difficulty tracking lines of text wit my eyes and cant read with any noise or distraction, but if I try to read aloud it sounds like I’m illiterate and I stumble over the words and really struggle with pronounciation. I also don’t take in any meaning when reading out loud.

    4. yes to everything. Also I often cant find the word I need when speaking and have to use lots to describe the object. I had a teacher who always complained about the lack of extra words like and but if etc.

    5. I do mix up left and right, i have difficulty judging traffic to cross roads and to join a road when driving. I also have trouble reacting to things appropriately eg see a van but don’t slow down/ spill something but keep pouring. That might be about prioritising and inhibiting instead. I’m bad at doing my hair, couldn’t catch at all until 14 (supposed to be 3), couldn’t ride a bike until 9. I spent hours as a teenager learning to tap each finger individually – put hand down on a surface with fingers arched (like you would on a piano) and then move one finger at a time in different patterns. I’ve always had poor fine motor skills but a lot of determination.

    6. I still don’t know my tables. Trying to learn them was miserable. I cant do mental arithmetic becasue I can’t hold the numbers in mind and remember what the sum is. As an aside, I could breifly do mental arithmetic when taking concerta (ritalin).

    7. I find clocks without numbers difficult to read. i have to figure out the direction of change again every clock change. I had a watch as a young child and worked hard at learning to read it. Again the determination I had to manage things.

    8. I can’t properly answer this yet, I’m still working it out. I used to say I think in words and can’t visualise things at all. Now I’m begining to realise I do think in a non-verbal way and translate to words but the original dissovles as soon as words come along so its hard to discribe. Its a bit like a commentry on everything I think and see. I don’t know if its pictures though. Maybe just a concept or something more immediete, less filtered/structured.

    9. I just remember the sequence. The two languages I’ve learned have more consistent rules then English so I found the spelling much easier.

    10. I need to write them down, or at least map it onto something real (like counting fingers). Whenever theres a problem with many parts needing to be compared, if i try to do it mentally they all start to fade away and I can’t hold onto them. I have to write things down to figure out these sorts of problems.

    1. “I also have trouble reacting to things appropriately eg see a van but don’t slow down/ spill something but keep pouring. That might be about prioritising and inhibiting instead.”

      I do this too – great point about it being related to prioritizing and inhibiting. I’d never quite thought of it that way.

    2. I forgot to think about clocks without numbers… maybe I should have read other people’s responses first! While clocks with numbers and I are friends now, why do clocks without numbers even exist? Then you have to figure out what everything represents. It takes more time. Ha. Also, I remember a lot of confusion remembering to tell time because people would talk about the “big hand” and the “little hand.” One hand was very thin, but very long, and the other one was fat, but short. So in terms of big and little I couldn’t say which one was bigger and which was littler. Very confusing. I think most of my confusion with learning to tell time was a communication problem with other people rather than the actual clock.

  7. I’ve been busy with something huge and haven’t been around much online, but I saw this and had to respond. I filled out the survey at the survey monkey site. Navigating – or attempting to – the world of normal people lately has brought all these issues to the forefront of my mind. Enjoyed writing it all down, hope it helps in some way.
    Looking forward to your new book. ( ! Congratulations.)

  8. anonymous answers:

    Q1: I have dyslexia, fragile working memory, and cannot remember titles, names or labels for categories of things while at the same time I easily memorize the items in the categories.

    Q2: I learned to read early, can visually memorize very well, and visually memorize how words look so can spell. I have very poor executive functioning & must plan very methodically.

    Q3: I have difficulty pronouncing certain words despite being told – I seem to have a ‘blank spot’ into which certain words ‘disappear.’

    Q4: Yes! I frequently mix up two options when speaking. I am not good at speaking in general and find it extremely fatiguing. Yes I make these mistakes more when tired and when with strangers.

    Q5: I am not good with strings and rope. At all.I am left handed and have figured out how to use scissors, but other right handed tools perplex me, such as can openers. It takes me a long time to learn new reasoning tasks, and I cannot learn them verbally I have to repeatedly do them myself. I have an embarassingly difficult time with streets and cars, as a result I am paranoid, and yet I do drive and own a vehicle, a truck, so as to give me a better view of traffic. I’d prefer there were no such thing as motorized vehicles, due to this and their noise,

    Q6: Although I am a visual thinker I have a way of working with nimbers in my head. Can’t explain it, but it works.

    Q7: Yes I have a hard time with time zones and daylight savings starts and ends. I transpose numbers so analog clock is better for me than digital clocks.

    Q8: Visual thinker all the way. 🙂 I see words as pictures – if I am writing I can bring them up whole, if I am reading it is like watching a movie. I am unable to think fast enough to keep up with stranger’s normal conversation, and misconstrue what is said. Also, the overly dramatic way most normal people talk makes cartoon type pictures in my mind, which I find amusing although it is often not sharable because it is not “nice.” I do not have friends in real life because of this problem. But I don’t require friends the way normal people do, so it is not a big deal.

    Q9: I see the word, as I mentioned above. Otherwise I couldn’t spell.

    Q10: Visual all the way? 🙂

  9. 1. My executive function is rubbish. I can think about a task for months, even years, and not do it. Thinking about doing it too hard can make me extremely distressed, too.

    2. I have a very good long-term memory, unless I’m dealing with names and faces (in which case, I have to work hard to press them into long-term memory). I can’t remember ever *not* knowing how to read; it feels like I was born doing it. I’m fantastic at grammar and spelling and very good at math (unless it’s something on the spot like breaking up a restaurant bill).

      1. 2 cont. Tests I’ve taken online tell me I have ‘male’ (pfft) spatial abilities, meaning I’m damned good at manipulating a shape in my head. I know I’ve never had any problem knowing where my car is, down to a level that makes other people in the car nervous (they think I can’t tell how close I am to other cars as I move to park–I do! And I’ve never bumped a car while parking except once when I was stressed and panicking). Oh, and I’m a whiz at learning languages. I love ’em. One of my few straight-out unequivocal talents and joys.

        3. I read much faster in my head than aloud, I think. I’ve had problems with reading that emerge only when I’m extremely stressed (read: when I was in middle and high school); I developed a tic where I had to re-read every sentence four or five times and had to subvocalize words. This was one of the most distressing things I’ve ever had happen to me and, thank heavens, it went away once I left high school. If I’ve only read a word, sometimes I will pronounce it very oddly–I thought conquer was said ‘con-kweer’ for ages as a kid and only in the last few years have I realized ‘solder’ and ‘sawter’ (as it’s pronounced) are the same word… My father can’t remember how to pronounce foreign words like ‘chipotle’ or scifi names, even in shows he’s watched for years.

        4. I do mix up words sometimes. I’ve given up on some words–for instance, I’ve accepted that I call my family’s Pomeranian ‘puss-puss’ way too often. I will sometimes repeat a phrase right back at someone, particularly if they’re someone I don’t know well surprising me by being where I don’t expect them to be.

        5. As noted above, my spatial reasoning is either great or complete rubbish. It seems to work better when I’m surprised into using it, instead of given time to think about how to do something (I can catch if they’re tossed or dropped near me like a pro, but only if it’s not something I predict will happen). I can’t mirror what other people do, in a dance or martial arts class well at all. I can do the *opposite* of what they’re doing (use my left hand to do what their right is doing, for instance) well enough, but flipping the image of what they’re doing to match what my body facing them should be doing doesn’t come naturally.

        6. I’m good at math, but I remember my parents having to fight with me to get me to learn the multiplication table. It wasn’t because it was hard; it was because I already had addition, and in my opinion, addition could do what multiplication could do, so why should I learn multiplication? I remember trying to lay out this argument convincingly to them. Other than that, I’m only fair at mental math (and rubbish at it when I’m called to do it on the spot) but very good at math generally. I’m much more skilled at abstract than applied math, though.

        7. I don’t find reading clocks hard–unless, again, someone puts me on the spot. Then my ability to read a clock will fly momentarily out the window, though it comes back within a few seconds.

        8. I think in words, all the time (though I can also visualize images and am quite good at it, I think. It’s just not my baseline way of thinking; I have to ‘call up’ images). I see the words, their image, and I hear and feel them (they have weight). If I don’t watch myself, I will run a constant narration of my own life as it happens, as though I were writing my autobiography.

        9. I see words when I need to spell them. I have a hard time translating letters (if people verbally spell out a word to me) into that word in my head; I need it written down for me. I love languages because they’re like puzzles–the more I learn, the more I can understand in a new language! And my progress is unequivocal. I can’t doubt my own rising abilities; my progress feels real, solid, and firm to me, so it’s very reassuring. Languages are reassuring.

        10. I’m horrible at splitting bills! That’s my nemesis. Too much pressure on the spot. In general, though, I visualize non-verbal problems and turn the images over and around in my mind to find solutions. Sometimes I will move back and forth from visualization to writing and vice-versa if I get stuck.

        1. (I should note that my ability to drive well goes out the window if I’m in a car with someone I don’t know well, which is scary and frustrating. With family in the car, I drive like a charm. With friends or acquaintances, I drive like someone whose brain is half-there, because half of my brain *isn’t* there–it’s involved in trying to judge what the other person thinks of me.)

        2. Lol your last sentence in number eight is why I relate so much to the tv show the Mindy Project. She kind of narrates her life as a living autobiography. I do that too. I also have a running soundtrack!;) epic;)
          Loved all the answers you gave and find this all intriguing;)

          1. My autobiography used to get quite self-congratulatory. “In her retirement years, author-activist ________ reflected on her youthful struggles…” ;P It’s much more practical and less pompous these days.

            1. Would you mind editing that to take out my real name, Cynthia (ack, using a first name, how strange 😉 )? I wasn’t thinking! (Can’t have people learning my secret identity!)

        3. I never realised that solder was the same as saughter (how I thought it was spelled)… though now that I think about it, they always did have the same definitions for me, which is rare for separate words.

              1. Sorry, yes I mean in Britain. I remembered after reading this that I watched an American YouTube video that talked about “saughter”. It was confusing at first, then made me giggle (sorry). I’m curious how the American pronunciation came about because it’s so different.

  10. 1. Diagnosed with ADHD when I was a child, not sure if this was correct. I was very intelligent, so may have just been bored ‘entertaining’ myself.

    2. Very good at spacial reasoning and problem solving.

    3. No real issues

    4. No

    5. Not at all, quite the opposite

    6. No

    7. No, can visualise it quite well (even the workings of a mechanical clock)

    8. I ‘talk’ to myself, but I also do visualise things significantly (e.g. remembering numbers (they float in my head), moving shapes around, maps, deconstructing objects, flow of a computer program)

    9. It depends on the word, if I know it well then I know the sequence, otherwise I will spell it as it sounds (unless I know about any quirks)

    10. I’m not sure, I try to find the most efficient solution, maybe tending toward being more visual

  11. 1. I KNOW I have Dyspraxia but I have never been diagnosed with any of these although I am pretty sure I have them all except for nonverbal in varying ways. I always thought it was just a form of Autism.I have high average spelling although I can switch letters a lot even when I KNOW it is not supposed to be that way…my working memory sucks except when it comes to my obsession of the moment. I have poor concentration if I am disinterested and my processing speed depends on the subject.

    2. I DO have unusually fast reading speed (but mostly in my head) , I DID learn to read early, extremely good at spelling, adept at doing things efficiently without conscious planning but the other stuff NO.

    3. Actually I have regressed a bit in spelling as of late. It really is kind of devastating… Yup I correct my wrong version sometimes in my head. I think I always read out loud in my head. I can read faster in my head for sure…I hear I am the fastest reader and to slow down from everyone. Apparently it sounds almost like another language when I read at my fastest out loud too. Do you have difficulty pronouncing words you’ve read but haven’t heard said before – even if you’re told they’re said how they’re spelt? YES.

    4. Do you frequently mix up two options when speaking or writing (for example confusing ‘train’ and ‘bus’)? YES! Do you find you often miss out small words or parts of words, or tend to add inappropriate postfixes to words (for example writing ‘specifically’ when you meant ‘specific’, or vice versa)? YES. Do you regularly get people’s names wrong in speech even when you know what they are? YES. Do you repeatedly forget the words for things when speaking? YES…( why is this all happening to me?!??) When you make these mistakes do you often not realise that you have, sometimes even when proof reading? NO. Do you make more mistakes of these types when tired? Yes…

    5. Do you often mix up left and right? YES . Do you have difficulty judging distance, speed, size, volume etc? Oh especially yes to this… For example, do you need to be careful crossing the street because it’s difficult to judge how fast cars are going?This is TOO funny because just the other day I almost got killed misjudging and I had a whole conversation in my head about why this shouldn’t be so hard in a small podunk town. spacial reasoning tasks ARE difficult. Definite difficulty performing manual tasks that ‘cross the midline’. Did it take you an unusually long time to learn to tie shoe laces, and if so did you learn an alternative type of knot to do so? Yes I did and it took me until grade three I think. I also remember someone taught me a different way of making a star because it was too hard and I was helping my teacher grade in grade five…I was astounded a star could be made another way and I was excited. I learned how to blow gum bubbles at 21 ( FINALLY!) and I STILL can not whistle no matter how much I try.

    6. Did you struggle to learn the times tables as a child? YES. I still do not know times tables and struggle with mental arithmetic…I need a calculator always…even with simple things. Thank God phones have the app. I take it everywhere. Funny enough I take care of our budget and bank appts…It has been a lot of work and I have to check my work obsessively and still find mistakes up to about the 12 time…but I do this month after month and have made some bad accidental mistakes but have also gotten us out of debt and thought of creative ways to do so as well as creative ways to consolidate ect…the bank loves me…but it has been really hard…I also have to double to quadruple check when I pay my bills and write down that I paid them or else I repay them…

    7. What are analogue clocks? If thats not digital then yes. Do you find it a challenge to understand/visualise how the clocks going backwards or forwards when daylight savings starts or end will affect time differences with time zones where the clocks haven’t changed? Oh MY GOODNESS!! How did you know I do this? SO weird. I DESPISE daylight savings…you know it has been proven that it makes people’s immune systems go down? Yup people get more sick two weeks after time change…and depression goes up. I LOATHE the change. Do you find mental arithmetic unusually difficult? Yup. Cant do it.

    8. Do you struggle to visualise things and tend to think in words, or alternatively do you naturally think in pictures and have to translate to words? I do a bit of both depending on circumstance but pictures more so… Do you ‘hear’ words or ‘see’ them when you think? Yes, ALL the time. Alternatively do you not fit either of those models and think in some combination of them or think in some other kind of unusual way, for example in spacial relationships or in tactile sensations or motion? I have a bit of this too…probably more so in memories…My memories are all sensations. I can literally smell, taste, feel and see and hear a particular memory. I can almost be there…it is weird.

    9. If you’re asked how to spell something, do you ‘see’ the word and read out the letters or do you have to work it out from the sounds or simply remember the sequence? a bit of both but more so seeing the letters. Do you have difficult learning how to spell new words or speak/write new languages? New languages is a challenge…yet I can also catch on quick to understanding…but speaking them myself and esp writing them is horrid…but I quickly know what they are saying…

    10. When you mentally solve non-verbal problems like splitting the bill and working out the tip, or like how to seat everyone at a wedding dinner, do you tend to think them out as mostly word-based problems using verbal reasoning or do you visualise or conceptualise them in other ways? Splitting the bill is the WORST> Now I am just honest and say “I can’t do math at all and you may be cheated if you don’t do this.” I am finding people are more receptive if I am just honest but funny about my own quirks. As for the wedding dinner I would need to actually SEE it on paper and even then probably not do so hot. For instance, we are doing basement renos and my husband draws up the blue prints and measurements…measurements mean NOTHING to me. I always say to him, “Explain that to me in my terms.” And then he will say instead of feet “this is as long as your bed” or “this is as wide as our bathtub upstairs. ” or “that would be as long as it would take us to drive from our house to your mom’s.” Explanations like that…and if I can BE in the place we are talking about…even better. I go downstairs and stand exactly where we are talking about and I have to actively engage in it several times to conceptualize…but then once it is in my head, I can decorate the whole space to astounding detail in my imagination ( I am really good at decorating and details.)

    Phew…that was So FUN!

    1. Seriously what is number four related to? Because that astounded me and I wonder what I can read further upon it?
      I tell my left from my right by remembering ring finger wedding ring if I have it on… I def can not do the opposite…in my son’s OT the therapist kept wanting me to mirror letters to him but I could not do it. She was frustrated ( one of those places I did not want to disclose that I had the same issues.) But really mirroring is why I can’t do public work outs, public dancing or any learned things like that…because I can’t get the directions right…ever. I am one of the worst drivers and even if I go over and over in my head about which side of the street I need to drive on to park – sometimes I end up on the opposing side wondering where I went wrong. I also drive down the wrong side like I am in England if I am not careful so I am consistently being obsessive when driving and can only do it for short times without burning out…
      Seriously what is my problem?

      1. The general term that’s often used for 4 is aphasia (although some might also be characteristic of dyslexia, quarridors can probably tell you more what they had in mind). Though that can be confusing because there are all sorts of specific forms of aphasia with specific causes. It’s hard to find information about general, apparently ideopathic aphasia.

        1. Oh my word, just read up on that… That’s just scary! I have always been amazing with vocab and words…I don’t want to loose that! Hopefully it’s just part of dyspraxia!

  12. 1 dyspraxia. Small motor skills, drawing,writing,are at best poor. In speech therapy for my 4 yrs of school. concentration and working memory are poor. spelling is poor.I might have to look at a 5-6, letter word 2-3,times to spell it. I find it easier to spell when i write vs typing. 2 Read early ,fast and a lot. 3 spelling has improved. Good at pronouncing. I read out loud in my head.4, I forget words when speaking. Make more mistakes when tired. 5.Took about 30 yrs to get left and right. 6. Simple math, splitting a bill figuring out the tip i can do in my head. Division, multiplying just does not work sometimes.Even multiplication tables were not a problem. The odd ones Ooooo. 7. no 8. I need a picture or model to visualize / understand. I here words. 9. I spell phonetically. Difficulty spelling new and old words. I can speak better then i can write/spell a new languages. I would not be able to do this survey with out google for spelling. 10. Conceptualize them. My own brand of math.

  13. These are some really interesting questions! I want to preface this by saying that I know I am going to slip up and call them “SLI”s/Specific Learning Impairments instead of the two terms you mentioned (learning disabilities/specific learning differences) because that is what we called them in my graduate SLP program. I just want to say it’s not necessarily a term I think better or worse of (I haven’t given it a lot of thought to be honest), and I’d appreciate anyone adding in opinions on the term…but it got pretty ingrained in my head, so I’m probably going to use that abbreviation (SLI) for the most part unless/until someone asks me to stop.

    1. Other learning disabilities: I am not diagnosed with any learning disabilities (besides autism), but I have good evidence for believing I have a central auditory processing disorder – evidence coming from the material I learned in SLP, audiology, and neurology courses in my program, as well as conversations with others in/allied with the autistic community who have CAPDs. I would even say I probably have moderate or high moderate (as opposed to mild) impairment there, as it tends to disrupt daily life. I am generally a slow reader, though this might have more to do with my preference for reading material. I love books where I can soak up every single word from the author, slowly and perfectly, knowing I’m reading it exactly as the author wanted me to (so usually “high literature” or stuff that people call me snooty for reading, but I genuinely enjoy a lot). On the other hand it could be that my slow reading is exactly why I enjoy that snooty stuff – there is more to soak up from every line so my slow reading almost puts me at an advantage. I can’t read non-fiction unless it’s an article in my field, which makes me sad, because there’s a lot of non-fiction that interests me. Also, though you do not mention this and it’s not necessarily an SLI, I would like to mention that I have moderate prosopagnosia. Again, not necessarily a learning disability, but definitely got in the way at school and continues to be troublesome and hard to explain to people today.

    2. Are you actually unusually good at any of the above? YES! Just one, but so much yes. I have incredible spacial reasoning/spacial relations skills. I like bragging about this, because no one believes me until somehow I demonstrate it, and those occasions just sort of pop up sometimes, and they blow people’s minds. I actually set a record in my county when I was a kid for that portion of the IQ test. (I feel so guilty saying all this without context and tone and joking around…but it’s true, and this is a survey, so…) Any puzzle games that involve fitting things together – as basic as jigsaws or more complex like the app Strata (look it up! it’s amazing!) – are just easy and relaxing. Almost meditative. If I look at it for a while, my brain “beats” the game by figuring out what spacial algorithms work and what don’t…and then I’m on autopilot. It’s an amazing feeling. Same thing trying to pack the trunk of a car, or fit food most efficiently on a kitchen shelf, or dishes in a dishwasher…It might not be the most practical skill, but people tell me it’s really cool and kind of unsettling to watch me do it, and I can promise you it’s the most in-tune, natural, calm, no-thoughts-involved feeling you could ever imagine.

    3. Spelling/reading: I’m pretty good at this stuff, but it’s worth mentioning that (maybe related to the auditory processing stuff) I can’t absorb a word of what I’m saying, not even the general gist, if I have to read out loud. What’s weird is that I can inflect perfectly, and make the material really interesting for another person to listen to. I’m also pretty good inflecting for dramatic readings of scripts. But ask me what I just said…and I got nothing. The other reading related thing is that I read by sight, so I don’t “hear” the words in my head in any way. I see a word, and the shape of the word is connected to the meaning. Because of this, written homophones can be a big problem when they are used incorrectly. Things like writing “their” when you mean “there” or “they’re”. I don’t mind at all that there has been some grievous grammatical error, because that is such an easy mistake to make! I don’t think it’s evil and should be beaten out of kids today, nothing like that. I just mean that personally, when I come across “their” my brain understands it as “belonging to them” and if it is being used incorrectly in place of a homophone, the rest of the sentence will make no sense. I’ll have to stop, clear my mind, go back, read it out loud (which then means I don’t get the meaning), guess at where the problem might be, then guess at which words might be better there, then replace that word in my head, then read it again to see if it makes sense. It slows me down and stressed me out. A lot.

    4. Various mistakes with speech and writing: My blog posts are riddled with little errors like writing “specific” when I mean “specifically” or something similar. No matter how many times I proof them, I won’t catch these errors. OH! I just caught one! Earlier in this line I wrote “thing” instead of “something.” I’m completely amazed that I caught it, but go me! Anyway, I think for me it comes down to as long as the meaning of the word is what I want, like, the basic semantic connotation, I won’t be able to catch errors in case, conjugation, part of speech, etc. This despite a bachelor’s in linguistics, so it’s not lack of education or understanding that’s tripping me up.

    5. Spacial reasoning: As mentioned, extensively, in #2 above, I am really awesome at this. Problems arise when I need to explain what I’m doing with words or numbers. For instance if someone asks me “Should I put this box to the left of the first box or maybe behind it?” I will answer or kind of sputter “No, you, uh, you put it where it goes.” It’s not a theory of mind issue – I get that they don’t know what I mean by that – I just don’t have a way adding language to what is already established in my head. Same with numbers: I can’t estimate at all. About how far it is from your computer to the window? No idea. About how many buckets of water would fit in this pool? What???? Are you kidding me??? I can kind of see it in front of me, the ruler between me and the wall, or the buckets filling up the pool, but no way can I put a number to it.

    6. Math: I’m a little slow at mental math, but not too much slower than anyone else I don’t think. I was a math major at UChicago before I switched to linguistics, and there’s a running joke about how we all forget how to use numbers on paper, much less in our heads, since math there is all proof based – no numbers except 0 and any number you can prove exists.

    7. Clocks: I’m pretty good with clocks unless I have to say it out loud, then it takes me forever. But if I’m just checking the time, I can look at an analog clock and know pretty instantly what the time is, or how much time I have left, or whatever I need. It just takes me time to add language and numbers (see #5).

    8. Thinking: I tend to shift between thinking entirely in words and thinking entirely in emotions. The latter makes more sense to me, but I’m pretty good at thinking in words too. I can’t go back and forth easily, but I can hover in either state comfortably. When I say “thinking in emotion” I mean that things around me – objects, words, numbers, actions, images, whatever – evoke a very particular emotive response that I can use to know what needs fixing and what is going to be most enjoyable to interact with. This is the state I’m usually in when I’m most relaxed, but also the most stressed. Thinking in words comes when I both want it to and have the ability to hit engage on it.

    9. Spelling: I can’t “see” anything in my head – that whole concept confuses me. Apparently people can just imagine sensations like vision and smell and taste and stuff? This is weird. But anyway, I can’t spell out loud. At all. I usually won’t try because it stresses me out. Sometimes miming holding a pen or typing on a keyboard is enough to help me out, but only if I’m stuck on one or two letters. If the whole word is new to me – forget it. I could figure it out if I was actually writing, but the miming thing would require holding the sequence in my mind while I worked out the next part, and that’s pretty impossible.

    10. Problem-solving: I use spacial reasoning as much as possible, then fill in the gaps with emotive reasoning – “that feels right, that doesn’t”. When there are numbers involved, especially money, I’ll check myself with basic math so I don’t cheat anyone, but my emotions are usually right!

    This was fun! Thanks for the opportunity!

  14. 1. I have a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD, and have poor concentration unless I’m concentrating on a topic that is interesting to me.

    2. I learned both to talk and read early, I am good spacial reasoning, and I have very good mechanical sense.

    3. I do not have spelling challenges. I usually read (to myself) faster than I can read out loud. When I do read something out loud, I occasionally find that I leave out spoken words because my mind is ahead of my mouth.

    4. I’m not aware of mixing up options when speaking, and I’ve seen little evidence of doing so when I write. I do often leave out small words when I’m talking, and I’ve recently caught myself adding one (or more) inappropriate suffixes to words. I regularly call people by the wrong name, even when I’m certain who they are. I do often forget the word for simple things when I’m speaking, and I have overlooked missed or incorrect words when proofreading. Absolutely, I make more of these sorts of mistakes when I’m tired, particularly when I’m emotionally tired.

    5. I don’t mix up left and right, and don’t think I have any unusual challenge with estimating distance, speed, size, volume, etc. I find spacial reasoning tasks usually very easy and actually enjoyable. No known difficulty with manual tasks, even those that cross the midline, no issues with learning to tie shoes, or in learning many other kinds of knots for that matter.

    6. No problems with multiplication tables, and yes I still know them (and probably always will). I find most mental arithmetic fairly straightforward. I’ve never had any issues with negative numbers.

    7. No problems with analogue clocks or gauges, and no issues with understanding or visualizing relative time changes. No problems with mental arithmetic.

    8. I tend to think in pictures, diagrams, or spatial relationships. I hear words rather than see them when I think, but I see logic flow diagrams or exploded mechanical schematics.

    9. I think I work out how the sounds come together rather than seeing the word. I don’t usually have problems learning how to spell new words, but I’m not great with picking up new languages.

    10. I had to try this in my head to determine what I do, and I would say that it’s a combination of visualizing the problem and conceptualizing it in other ways. In splitting a check, for example, I found myself visualizing the relative amounts of consumption and applying those visualized percentages to the dollar amount of the bill, without really thinking about the words or steps involved in doing so.

    Wow! lots of great things to think about, and I’m enjoying reading all the other posts!

  15. Q1. No
    Q2. Yes – I am a visual / auditory learner. I am a fast reader, extremely good spacial reasoning, & adept at doing things efficiently without conscious planning,
    Q3. No
    Q4. Yes, all the time however I never connected it to Asperger’s until today. Names are impossible for me. I don’t remember them well even when employing specific “name relationship” strategies. I often don’t realize I’ve made these errors until someone points them out.
    Q5. No
    Q6. No
    Q7. No
    Q8. I naturally think in pictures and have to translate to words?
    Q9. I spell phonetically.
    Q10. When I solve non-verbal problems I almost always think them out a “word based” problems.

  16. 1. No

    2. I learned to read before my class mates and usually won spelling competitions in class when the teacher did that. I am also quite fast at grasping concepts, typically amongst the first 1 – 3 persons to “get” a new concept in a class – depending on the subject of course, and the class size.

    I’m poor at calculations so if that’s required and I can’t bypass it somehow, then I’m closer to last:-).

    3. No. I used to have excellent spelling abilities, but now they are mediocre and I make quite many typos. Perhaps that’s caused by changing language to English in my thirties.

    4. Yes, I have some of these issues. I make a lot of mistakes when writing, – typos, confuse words et.c, and overlook them during proof reading. I don’t remember having these problem when I was younger. Then again, the fact that English isn’t my native language and that I started to use it late (on an everyday basis) may explain some of that.

    And yes being tired makes it worse.

    5. In order to tell left from right, I need to visualise being in the room where I originally learned it (in kindergarden), so I can see that left = towards the wooden double door, and right = the grey boards (and classroom behind them). Sometimes I don’t need to visualise the room but just the door (left) or boards (right). But no – I don’t mix them up as long as I visualise those things.

    For the rest: no.

    6. I find mental arithmetic difficult and very frustrating. I usually grasp the principles, but can’t hold the numbers still in my head, and they dissolve or get mixed up. The same can actually easily happen when I use a calculator! I hit a key wrong, need to delete something and before long I’ve lost overview over the sequence of numbers and needs to start from scratch again. I prefer spreadsheets, where the numbers can be lined up and remain visible all at once.

    7. No, but I’m not fast at reading an analogue clock. I prefer to look at a digital clock if I need to tell time fast.

    I don’t have any issues with the daylight saving thing, forward & backwards etc.

    8. I primarily think in visual concepts and sensations, and translate to words. However, when I’m planning something I want to say or otherwise imagining a conversation then I “say” (= “hear”) the words in my head. I also “say” sounds. I also sometimes see words written as text (but not whole sentences).

    When you say spacial relationships and tactile sensations or motion, then yes: spatial relationships are part of both visual concepts and sensations, and tactile sensations and motion are part of sensations.

    (So I guess that’s a bit of everything, but primarily visual/sensory concepts)

    9. I “see” the word and read out the letters. If I find it difficult to remember the spelling of a word, however, then I memorise the intonation/the sound of the syllables instead (but that is obviously because the visual spelling doesn’t work in that case – otherwise I wouldn’t find it difficult in the first place)

    Difficulties learning how to spell new words or learning new languages: no. (not more than anyone else – learning languages is difficult for anyone, and I’ve been told that I “have an ear for language”)

    10. Definitely visual concepts. I can’t even see how it would possible to “think them out as word-based problems”

    Interesting survey! Great stuff about thinking styles.

  17. 1. Not knowingly. I do process some stuff slowly – if I need to think about it particularly. And my working memory seems particularly poor of late (I think I’m noticing my traits a lot more since I worked out I was an Aspie) and my concentration isn’t good at all unless I’m into something.
    2. I read fast in my head though I think I skim read a lot. But out loud I’m miles slower (I hate reading out loud with a passion – it was the bain of my life at school and I feel so self-conscious and trip over my words a lot). I could read when I started school (love reading) and I’m good at spelling – my mum was keen on teaching me that sort of thing. My spacial reasoning is poor – if I’m reading a map it has to be turned round so that its facing the same direction as me (if that makes sense). I can’t visualise it otherwise.
    3, I sometimes struggle to pronounce words – I say them, know that I’m getting it wrong but it takes a while to work out what the right way is. My mum has taken the mickey out of me at various times in my life (childhood and adulthood) for mispronunciation which has made me paranoid about trying to pronounce words I’m not sure about in front of others.
    4. I don’t think I muddle up words particularly in terms of train and bus etc. but I can talk utter rubbish if I’m not trying. I know vaguely what I’m trying to say but it comes out as not even English. Luckily it only seems to be at home to my pets or myself – I obviously make the effort sufficiently with others. I get names wrong though – my pets names every day. Other peoples’ names I tend not to use in conversation so that’s fine.
    5. I was fine with left and right until I started learning to drive. Or at least I never realised it was difficult. But once those driving lessons started it all went to pot. Now I have to stop and think. Not great with distances – short ones like a foot or metre are fine but ask me to work out 100m and…. well. Cars go too fast and I’m always paranoid I’ll (inexplicably) fall over in the middle of the road so I tend to wait if possible till the road is clear.
    6. I’m fine with my times tables and fairly good with mental arithmetic. I tend to think in numbers a lot (handy being an accountant) but my mental arithmetic has suffered since I started relying on a calculator for work.
    7. I prefer digital clocks as they’re more accurate. I’m okay at reading analogue ones but have been known to make mistakes. I can never work out with daylight saving time whether I’m gaining or losing an hour and what time it would otherwise be. I’ve given up trying!
    8. I think I tend to think in pictures but I’m talking it all through to myself in my head. As I’m typing this I’m talking it internally. And I’m usually doing the whole running commentary thing.
    9. I have to visualise the word before I can spell it out. I’m teaching myself ancient Greek (I know Latin) and that’s harder because I have to translate the Greek letters into their appropriate sounds, then string the sounds together and wrote that into English to learn it. I can’t just see the Greek word and think ‘oh yes that means…’ But I’m enjoying it 🙂
    10. Splitting the bill I struggle with as I need to be able to jot things down (they don’t stay in my head otherwise) – only just realised that’s the problem! I thought I was struggling with the maths but it’s remembering bits when the person I’m with wants to give me her share but needs change from me i.e. the bill in total is £27.65, her share is £13.40 and she’s giving me a £20 note and needs me to give her some change and pay my share without doing it the long way, a bit at a time. I’m miles better if I can visualise something in written form. And I’ve found mind maps great for learning and for working stuff out.

    Love these surveys! And could we have one (or a bit of one) on peoples’ friendships and social lives? How many friends people have, how often they like to go out, do they prefer to do stuff alone etc. Pretty please 🙂

    1. I can see that I’m going to have to add another survey. Would you mind going over to the post right before this one (call for survey questions) and pasting your questions in there? That way I’ll remember to add them. Someone else added a bunch today as well so that should easily fill up another 10-item set.

    2. And if someone spells something out to me, like a name or address, and I need to write it down then I’m pretty slow because I need to visualise the letters first. I do struggle to remember words sometimes, even when I’m just talking to myself (which given the running commentary in my head is most of the occurrences) – I know what I want to say but can’t quite grasp it. There tends to be a fair amount of hand waving and weird noises at this point (because they’re obviously going to make a difference!)

      1. I love how nonsensical my ‘explanatory’ hand gestures tend to be. My family will be like, “That was ‘starfish’?” /mimic me wiggling all my fingers hopefully

        Yes, that’s starfish. Because–they have arms. Like fingers. And they–wiggle. And–and. Yeah. I got nothing.

        I’m thinking about learning sign language because at least then I would have a proper hand language to go with my spoken language. (Also I see older ASD folks talking about losing verbal and written language and I would love to have as many possible ways to communicate socked away in my head before menopause as possible…)

        1. I learnt some sign language years ago (don’t remember much) (BSL Stage 1) and I enjoyed it because I could communicate without having to open my mouth! And because there was a group of us doing the class we were all at the same level and so I didn’t feel like I was somehow less of a person if I struggled whereas if I’m struggling to find the words out loud, or stumbling over them because I’m self-conscious, I feel a bit crap. Definitely give learning it some thought. I might try again some time (though naturally at home on my own, and not out there in the world!)

        2. I started learning to sign and then lost track of it but I’d really like to pick it up again. Part of the problem was that my husband wasn’t as motivated to learn as I was so it felt a little futile to learn by myself.

  18. anonymous answers:

    Q1: I’m an aspie that learns by doing. I used to cry in high school when trying to study. I could read a page 3 times and still not understand it.

    Q2: I’m a fast reader, this was noticed when I first learned to read in the first grade. I have extremely good spacial reasoning and worked as a general nuts and bolts mechanic. I’m not retired.
    3: My spelling has gotten very good since K-12. I hear the words in my mind as I read. I use to mispronounce the words I only read but now I have an electronic dictionary that will pronounce the word for me.

    Q4: If I do any of these things I’m unaware of it.

    Q5: No. On every printer I ever owned ( about 5 ) I write on the printer something like: “Prints on side of page facing up, part of page that feeds into printer first is the top of the page.

    Q6: Yes I struggled to learn the times tables. I still have to double check in my head to make sure I have the correct answer. Mental arithmetic is difficult. I grasp the concept of negative numbers and have no problem with it. I do simple math on a sheet of scrap paper, not in my mind.

    Q7: No problem at all with clocks. I usually don’t even try mental arithmetic. I use pencil and paper almost every time.

    Q8: I struggle to visualize things. I hear words when I think, I never visualize the words. I can think in simple line drawing. I don’t visualize it, but I can hold some kind of data in my mind of these drawings.

    Q9: I just remember the sequence, I think just from reading a lot. I have attempted to learn a 2nd language several times and have failed. Yes I have difficulty learning to spell new words.

    Q10: I use verbal reasoning. For any type of math I usually use pencil and paper.

  19. anonymous answers:

    Q1: dyspraxia and dyscalculia

    Q2: extremely good at Sorkin

    Q3: I don’t have spelling difficulties and never did, but I still need to ‘read it loud’ in my head, which makes me a relatively slow reader, I’m horrible at reading out loud and have difficulty pronouncing a lot of words I’ve read before (or even heard, just not on a regular basis).

    Q4: Yes to all. Also, if a group of letters repeats itself within a word, if I don’t focus on what I’m doing, I often end up that segment more times than necessary. The only example I can come up with right now is wanting to write “calmement” (“calmly” in French) but ending up “calmemement”i nstead.

    Q5: Yes to all, except maybe the shoelaces. I know it took me a bit longer than my peers to master the art of tying shoelaces and my grandmother taught me an alternative, but I think by the time I was 7 I was doing it the regular way.

    Q6: I found some times tables easy to learn as a child but I still struggle with others. I’m bad at mental arithmetic but not completely useless. Yes regarding negative numbers.

    Q7: Yes to all. I can only read analogue clocks if I already have an approximate idea of what time it is, and even then, my reading remains approximate, so basically, I can only use analogue clocks to confirm that it’s approximately the time I approximately thought it was.

    Q8: I think almost exclusively in words. I find it hard to conjure mental picturesand when I manage to, they’re usually fleeting and imprecise.

    Q9: I usually just remember the sequence. Otherwise, I work it out from the sounds.

    Q10: Words. Only words.

  20. This is a great idea!


    1. In addition to HFA/Asperger’s, I also have a diagnosis of nonverbal learning disorder, ADHD, and dyscalculia. The dyscalculia comes from the fact that I think almost entirely visually, and am incapable of conceptualizing abstract value.

    2. I learned to read early, and always read far above my age-level as a child. I also read much faster than most people I know. I have a better than average short term memory, and an extremely strong long term memory.

    3. I had spelling difficulties as a child, but I don’t think they were any worse than average. I occasionally display symptoms of dyslexia when I’m exhausted or overstimulated (switching or rotating letters while reading) but that is very rare, and I am actually very good at spelling (especially with spell-check! haha). I can read MUCH faster than I can read out loud. I do definitely have trouble pronouncing words that I have learned through reading. For example, I used to think that “epitome” and “ep-ee-towm” were two different words that meant the same thing.

    4. Yes, I mix up words that are linked in my brain either conceptually or linguistically (say, two words that begin with the same letter). I almost never remember names unless I put in a lot of effort, so I actually don’t use names when speaking with people. I also forget words for things while speaking almost constantly. I never do this while writing, but if I’m speaking I will sometimes have to switch to writing to remember words, or figure out how to phrase an idea (a linguist friend says this is interesting, because theory is that writing and speaking are controlled by two separate brain centers). The more tired I am, or emotionally overloaded or sensory overloaded I am, the worse I am at speaking. I will stutter, pause, fill gaps with “um,” forget words, or simply become incapable of translating my (mostly visual, conceptual) thoughts into speech. This never happens to me when writing. I feel it’s important to add that I am VERY verbal in my everyday life; I’m incredibly chatty, and was very talkative as a child. However, I often struggle to describe abstract concepts with verbal language (especially when describing my own thoughts and feelings), and am only really capable of doing this skillfully in writing. I only fall “nonverbal” when I’m very stressed and overloaded.

    5. I used to mix up left and right, until one day when my family visited a pumpkin farm and my mother exclaimed that it was “on the right,” while I looked out the window to see the pumpkins on the right side of the road. Ever since then I pictured the pumpkins when thinking of left and right, and right is “the side that the pumpkins are on.” Now that I am an adult, I don’t have any trouble with left and right, and no longer need that mnemonic. I am actually VERY good at judging how fast a thing is moving, and can demonstrate this by saying where in a field two people will cross paths if they are very far away but walking along non-parallel paths. I’m terrified of crossing the street because I’m worried that cars will make mistakes, but I can judge speed fine. I am very good at spatial reasoning (mentally rotating objects, etc), and am fine with “crossing the midline” tasks. But it did take me a long time to learn to tie my shoes! I have gross-motor coordination problems, despite having above-average fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination (because I am an artist by hobby and have practiced said skills all my life). So it took me much longer than average to learn to ride a bike, but I am very good at catching an object being thrown to me.

    6. I am all but incapable of mental math. I was incapable of learning times tables as a child (except the 2s, 5s, 10s,11s, and 9s, because of the predictable patterns involved) and still do not know any “times tables” except for those I listed. Because I think visually, the only way I can do mental math is to imagine dots, like the dots on dice, and count them. For larger numbers I can guestimate by visualizing and counting money. I cannot do division, even on paper. I can work with negative numbers just as well as positive numbers, because I can imagine “taking away” and “adding” to my mental images.

    7. It took me a very long time to learn to read analogue clocks. Now that I understand them, I’m much better, but I still have to count, or round to a guestimate. Time zones are easy for me because I can see a map and count the stripes of time zones in my head. And daylight savings time is easy now that I know the “spring forward, fall back” mnemonic.

    8. I think almost entirely in pictures, and have to translate my thoughts to language. I “see” words when I think. And, because I have auditory processing problems (sounds blend together, and my brain doesn’t separate speech from other types of sounds) I can sometimes help myself to understand a person speaking by imagining captions, like on a television. I also have a lot of synesthesia, so I think of abstract concepts in terms of sensory experiences. For example, I have a hard time describing (or even recognizing) my own emotions, but I can easily describe my emotions with terms like “pink, soft, and sticky” or “grey, brittle, and porous.”

    9. I “see” the word and then read the letters. Because I’m better at writing than just conjuring that kind of concept, I usually “write” the word with my finger in the air, or a surface, and I can hold the mental image of the invisible letters I’ve just written in my mind, so I “read” from that drawn image. And I am just as good at learning to spell new words in my own language as in other languages, because I have to be able to “photograph” the word with my memory (I write it large and then move my face close so it fills my vision, and will then be clear enough in my memory to read).

    10. I do this entirely visually, especially the latter example of a seating chart. When I split a bill, I have to use a calculator (or spend several minutes focusing very hard, during which time another person present usually has the answer). I finally, just this year, figured out how to do tips though! If the bill at a restaurant is $53.16, one moves the decimal point one space to the left, which is 10% ($5.32; I round up) and then multiply that by two (I have to count, but it doesn’t take long) to get 20% ($10.64). I always tip 20% no matter what, so this is an easy rule for me to stick to. Before I learned this, I either had to use a calculator (and cross multiply; something I’ve always been good at because it’s visual!) or rely on whoever I was with to calculate the bill for me.

  21. 1. Nope, just autism (and potentially some anxiety issues but I don’t think that’s the sort of thing you’re looking for)

    2. Good at spelling, I think I learned to read pretty well pretty early, good long-term memory (although this is usually in the form of remembering specific useless details without necessarily being able to remember the full context straight away)

    3. I haven’t really given this much thought, but I think I can read short sentences/phrases without reading out loud in my head. Otherwise, I can read much faster than I can read out loud, but sometimes if I try and read faster than the internal reading-out-loud-in-my-head voice (which is fairly rushed), I feel like I haven’t really taken everything in.

    4. I forget words all the time. Everything is a “thing”. “Thing” is a lifesaver. I sometimes forget where I’m going with a sentence halfway through speaking, too.

    5. I think it took me a while to learn to tie my laces, and I initially learned to tie an initial lot then make a loop with each lace and tie those together; I eventually moved on to tying them in the usual manner, and don’t have any issues with it now. Still can’t ride a bike, if that counts for anything.

    6. No.

    7. No.

    8. I’m pretty sure I think mainly in words/sounds, with the occasional vague pictures.

    9. I think I might see the word and read out the letters? That, or just remembering the sequence.

    10. I tend to use words.

    1. I could not survive without the word ‘thing.’ It’s great for giving me time to come up with whatever I actually meant. (And now that I think about it, I do a lot of talking with my hands to compensate for spending time trying to come up with a word or concept, too. Which gets entertaining and/or mystifying for people if the word I’m trying to come up with is something like ‘lobster’–especially considering my hand gestures tend to follow my thought process, so I may be attempting to convey ‘lobster’ via ‘whiskers’ and ‘water.’ So I guess I do have some language quirks…)

        1. Thank you so much for having put up these questions!
          And thanks to ‘quarries and corridors’ for never stopping his flow in wording them!
          You get me reassessing my whole life. And instead of just grunting to voice my approval, you get me making up essays in my head to answer and expand on the topics. “grunting” or making noises of approval, disapproval, comment in general would be my preferred way of communication. Sign language, no, that’s not what I need, there’d be more need of a dictionary of grunts uttered by me and their different meanings according to time of day, subject matter, circumstances, persons around me. Just relieve me of the necessity to speak in language intelligible to others, words that I have come to learn the meaning of. So I come to think that I am not thinking in words, words are just the one and only means I seem to have to understand others and to make others understand what I think.
          But ask me if I’m thinking in words and I’d wholeheartedly say, yes, I am. Just that it is other people’s words that I am using and recombining into new meaning closer to what I have to say. With all the languages I’m speaking I have doubts as to whether any of them is my own.

          1. I have the same odd relationship with thinking in words but not really. It’s hard to explain but makes perfect sense in my head. 🙂

            Also, I believe ‘quarries and corridors’ prefers gender neutral pronouns (they, them, their) rather than masculine pronouns. They can of course correct me if I got that wrong.

  22. 1. Self-diagnosed ASD, no known/suspected SpLD. I do have terrible working memory, which I was able to compensate for until the last few years.

    2. I’ve learned that I’m hyperlexic, learned to read before age 3, and read very fast compared to others. Excellent spelling, I am the default proofreader among the engineers (which may not be saying much, admittedly).  My spatial reasoning is very good. I can navigate, efficiently jigsaw-pack the trunk of the car, park knowing exactly how big my car is, etc.

    3. At first I said “no issues with this”, but then I re-read the last question. I struggle with this. My intuitive guess of how words are pronounced is always wrong. It provides a lot of amusement for other people, though.

    4. I often forget words or get “stuck” when speaking, and will miss errors in proofreading my own work. Or I will use the wrong word (especially speaking) and not realize it until later. The level of mistakes definitely increases with stress / tiredness / too much sensory input / too many people / etc.

    5. I can sort of tell left and right intuitively; if I think about it I get it right regularly. Spatial reasoning, I’m very good at, but my spatial visualization is nearly non-existent. I have to look at the little printer diagram and hold the paper above the printer and think through which way it should go. Even then, it is still wrong maybe a third of the time. (But, if I’ve taken the parts out and know how the printer works and can see that in my head, I get it right every time. strange.) I am an engineer who needs a part or model to tell what something looks like. I’m almost incapable of constructing a model in my head based on a 2D drawing (which is a very common skill in my field). It just doesn’t work for me. No issues with any of these other items.

    6. No issues with any of this.

    7. I actually like analog clocks and find them preferable to too-bright digital blinky ones.  No issues with time or mental arithmetic. I’m not as good at math in my head as I used to be, but I think it’s more because I’ve become accustomed to relying on a calculator for speed and precision.

    8. I’m terrible at visualizing things. I have to see it to understand it. Telling me how to do something, without any visual reference, is a pointless, frustrating exercise for everyone. (Never mind that *telling* me instead of writing an instruction is another great opportunity for failure.) I don’t know how to answer the “hearing” words vs. “seeing” them. They just are.

    9. I spell intuitively. If I try to think too much about the spelling I’ll goof it up. No issues with new words or different languages.

    10. I’m not sure how to answer this because I can’t explain in these terms how I think (I’m not sure I understand how I think, to be honest).

  23. 1. None diagnosed, but I think my short term memory and working memory (? I just looked it up, I’m not really sure) and overall attention has seriously diminished these past few years. I partially blame the internet.

    2. I learned to read early and it was of my own motivation and just “happened.” At some point words related to images and concepts, I never had to piece it together or anything. I was a very fast reader as a kid, still am but probably more normal now because I get distracted a lot. I’m definitely not efficient though heh.

    3. I’ve never been a great speller but not terrible either. I rely a lot on spell check so I’m sure it hasn’t improved since childhood. I still get confused about some words like “absence.” Mixing up s and c a lot. I say the words as I read or write them in my head and very quickly, it’s basically simultaneous. So I read much faster in my head than if I have to read out loud. I dislike reading out loud because I guess… in my head I am saying the words as I read them and then kind of like a tail wind comes the associated emotions. So reading out loud I can’t really be empathic or “a good story teller” the first run through. As for pronouncing words I’ve never heard before, haha… as a kid this was a big insecurity for me once I realized I royally messed up some words. My favorite example of this was the dog breed bichon frise. Dogs were my “thing”… I could, and still can, recognize and identify basically every AKC recognized breed and several international breeds as well. Well for the longest time because I’d only read the names in books I guessed pronunciations. Bichon Frise is French but before I knew that, I pronounced it “bitchin’ frizz” and the looks on peoples faces when I said that…. priceless. (Though embarrassing at the time! I just misspelled embarrassing btw)

    4. Often when I type I’ll add unnecessary post-fixes which I think has more to do with my finger-muscle-memory than the way I think about words, but who knows. I’m very good at proof-reading other people’s work and spotting things other people miss, but absolutely terrible at proof reading my own writing… probably because I know the gist of what I wrote so my brain skips over the details.

    5. I don’t really mix up left and right ever. I’m pretty good at judging volume and size but I’m terrible at judging distance (if I’m standing on a chair I’m afraid of jumping off because I can’t gauge the distance even though logically I KNOW it’s like… two feet.) and when riding horses as a child I never did much jumping because I just couldn’t figure out how A) one can readily judge the distances (I usually relied on my horse to do the work in that department) and B) memorize the order of jumps to go in and visualize the course in my head while going through it…. I just couldn’t fathom how people did that so easily, it gave me so much anxiety! I don’t recall having a hard time learning to tie my shoes, I’ll have to ask my mom. But knots in general I’m terrible with. If I wear ties every single time I have to look up a youtube video with step by step instructions, and with most western saddles they are cinched with a knot and even though I’ve been doing it on and off for over twenty years I couldn’t tell you how to do it. I have to have it in my hands and just either do it by muscle memory or have someone remind me if it’s been a while.

    6. Fuck this shit! Sorry, but wow time tables ruined me in 3rd grade. I was placed in the gifted math class for some reason and that was with a different teacher than my regular one. She was old school and very stern which translated to mean to me. I just couldn’t memorize the tables, it made no sense to me because they never explained WHY or HOW multiplication actually worked. Which looking back, is ridiculous! I remember being asked was 8 x 4 is and I had no freaking idea…. and I sat there staring out the window thinking “what’s 8 x 4 what’s 8 x 4” over and over hoping the answer would just come to me… and the teacher berated me for not paying attention and for looking out the window. It was traumatizing. I know the basics now but not readily, it takes me a minute to dredge it up from memory. I also still count on my fingers and I have to visualize basic arithmetic in my head. I HATE when people look at me like I’m an idiot because I take longer than them to come up with simple answers. MY BRAIN DOESN’T WORK THE SAME AS YOURS UGH.

    7. I’ve never had a problem with time or clocks.

    8. I had to think about this. I definitely hear words. I think I generally think in words and concepts… by concepts I mean…. If I say “horse” I’ll think the word as well as a variety of things I associate with horses: sound and smell, how they feel to touch as well as under me when riding, and a variety of images because not all horses look the same though they all obviously have four legs, hooves, etc. And if the word has a specific relationship to me I’ll think of that… like “arabian horse” I think of the horses I specifically worked with in the circus first, but then also other examples of the breed as well. Also concepts like… “dog” I think “needy.” I love them, but they’re needy and require a lot of attention lol. That immediately comes to mind when I think about dogs. I don’t know if that’s something most people do or not. Alternatively, with words that aren’t nouns and harder to have a visual component, I search for the verbal definition as well as the emotion it work invokes in me. Which makes it difficult for me to verbally explain, because even though I look for language I’m not good at stringing the words I come up with together to make sense when explaining to other people. Even when I technically know a words actual definition, that won’t come to mind, it’ll be more sensory and jumbled for me.

    9. I think I generally try to visualize a word if asked to spell it out loud. As for foreign languages I’ve learned it’s easier for me to associate the word in whatever language with the object or concept/feeling etc. it describes vs. trying to associate it with the English word. So the only other language I really know is French and sometimes I’ll think in French, just bits and pieces. Reading and writing in French is easier than speaking and listening. I can mimic the sounds well, I know how French words are supposed to sound but actually coming up with something to say and verbalizing it is very difficult for me.

    10. Splitting the bill will take me forever, I don’t even know how I’d do it, I’m so terrible with numbers. Calculating the tip I just move the decimal over and divide (right? or multiply? I don’t know hahaha, I’d know if I was doing it) figuring out place settings… I’d probably conceptualize the people there and it would be more of a visual thing.

    1. I count with my fingers too! No idea why people find it amusing when I do – seems perfectly logical to me. And for some of the times tables I’ll have to go through them to get to the right answer while others I can jump straight to e.g. I know without thinking that 5 x 6 = 30. But your 8 x 4 I had to go once eight is eight, two eights are sixteen, three eights are twenty four, four eights are 32. ( A lot quicker than using the 4 times table!)

  24. 1.
    I have been diagnosed with ADHD, but I believe that to be a misdiagnosis.

    I started reading early, and I am extremely fast (about 14 syllables per second usually), I am also fast at typing, which I think is part of processing. Apart from one mistake I continue to make, my spelling (at least in German) has been near-perfect for years. I also have a memory that tends to freak people out – not quite eidetic, but with a lot of detail.
    I read much faster than I read out loud – see above. I have a problem with the „pronounce it as it’s spelt“ because in english I have yet to find out which way of pronouncing „i“ – the one in „I“ or the one in „in“ – is actually the default one, there are other problems with other sounds as well.
    I might type a word I am hearing instead of the one I meant to write, which usually ends up looking quite hilarious. And I do tend to forget the word for something especially when I am tired. Other than that – no in all accounts.
    Yes, sometimes, yes, either absolutely difficult or ridiculously easy (have not yet found the pattern), not that I know of, yes, and yes.
    No on all accounts, actually I was annoyed with other kids at primary school for just not getting the concept.
    I actually have a clock that goes backwards by design. The switching I need to do when going to the station (where the clocks go the normal way) helped me learn a lot. I will always forget which way it goes during daylight savings.
    It combines a lot out of different methods. In general, I will think of something with the same sense I experienced it – or prioritize which sense is the most important.
    I will „mentally say things out loud“ over and over if I am holding back something or if I am trying to explain something to someone else,
    I tend to do the pattern of linked thoughts – thing if it comes to things I studied. Related concepts. My brain seems to work on association most of the time. When I try not to think of something by trying to think of something else, my brain will connect link over link until I reached the thought I didn’t want to think.
    This associative thinking has increased since I started using a memory palace. Imagine a spiderweb with audiorecordings, images and little movies stuck to it, basically. With minute writing on the spiderweb.
    I will always love the abstract concepts in math much more than the actual application, but I can find it satisfying to apply them ones I feel like I learned it sufficiently, marveling at it’s perfection.
    When I try to remember something like a pincode, I tend to remember how I saw it written down – and can do that very vividly.
    Remembering what someone has said means I will store it like an audiorecording in my brain, ready to be “played” when needed.
    Memories I have saved in their entirety – where I need both the audio and the visual, or maybe also the tactile part, basically – are stored film-like.
    I don’t do most of that consciously, my brain tends to “file away” things on it’s own.
    Visualizing where I need to go – when it comes to orientation – I will still fail at miserably.

    The former. I have not thought about the language-question – not particularly, I think.
    Neither, I think in different kinds of concepts depending on the situation.

  25. 1. As far as I know, I don’t have any learning disorders diagnosed. I was told that I have mild ADD, however that may have been a false positive of the test (red dots and green dots and press space bar for one color but not the other… similar to the roads/mountains part on one of the Take a Test Tuesdays) picking up on ASD stuff. I do have difficulty concentrating sometimes, probably the worst when I’m in a class where I’m expected to look at the teacher but the teacher’s clothes don’t fit. I can spend the entire class figuring out how to move/eliminate seams and darts to make the clothes fit, and then do it all again the same day. While some of my spacial awareness is good to great, I do have difficulty with spacial awareness outside of the reach of my body.
    And I don’t know if this is relevant, but I sometimes lose track of where my body is or has been… like when I’m climbing, I have a very good sense of what’s within my reach, but I’ll sometimes climb a route/problem once, then when I go back to it, I can’t get halfway up because I don’t remember where my limbs were the first time.

    2. I am a fast reader and may have been an early reader and have always read above grade-level. How much of that is intrinsic and how much of that is due to one-on-one attention from a former preschool teacher, I don’t know, though I did read earlier than she expected. Spelling is very good. Spacial reasoning is very good, to where within a week of moving, I’ve become comfortable moving around without being able to see well, if at all.

    3. No spelling difficulties. Sometimes I do read aloud in my head, but most of the time, reading for me is experiencing things as a character or watching a movie. After not too long if left alone long enough, I lose awareness of the pages, paragraphs, words, etc and only experience the story. Though somehow, certain errors/typos like misspellings or oddly placed commas can jolt me out of that and make me hyper-aware of the words/paragraphs/sentence structure for the next few pages. Textbooks and non-story books are different; I’m more aware of the visual aspect (I can still recall images in textbooks from 10 years ago) but I still don’t remember words as much as content. I can read faster than I can read aloud and this causes problems in English, like mispronunciations and skipping words or parts of words. When I’m reading in a language I’m learning, I get to pick between saying the words properly and understanding what I’m supposed to be reading aloud–if I try to do both, I start to stutter and rearrange sounds. I don’t have difficulty pronouncing words I’ve only read, but I don’t necessarily pronounce them correctly.

    4. I don’t think I mix up options. I do sometimes misuse affixes (prefixes and postfixes) when I get caught between two different ways of saying the same thing and use the sentence structure of one and the words for the other (“be specific” and “specify things” can become “be specify” or “specific things”) but it’s mostly in conversation for me. I don’t usually get people’s names wrong unless they’re very similar. Missing words happens, but usually I can get by with describing the thing I’m missing the word for. I do catch these things when proofreading, but I don’t know if I would if I didn’t want to be a linguist. These mistakes are definitely more common when I’m tired.

    5. I’m pretty clear on left and right. I can judge volume pretty well. Distance and speed not so much (though when I was in countries where you just cross the street when there’s a big enough break and drivers swerve around you, I was able to learn. Not needing that skill so much anymore, it seems to have gone away). Size, I’m not sure. Putting the page back in the printer to print on both sides can be confusing and take a little while to get right, but other spacial reasoning tasks, like efficient packing or organising the fridge, I’m pretty good at. Crossing the midline doesn’t seem to cause me any problems. Tying shoelaces wasn’t a problem for me.

    6. I didn’t really learn the times tables until middle school or high school. Endless repetition never seems to work for me to learn anything ever; I learn by using things, so once I had repeated the times tables in math-context enough times, they stuck. Mental arithmetic is easier for me than showing my work–my brain always moves faster than my body, so showing my work can lead to rearranging numbers more than mental arithmetic. No difficulty with negative numbers; I’ve always conceptualised it as money, where positive is what you have and negative is what you owe.

    7. I’m OK with analogue clocks now, though I used to have more difficulty and still can if I haven’t seen one in a while. The change in daylight savings between time zones doesn’t phase me.

    8. If i had to describe my thinking, I’d say I think in concepts. Not really in words (unless I’m thinking for the purpose of communication) nor in pictures (unless I’m completing a visual-based task). However when I do think in words, the words are intrinsically tied in with the spellings, so when talking and someone uses a word with homonyms, I’ll often ask for the spelling to understand the meaning. I’m not exactly hearing or seeing them, though, and I’m not sure how to describe that.

    9. Although I occasionally have to write a word out (usually when someone asks “is it spelled this way or that way”), words have a sense of how they’re spelled, to me. I’m not sure how that works. Spelling new words isn’t hard. It’s easier for me to learn a new language when I can write in it, which may be related to the word meanings being tied into the spelling. I don’t have difficulty learning languages when I’m learning my way, however learning languages and learning linguistics does cause problems. I instinctively apply what I’m learning in linguistics to learning languages, but language classes seem to be taught with simplified (and sometimes not exactly correct but easier to understand) linguistics principles. And that can be extremely confusing. And spelling in other languages, at least the ones I’ve tried learning, is often easier than in English because every other language I’ve tried learning has less exceptions to the rules than English.

    10. When solving word problems like the splitting a bill, it becomes a visual/spacial problem. I distribute the amounts (not really thinking in numbers but amounts) like I was dealing out cards for a card game. Working out a tip is a similar type of breaking it down into smaller parts and going from there, however it’s not visual at all. I’m just playing with the amounts (though still not numbers). I’d guess it would vary for other types of word problems as well.

    1. I know what you mean about reading fiction – particularly with books I know well and enjoy I’m picturing the story in my head rather than noticing the words.

      1. Yes, that’s exactly it! It makes it so frustrating, though, when I read a book and then watch the movie and the movie gets it wrong.

        1. Oh I know – I’m sat there going ‘no, that’s wrong, no it should be…. noooooooooooooooo!’ It really puts me off watching a film where I’ve read and enjoyed the book first.

            1. Lord of the Rings was really bad for me. That was not how I saw Rivendell. But for some reason, Harry Potter doesn’t bother me much, despite noticing how some stuff changes and moves around between movies.

    2. And one more thing I realised by reading other people’s comments: I have language issues in line with what’s described for CAPD as I understand it (mis-hearing or mis-understanding what’s said but not having a hearing deficit), however I seem to over-discriminate rather than under-discriminate sounds, and the latter is what I’ve seen described for CAPD. It’s useful to pointless in most contexts (like differentiating certain makes and brands of cars just by hearing their engines). But it does cause problems in language when my sound-map is different from the average English-speaker’s sound-map. I’d explain what I mean, but I don’t know how to do so without using linguistics-specific terms that aren’t general knowledge, or being super long-winded. On the one hand, it makes learning other languages easier as I don’t have to think much more to consciously discriminate between sounds. But on the other hand, learning other languages’ pronunciations seems to make the issue worse, as I can’t stop the extra sound-discrimination when I go back to English.

  26. 1. No learning disabilities, and no to any other issues.

    2. Fast reader, did read faster than now, I consciously slowed down when revising for exams etc.
    I learned to read early not sure how early – to long ago. Only Ok at spelling in my opinion got
    better with effort. Very good short term memory, very good spatial reasoning. OK without conscious planning.
    Concentration high, trained myself to concentrate even if not interested in subject.

    3. Spelling has improved since childhood but I still sometimes stumble over the same words I had trouble
    with at school. Having gone back to education I started reading out loud in my head to focus and most of the
    time I do this now. A habit I have gotten into but I do not need to do it, I just find I am doing it.
    Yes I read faster in my head. I am usually OK with new words.

    4. No mixing up of options. No to the missing small words or postfixes. I do not usually forget words
    but when I do it is when I am tired.

    5. I have no problems with anything to do with spatial / orientation / speed / distance / left / right,
    in fact many times I am better than others in this respect.

    6. Numbers are Ok for me I found as a child I just had to see the point in learning something.
    The times table I just worked out short cuts that worked for me to remember them.

    7. No problem with clocks, time zones and such things. No problem with mental arithmetic either, but I
    engaged over the years in solving many calculations and other math problems in my head to stave
    off boredom when driving and such things.

    8. I wish I could remember what I was like as a child but now over 30 years later I try and be more flexible
    in how I think about things, trying different approaches. So all of the above depending on the situation.

    9. I tend to see the word and read out the letters and then test the sound of what I have spelt.
    New words are not a problem if they relate to something I already know or I need it for work or
    something. Basically I am lazy and always have been regarding spelling.
    I have not tried a new language to any depth but the simple stuff is OK.

    10. Tips and bill splitting I calculate as a maths problem only.

    My problems are in other areas, or age and practice has helped minimise some potential issues. I wish I could remember what I was like as a child. Head injury and no desire to remember.

  27. 1. I haven’t been diagnosed with anything, but I definitely seem to have a slow processing speed.
    2. I am extremely good at spelling. I think I can spell anything as long as I’ve seen the word before.
    3. I can definitely read faster in my head than out loud. I do have some trouble pronouncing some words if I haven’t heard them said before.
    4. I’m pretty good with names. I do often forget words for things when I’m speaking. I’ll know what I mean, but can’t figure out how to say it.
    5. Not only do I have trouble crossing the street, but I have trouble driving because it’s hard to judge how fast cars are going. Figuring out things like which way to put the paper in the printer is also difficult. For a long time, I had to leave a post-it note on the printer showing how to load it !
    6. I didn’t really struggle with times tables. As far as mental arithmetic – it’s not too bad if it’s simple, but I prefer to use a calculator. Negative numbers do throw me off.
    7. I don’t have too much trouble reading analog clocks. TIme changes and time zones bug me. Mental arithmetic is difficult for me, even though I consider myself good at math.
    8. I think I tend to “see” words when I think. Also, and this is weird, but ever since I learned to type, I also often mental “type” words out also.
    9. I see words to read out the letters. Spelling new words is easy for me, but learning new languages not so much. I am good at learning the grammar, but not the speaking and understanding.
    10. I’m not sure. I sure have to write stuff down to figure it out.

  28. 1. No. I said no but perhaps my processing speed is slower a fraction than most people. People think that I haven’t maybe heard the question or the statement and I’m distracted or mind wandering but I will answer but later than they expect it. My timing is different. I call it being thoughtful.


2. I am a fast reader. I loved reading when I was a kid. An early reader. I had a gap during my teenage years and university where I didn’t read much for myself but after that I have been an avid reader. I consume books and often have several on the go. I don’t discriminate when I read. I read most genres. 

    3. I think I read aloud in my head. Sometimes I imagine certain people reading it to me especially with novels. I can read much faster “in my head” than reading aloud. 
Yes I have difficulty pronouncing words I’ve read but haven’t heard before on occasion. It gives me a surprise in a nice way to hear it spoken. I use dictionaries online to hear the sound.

    4. I often mix up words saying one when meaning another. Hubby understands me and thinks my quirk is amusing. It frustrates me at times. At times I cannot even get the word out even though I can see the picture of the word in my head. Nouns I have trouble with for some reason. I sometimes get around it if I can by describing it. In another language I can disguise this as having a lack of vocabulary but in my own native language it can be embarrassing. And yes when tired these are more common. 

    5. Left and right, I occasionally will say the opposite of what I mean. I think that I can cross a road okay, but my husband doesn’t agree. He cringes when I do. Again timing, it might be a little off. Paper in the printer. I need to visualise the paper going through the machine before I put it in for the double sided print. Even then I can muck it up depending on the printer. I find driving at night unpleasant because I find judging distance and light perception difficult. Recently stopped drinking caffeine and this appears to have improved. Shoelaces were challenging. Someone taught me a different way after not being able to get the regular way. Can’t remember who it was. I’m left-handed and have had to learn right handed way of doing most things so I watch and repeat. Knitting, crochet, tennis, knot tying for example. Teachers were right handed so you had to convert it to left handed combination. Or just do it right handed. 

    6. Yes. But I wrote them over and over, the times tables and got it. Mental arithmetic I do not enjoy. I say that but did mathematics at university as fill in subjects then I taught it. Go figure.

    7. Analog clocks I like generally. Time zones I need to check carefully. I don’t want to call someone at 3am. So that I double check with time zones on the internet to make sure. Daylight saving, going back or forward, yes actually I do work it out in my head every time each year. It doesn’t come naturally. 

    8. I am a visual person. Its the words that don’t come sometimes when I want. If someone starts explaining something I just switch off sometimes. If someone shows me how to do something or gives me a diagram. Easy. I can follow maps, diagrams and kit sets no trouble. I have an amazing sense of direction. Show me how to get somewhere once I will remember.

    9. I think I see the word. Haven’t given this much thought. I am a decent speller. Some words I remember from the sound, others from the sequence. I do find that my fingers on the keyboard don’t input the right order of the letters in the word on occasion. Perhaps that is my typing skill rather than the brain input? I don’t think I’m a natural with new languages but I enjoy the challenge.
Some words even after spelling them correctly, I can look at them and think that it looks wrong, even though I know its the right way to spell it. I have lived with both English and American spellings and find that I tend to mix up the spelling and pronunciation but it doesn’t bother me.

    10. Visualise definitely, bill splitting was left to me.

  29. 1. I have ADD, which I was not diagnosed with until I was in my early 30s. I was also designated as gifted in elementary school — the same early childhood tests that showed my serious lack of gross motor skills also showed an above-college reading level and 5th grade math level. I skipped the second grade and my parents said I could have skipped more, but wanted to keep me back for social reasons (I wish they hadn’t!). I remember going to speech therapy a handful of times in the third or fourth grade, but I don’t remember why and my parents don’t remember it happening at all, so.

    2. I learned to read at about three, I think, and I don’t remember there being much of a process to it aside from learning to sound out words I didn’t know. It was kind of just an ‘on’ switch for me; my mom says I was reading and understanding the newspaper at five. I also remember loving to play along with Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy at home starting at around the same age. I was kind of manipulative in first grade, apparently — my mom also tells me that I used to make up games where the rules were so convoluted that only I knew what they meant. I have always been an excellent speller, but double letters are my Achilles’ heel, especially in words like “sheriff” where I can’t remember which consonant is doubled.

    3. There are a couple problem words that I’ve learned tricks for, or always have to say back to myself when I write them, like “parallel”. I definitely read faster in my head than I do out loud, but I think that might be because my brain just works faster in general than I can make words happen, not because of any problem with the writing/thought/speech conversion. I can’t think of a time when I’ve had a problem pronouncing a word I’ve only seen written, but if a word is spelled very differently from how it sounds, I won’t necessarily recognize it the first time I hear it. I remember very clearly when that happened in junior high, the words “khaki” and “chassis” were on a spelling test. I was familiar with them from reading but had never heard them spoken, at least not in connection to a written word, so I spelled them phonetically and felt absolutely stupid for having a spelling test without a perfect score, especially since it had been given by a student teacher who wasn’t familiar with me or my work.

    4. This has been happening to me more lately, or I’ve just been more conscious of it. If I have planned out what I’m going to say, I’m fine, but if I’m speaking off-the-cuff then there’s always a chance I’ll get a word confused somewhere, and it happens with names too. It happens in writing too, using the “specific”/”specifically” example, if I use one word more than the other then I’ll sort of autopilot it? I miss little connecting words too, like they’re part of the construction in my head but they don’t make it out. I catch some of them, but I know I don’t catch all of them. It definitely happens more when I’m tired — typos in general happen a LOT more when I’m tired.

    5. I am TERRIBLE at spatial reasoning and always have been. I’m fine at expressing left and right, but when someone tells me something is on the left or right it takes me a second, and I don’t know if that’s an auditory processing thing or a spatial thing. I can read a map but if I’m using one to work out directions getting left and right correct takes some work. I know what east/west/north/south are on a map, but when I’m working out directions on a map I always end up picturing a car driving on the roads. If the car is ‘driving’ the way the map is oriented, then I’m fine, but if I have to turn that around it gets difficult.

    I’ve always been terrible at estimating — I remember once in grade school, a kid asked me how tall I thought another (tall for his age!) kid was, and I said ten feet. Which was obviously not accurate.

    I know that when driving I can take a long time to make a turn into traffic because it’s hard for me to judge how fast the other cars are going, and I avoid left turns without a traffic signal for this reason. I remember when I was learning to drive, being terrified the first time I went on the freeway because I thought I would run into the car in front of me if I was going the speed limit.

    I don’t remember any ‘crossing the midline’ problems specifically but I have coordination problems in general so I bet I’d have trouble there too. And I think it probably did take me longer than usual to learn to tie my shoes? I don’t remember learning a special way to do it but I do remember wanting to keep my velcro shoes for a long time.

    6. I’ve never had any problems with math, except when it comes to showing my work. Well, I hated math in K-12 because it was hard for me, but I was right at or a year ahead of my grade so I guess I did okay. I was, uh. I was actually a mathlete in junior high, which was the only time they had it at my (poor, rural) school district.

    7. I can tell time on an analog clock and I’m usually okay with working out how time changes will look on the clock, but I can never remember when Arizona is in Pacific and when it’s in Mountain, which used to be relevant for my job but isn’t anymore. On the other hand, I prefer digital clocks because then I don’t have to worry about what hands are doing and what kind of noise they are making.

    8. My thinking is a combination of still and moving images, music, and math. I’m also very good at thinking of analogies to explain things. I sometimes hear words when reading them but not always. I can have trouble visualizing something if I don’t have any kind of reference, but I can usually find an analogy or some part of the thing that I’m familiar with that will help me.

    9. I have to “look” at a word in my head in order to spell it when asked, and take it slowly if it’s a long word or a word that has unusual letter combinations. I’m very good at spelling new words, and I have a really good ear for languages, both with learning them and pronouncing unfamiliar or foreign words.

    10. I have to think of things like this in pictures, or better yet, draw something to help me see it. Working out a tip, for example, I try to think of the amount in three or four even blocks and go from there. But the cafe in the building where I work has a thing where it figures three different tip amounts for you and you can just choose one (or none) and I think that is the best thing in the world.

  30. 1. I haven’t been diagnosed with anything else, but I suspect I may have ADHD or something similar. I can have quite poor concentration and I sometimes use a purple overlay because reading has become difficult over the past few years.
    2. My memory can quite good, for example I memorised Pi to over 200 decimal places, but I don’t know if it is anything unusual.
    3. My spelling has always been okay (I think). I always ‘read out loud’ in my head though I think I didn’t used to before I started having trouble reading. I definitely read faster than I do out loud. I tend to not read words I haven’t seen before properly, so I just make up a word that sounds nothing like it’s supposed to.
    4. I only mix up similar words when speaking, but I only miss out words when writing. I also tend to push two words together, for example if I’m writing ‘with the’ it’ll become ‘withe’. I do mix up people’s names but I don’t think it’s any more than other people do. I forget words for things, but also I sometimes seem unable to express certain concepts, it’s like I can’t find any words to describe something. Some of the time I don’t realise I’ve made the spoken mistakes unless someone else points it out. I’m not sure about writing, but I think I notice mistakes.
    5. I don’t mix up left and right. I have difficulty judging volume, it gets to a certain level and then I can’t tell if it’s gotten louder or not. I do have trouble crossing the road, but I think it’s due to having to process information from two directions at the same time. I didn’t learn to tie my shoe laces properly until I was about 13, so I used to tie them in Granny Knots and then push the ends through the knot to make loops.
    6. I didn’t/don’t have problems with any of these.
    7. I don’t have problems with any of these.
    8. I think mainly in pictures, for example if someone says ‘barking up the wrong tree’ I see a dog barking up a tree. When I’m thinking I hear words rather than see them, but I tend to see and hear numbers.
    9. If I’m asked to spell something I sound it out first, but I can see the general structure of the word. I don’t usually have trouble learning to spell new words and I’m not sure about foreign languages as I haven’t tried to learn any in four years.
    10. I’d probably have to write things down because otherwise I’d lose where I was and I’d get confused.

  31. 1. No, but I do have all the conditions mentioned when I have a migraine. I suspect it’s the combination of migraine and autism that makes them so pronounced.

    2. I had learnt how to read well before I started school at 5 years of age. I can still remember thinking how uninteresting the first reader books we had in the first year were. I used to have extremely good spacial reasoning, although it has somewhat diminished since I’ve entered my sixties. I was very successful academically in all subjects before my teens, Less so in high school where my achievements were directly related to the interest I had in the subject. In maths and science subjects I was always in the top 10%, whereas in languages, and social sciences I was average to below average.

    3. My spelling ability has probably remained the same as when I was young. I don’t notice spelling mistakes, so do rely on spell checkers to a large extent.

    If I’m to make sense of the written word, I must read aloud in my head. I can read slightly faster if I don’t speak, as I find it difficult to form words vocally while reading. It’s sort of one task or the other. When reading stories to children for example, I often get words tangled up, or mispronounced,

    I have no problem pronouncing new words when I see them. However, that’s no guarantee that I’ll pronounce them correctly.

    4. I don’t think I confuse words much, but I often miss out words and sometimes complete phrases when writing or speaking. I’m often not aware of it. However, I will usually pick them up in proof reading, as that is a multi pass process, with different objectives on each pass. Never the less, I have been guilty of writing passages that make no sense to anyone other than myself.

    I can’t remember names at the best of times so confusion of names is irrelevant.

    I often forget the names of things or actions. It’s much worse during a migraine.

    5. I have no clue which is left or right, unless I turn to face the direction I perceive is east. Then Left is to the north, and right is to the south.

    Speed and distance I have trouble with, and they are getting worse with age. In other spacial reasoning, I am above average without a migraine, and well below average with a migraine.

    Anything requiring fine motor skill such as tying shoelaces are difficult to learn. On the other hand, I am ambidextrous with most tasks. I have a great problem playing the piano as both hands want to move simultaneously, but I have no problem playing the piano accordion as the type of finger movement is different for each hand.

    6. No. I was fascinated by numbers. I can remember explaining to my teacher that when a number is multiplied by 9, the sum of the numbers of the result always equals 9. (9*3=27, 2+7=9; 1 9*7=63, 6+3=9; 12*9=108, 1+0+8=9). I was seven at the time. Negative numbers have never been an issue. If a calculator is available, I use one as it’s quicker than using my head, but it is always obvious to me if I make an error. It’s not unusual for me to double check the calculator by doing the same calculation by hand.

    7. I find analogue clocks easier to read the digital clocks. There’s no need to get it properly in focus to see the time. Calculating differences in time zones has never been an issue. Mental arithmetic is not a problem so long as I can memorise all the numbers involved. That’s getting more difficult as I age.

    8.I think only in words that I hear. I can’t imagine thinking in an abstract way. For example I’m not able to imagine the difference in touch between silk and sandpaper, although I know there is a difference. Outside of immediately experiencing touch, sound, pain etc, I have no awareness or concept of the sensation. I also have no awareness of the passage of time, although I fully understand meaning and concept of time. Without an external reference, I cannot tell the difference between 5 minutes and 5 hours.

    9. If I’m asked to spell a word, it’s definitely the sequence that I’m recalling. But on the other hand, when reading, it’s the shape of the entire word that I see. For example if every letter in a word is rearranged except for the first and last, I can read it as if it is spelt correctly. It seems odd the the mental process of spelling, and the visual process of recognising a word are so different.

    10. If it can be solved mathematically, I think in numbers, and I have no problem. But tasks such as seating at tables requires much more than maths. One also needs to know relationships between individuals, specific needs or requirements of individuals etc. I am simply not able to work my way through such puzzles. Thank goodness I don’t have to work out tips – It’s not a practice seen in our country.

    1. I usually only think about how I hear and see things in my mind when I think, but now that you mention it the idea of the touch of silk and sandpaper is definitely something I do when I think about things. I wouldn’t say I automatically imagine the feel of it if I read the word, though I automatically picture it, but I can easily remember the feel of anything that I want to, or if it’s something I’m reading about that I’ve never touched I can make up what it would feel like. Likewise with smells or tastes. Thinking about smell, taste, or touch mostly happens consciously (though sometimes it just comes to mind without setting out to recapture that sensation), while what I see or hear in my head is constant and automatic… I can control it to some extent to think about things I want, but even if I don’t control it, the visual and audio will almost always be running in the background, while the scents, feelings (emotional or physical), or tastes may come or go or be summoned.

      1. Your comment “I usually only think about how I hear and see things in my mind when I think” puzzles me. It implies that there are times when you are not concious of thinking. On my part, there is always a constant babble of words/thought going on. It never stops, except perhaps when I have a migraine that affects my cognition. It’s like someone talking to me constantly, except the voice has no sound. I don’t know of that makes sense or not. Perhaps it might be better to say I experience a stream of words and sentences that never stops. I can direct what the stream of words is about, but not silence it.

        1. I think maybe I just didn’t describe this very well in the sentence you quote. Like you also said, I also have a constant babble in the “background” of my mind, but it is both auditory and visual. In terms of not being “conscious” of it, there are some times when I focus on it more and or direct it, but if I don’t do that, it just goes on by itself anyway. The audio and visual parts (in my mind… not what I’m actually seeing/hearing) go on by themselves all the time whether I am directing them or not. But, other “thinking senses” like how something feels, smells, or tastes happen much more rarely by themselves (not constant like the audio/visual), they usually happen when I intentionally recall/imagine them.

          1. OK, I think I understand now. I’ve been struggling to identity whether I am aware of other senses when I’m thinking, and I’m not really sure if I do. I definitely can’t recall touch, smell or pain. I can’t imagine the smell of lilac or the feel of a breeze on my face, although I know both are pleasurable to me. When it comes to visual recall, I’m quite confused. For example, I’m trying to picture what my house looks like from the outside. If I try to picture the whole house, I see I more like a 2-dimensional architectural drawing rather than a complete 3D image, and I can hear a description of the building going on in my head. I can picture specific details in more or less 3D, but with no colour. If I picture a colour, I can see it, but it isn’t on a surface I’m trying to picture it on, its just a colour by itself.

            Actually thinking about how I recall things is kind of eerie, and although it’s fascinating, I think I would prefer not to delve into the process any further. It’s starting to freak me out.

    2. I also have no perception of time, didn’t think if it for my answers. I use timers a lot and timetables to get through my day effectively. I can’t track time or have much idea of how far away future events are. They are either very distant or very soon; now or not now. Do you have any tricks for managing this? I have trouble with thinking too much about future events I don’t need to yet, or ignoring them entirely/not noticing them get nearer and not preparing. It’s a cause of stress and wasted energy for me and I’m working on finding better ways to manage.

      1. I don’t have trouble with long term or medium term planning as I understand the concept of time. It’s just that I am not aware of the passing of time. As a consequence, I’m often late for appointments.

        1. I think I understand what your saying. I do understand the concept of time and can plan, but I must write it down or use a calendar/diary to see the days and weeks. I can’t do it intuitively or abstractly. I have no “feel” for time. I have had people tell me I’m very organised and I think it’s because I need to put so much effort into keeping track of when things are.

        2. Oops, posted that too quickly.
          Please can I ask another question to clarify what you said? I’m curious about different people’s perception of time so want to make sure I understood.
          Are you aware of time passing on a larger scale but not on a smaller scale? For example if there’s an event in 6 weeks you can track the passage of weeks, but on the day itself you’ll have difficulty tracking the hours and minutes so have difficulty arriving time.

          1. I am aware of the passage of time if I have a means of measuring it. For example days can be measured by the passing of days and nights. Time can be measured using a clock, or counting seconds in my head. But without a method of measuring time, I have no idea of time passing.

            Here’s an example: My wife and I were in town and had split up to do our own thing for a while. We had arranged to meet at a certain location at a specified time. Her prepaid phone had run out of time, so while she couldn’t make calls, she could receive them. The arrangement was if she didn’t arrive at the arranged place within five minutes of the arranged time, I was to phone her. I arrived shortly before required time and waited. I checked my watch on several occasions at what I thought were equally spaced intervals. The spacings were actually 3 minutes, 20 seconds, 5 minutes. It was now just short of the five minute window when my wife should arrive. I decided to give her a further minute before I phoned. I was about to phone when an irate wife arrived wanting to know why I hadn’t phoned. I looked at my watch only to discover that over half an hour had passed since I last checked. I had absolutely no idea that much time had passed. It seemed less than a minute.

            1. Thank you for describing that, Barry! It might help explain the (previously utterly mystifying) behavior of someone I know. I think it’s too bad there aren’t ‘tactile time-keeping’ tools out there yet (that I know of). I think that if I wore a watch that squeezed or vibrated on my wrist every 10 minutes (or other increments), I would be much more aware of time. Tactility makes things much more urgent and real-feeling to me.

                1. Maybe there’s an app? If you figure something out, please share! A ‘tactile watch’ is something I’ve wanted for a while. The ones they sell in the U.S. look cheap and tacky :\

  32. 1. I have an ADHD diagnosis I don’t particularly agree with (although I do have some traits, hence the diagnosis). I might have dyspraxia, but I’m not so sure about that. I’m pretty sure I don’t have the rest of the SpLDs.
    2. I tend to do alright at spelling and reading, but I wouldn’t say I’m exceptionally good at them. Just slightly above average.
    3. I’m good at spelling, but I have massive amounts of problems spelling things out loud. If someone asks me to spell something, I have to write it out and read it to them one letter at a time.
    4. I don’t normally mix up words, but I sometimes add inappropriate postfixes to words or leave them out when they should be there (sometimes awkwardly adding them in a second later). I do alright with names. Forgetting the words for things when speaking is something that happens to me all the time, especially when I’m tired.
    5. I mix up left and right a lot in Chinese (as in, nearly every single time), but significantly less so in English. I have massive amounts of difficulty judging distance, speed, size, volume etc. and I frequently leave too much or too little time when I cross the street because I can’t judge how fast cars are going with any real accuracy. I find spatial reasoning tasks difficult (I have to look at a picture to get the paper in the right way in my printer). I have no problem with tasks that cross the midline, and did a fairly reasonable job of learning to tie my shoelaces (although I didn’t attempt to do so until almost adolescence, which may have helped).
    6. I still do not know my times tables. I can do the 9x ones because someone showed me a trick with the fingers, and I do alright at the three times tables because I used to be really into multiples of three. Other than that, I need a calculator. I struggle with mental arithmetic, but I never had a problem with understanding what was going on (I knew what negative numbers were and understood subtraction), I just couldn’t manipulate the numbers to make it happen accurately.
    7. I use digital clocks all the time. I gave up on analogue clocks after we stopped having to do the for school. I don’t do daylight savings, and I always get so confused by countries that do, because all of a sudden the time difference changes. The mental arithmetic for time zone changes is fairly difficult for me, but I can still do it if I concentrate.
    8. I struggle to visualise things, and think entirely in words. I can’t picture people’s faces very easily, even if they’re familiar to me. I hear words when I think. Ironically, I’m a very visual person, and if someone tells me something, chances are I won’t understand or remember it.
    9. I just remember the sequence. I can’t visualise well enough to ‘see’ the word and read out the letters, so I typically have to write it out so I can literally see it and read out the letters. I haven’ thad a problem learning to spell new words, and although I’m rubbish at speaking new languages (I mispronounce things even in my first language because I learn more words from books than real, live human beings), I tend to be alright at writing in them.
    10. For mathematical problems like splitting the bill and working out the tip, I tend to write it out in proper mathematical notation (using algebra where appropriate, because I’ve always loved algebra) or just work through the problems on a calculator thinking in mathematical notation (sometimes on a good day, I’ll do it in my head). As for seating people at a wedding dinner, I have to draw a diagram out. I can’t visualise something like that. Lists are pretty awesome, too. I love lists.

  33. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Dyscalculia, placeblindness and visual dysgnosia.

    Q2: I am hyperlexic and great at learning new languages. Pretty standard profile for someone with my LD.

    Q4: All of the above, usually prodromal to a shutdown or meltdown

    Q5: All of the above.

    Q6: Well I am dyscalculic so yes.

    Q7: Again yes

    Q8: I hear and see them when I think. I sometimes think in images, mostly when trying to navigate because details are everything. I learn best through touch.

    Q9: I see the word in my head and just know. Even with new languages.

    Q10: I don’t. I am incapable of doing any mental mathematical logic such as that.

  34. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Was diagnosed with ADHD as a child, yes to impaired processing, spelling issues, and poor concentration.

    Q2: I can do some things really efficiently without planning, but other things I have to plan out very detailed in order to accomplish it well. I can do mechanical things very easily and without much conscious thought, but daily tasks and lists seem to require a lot of pre-planning and thought.

    Q3: a little improvement maybe, just with age, but not much. I usually can spell longer more difficult words easier than I can simple words- which seems odd, and I read better and comprehend more in my head than when I read out loud. I have a hard time reading out loud, losing my place, mixing up phrases, and stumbling over the words. I have to concentrate harder on the words when reading out loud which makes me lack comprehension, but reading to myself seems to help me retain more and go faster. I do not have the same issues when reading to myself.

    Q4: no to all of these, except maybe the names. I can’t remember people’s names well at all so I don’t know that I get them wrong as much as I just can’t remember them well, even people I see frequently or know. I can remember what kind of car they drive but not their name..

    Q5: I do not mix up left and right, but I do have some difficulty judging distance and speed. I don’t have any problem with the spacial tasks, but yes to the manual tasks. I leave my shoes tied all the time and just slide them on because tying is a pain. I am left handed so I am not sure if I do any type of alternative knot.

    Q6: no, I am very good with numbers, much better with numbers than words. I can do math in my head and remember numbers after only seeing or hearing them once or twice.

    Q7: no

    Q8: I have never thought about how I think 🙂 I guess more in pictures. I tend to visualize what something looks like in my head before describing it in words.. I am much more of a visual learner. I retain better if there is a visual than if it is just described or explained to me.

    Q9: I try to work it out from the sounds. If I do not know how to spell a word than seeing it doesn’t help. I can see it wrong and not notice that it is wrong. I tend to spell things like they sound and yes I find it difficult to spell new words and speak new languages.

    Q10: I do not have any problems splitting a bill or tip, and I do not ever think about seating arrangements. I think I would make a chart in my head of how it should look and then work it out from there.

  35. anonymous answers:

    Q1: ADD (I got diagnosed back when it was still called ADID – Attention Deficit Inattentive Disorder – because I lacked the hyperactive element)

    Q2: I’m really good with reading and writing and spelling and I’m bad at formal rule systems for grammar, math, science, etc but I have a really good intuitive grasp of how they work and how they break down

    Q4: I lose words constantly.

    Q5: I can never keep left and right straight and ALWAYS have to think them through carefully to work out which is which. In a grid-based city, I still get turned around all the time because I keep going in the wrong directions. I can’t keep track of North-South or East-West, either. I do fine with distance and speed and such, but I can never work out which way to put the paper in, even back when copying and collating was a huge part of my job. I think I do okay with the midline, but it did take me a while to pick up tying my shoes. No alternative methods, though.

    Q7: Yes. I can work out what they say, but it’s hard. I can NEVER work out daylight savings time, and no matter how often you say “spring forward, fall back,” I still don’t know what to do to my clock to make it match. I can’t even imagine trying to work out how that matches up with other time zones. Mostly I just use electronics that sync up automatically and keep track for me. I’m decent at mental arithmetic, though.

    Q8: I think in words. I largely think in spoken language, but if I visualize anything it’s usually the written word. I have a hard time picturing even familiar people and object.

    Q9: I see it.

    Q10: I work them out based on patterns.

  36. anonymous answers:

    Q1: No, just frequent misinterpretations during conversation, especially with people I don’t know. I am a literalist in these situations and only work out much later what was really meant or being asked at the time.

    Q2: I was always a fast learner at school and very good at memorising. However, as I get older, my ability to memorise and recall detailed information is becoming quite poor. This has been an increasing problem as I relied so much on this technique in the past.

    Q3: Have always been a keen speller, often refer to dictionary to ensure I use correct spelling.

    Q4: I frequently forget words and have long pauses in speech whilst to recall exact word I am looking for. This also includes people’s name. Also when reading I can often ‘not see’ the headline or key words, even though I am really concentrating. It is really frustrating.

    Q5: Pretty good with these things

    Q6: I was very good at memorising everything as a child, but I wasn’t so good at reasoning from first principles. I had a particularly good visual memory, so if I’d seen it written down, I could recall what I saw and ‘read it off’ in my mind. Rote learning my times tables was very effective for me. I am very slow at mental arithmetic, unless I can clearly visualise the numbers without any distraction.

    Q7: No problems with this

    Q8: Yes,yes,yes….
    I rely heavily on visual memory. I don’t trust data or situation memory unless I can ‘see it’ in my mind. I have to be able to picture it and ‘read it off’ from that picture. It can make my communications seem a little odd to people, as there will be pauses whilst I check my memory, or ‘look for’ words. I often stare off to the side or the distance while I recall things whilst talking, and find the listener turning to see what I’m ‘looking at’. Also, at times they think I’m not listening as I do the same thing when really concentrating on (and trying to remember) what they are saying to me.

    Q9: I see the word in my mind and copy it down. I also refer to the dictionary a lot.

    Q10: I need to write it down as there are usually too many distractions, or else too many data inputs for me to do mentally. If i couldn’t write it down, then I would resort to verbalisation to sort it out.

  37. anonymous answers:

    Q1: No
    Q2: Excellent short term and long term memory.
    Q3: Spelling has improved since childhood. I read out loud in my head – its the only way I know how. Read faster in my head.
    Q4: I sometimes say left when I mean right and vice versa.
    Q5: Sometimes think I find it hard to judge speed and size. A little uncoordinated, and sometimes finds it hard to coordinate my body doing different movements at the same time.
    Q6: Good at tines table due to my memory. Very good at math and mental arithmetic.
    Q7: Sometimes find it a challenge to understand/visualise daylights savings.
    Q8: Think I am very good at visualising. See things in pictures.
    Q9: I have trouble spelling words aloud. I have to write it down.
    Q10: Not sure

  38. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Yes. Slow processing, poor planning.
    Q2: Yes. Hyperlexic, reading pre 2, etc. K
    Q3: I do read out loud in my head, I guess. When reading out loud I often unintentionally alter sentence structure quite a lot so I avoid it.
    Q4: Yes to all of these. Much worse when tired.
    Q5: Yes.
    Q6: No, not at all.
    Q7: No.
    Q8: I hear words. I need to move and place blobs of thought into space to manage them and make plans. I think in relationships and connections.
    Q9: I bring up a picture of the word in my head and read it out. No, spelling and languages seem to come easily.
    Q10: No, I move the numbers and people around in my head. Grouping together and then seeing how the groups interact until it feels right.

  39. anonymous answers:

    Q1: I was born with Congenital Hypothyroidism and wasn’t diagnosed until three months of age. We always pointed to this as a cause for my Learning Difficulties. I have a short frenum, (tongue) so I have speech difficulties. I believe I have Irlen’s Syndrome (letters move around and I end up reading the same thing over and over) and I have a long history with double vision. I’ve had three eye surgeries, the last two were last year!

    Q2: I’m very good with spelling, (typing, not so much). I need to plan things out. No problems with concentration.

    Q3: No spelling problems. I do read out loud in my head. I have a hard time reading out loud due to speech difficulties and suspected Irlen’s Syndrome.
    My troubles with pronunciation have more to do with speaking difficulties than visual, My mind reads it correctly, but my mouth is uncooperative!

    Q4: I have great difficulties with mixing up words when speaking, I’ll think “Hot”, but say “Cold” I frequently lose words when speaking, I sometimes need to point at an object and then I can get it’s name out. I can remember faces, but not names when I don’t see them frequently. I proof read constantly, it makes writing extremely difficult!

    Q5: Yes I mix up left and right, and I’m also left-handed. I have spacial difficulties and will frequently walk into things, or knock things over, even when being extra cautious. I do have difficulties judging speed, size and volume.

    Q6: Yes, I’ve had problems with multiplication and still do. I’ve learned a few tricks, but will always need a calculator for anything past eleven! Mental arithmetic is almost impossible for me, simple problems can cause a migraine.

    Q7: No problems with analogue clocks or time change.

    Q8: This question confuses me, I just “think”! Maybe it’s a combination with me.

    Q9: I can see the spellings of words in my head. I did very well in a Medical Terminology course in college, it came fairly easily to me. Had to study French for a year in High School, I could read it, but not speak it.

    Q10: I use a tip card, or a calculator. For the seating event I would make a visual chart of the tables and seating.

  40. anonymous answers:

    Q1: I haven’t been diagnosed, though it’s obvious I have Asperger’s (my parents didn’t believe in diagnosing pretty much anything and as an adult, realizing this, I still have some reluctance about it somehow. I have suspected ADHD type tendencies if I were ever evaluated but as I’m not interested in medication at this point there doesn’t seem like much point. Don’t have dyslexia, I do have trouble with working memory and concentration. I used to be able to concentrate much better when I was a kid (if it was something I was interested in particularly), now it’s very hard to get into that mode. When I was in that mode, it was very hard to get out of it again. My working memory is very bad. I did well in school only if I crammed the “short term” memory the night before a test extensively. Otherwise, it was in there, but it could take forever for the facts I wanted to come to the surface. My memory is like a big murky pool… the recent stuff floats near the surface and is retrievable, if I’ve consciously put it in there successfully, the other stuff sinks down in the muck and if you dig around in there you’ll eventually find it but it could take even days. There’s also a lot of useless stuff that I find while looking which distracts me.

    Q2: I learned to read early and enjoyed it. I am not sure that I’m “extremely” good at spelling, but better than most people I know. My spacial reasoning is good and I like to do logic puzzles and things of that nature, and I can picture and rotate objects in my mind well. However I’m not very good with actually operating my body in physical space, only in my mind.

    Q3: If anything my spelling has slacked off a bit since childhood since spellcheck is so prevalent and I don’t have to make an effort to remember, but I’ve never had much problem with spelling. There are a few words that trip me up. Several other people in my family are so much abysmally worse at spelling that my spelling mistakes didn’t bother me much. If I look at things that I wrote as a child there are some spelling mistakes where it is written phonetically. One weird thing about my spelling mistakes is sometimes I make “audio” typos. I only noticed this as an adult, but when I looked at some childhood writing I realized I made the same kind of mistakes before. What I mean by this is, sometimes when I’m writing along on a roll, I’ll write some words like they “sound” if I said them even though it’s totally not the right word and I don’t think it’s the right word. Like I might write, “A went to the store” (pronounced Uh, like I usually pronounce the article in everyday speech) instead of “I went to the store”. Because if I actually said that casually, not reading aloud, it would sound a lot like “Uh went to the store.” So it’s like sometimes I’m transliterating my “mental voice” in a meaningless way like a computer taking dictation. I find it strange that I make this type of error. There are other word substitutions of this nature that sound similar (and are always real words) but that no real person would ever consciously write this way. Like “the sway” instead of “this way.” So I guess I not only “read aloud” in my head when I read something (including character voices sometimes), but I also “read aloud” or narrate aloud in my head when I’m writing, and sometimes I take dictation of what that voice is saying incorrectly. However, it’s much faster and easier for me to write down what that mental voice is saying than it is for me to verbally speak what my mental voice is saying, and it also makes more sense when it is written down, leaving out the ums and ahs and broken sentences that happen when I speak aloud. I had to think about if I can really read without “reading aloud” in my head. I guess I CAN in a limited way, for example if I see a stop sign I can register that it says stop without the voice in my head saying stop, but I’m not even sure I would consider that reading. I read in my head faster than I read out loud by a long shot. I had to “learn” or maybe re-learn how to read out loud when I started reading to my son as a baby, and at first it was simply awful, even though it wasn’t the first time in my life I had done it, but I was conscious that it was awful. I do have difficulty pronouncing words that I’ve read but haven’t heard said before and often pronounce them wrong. However, since the mental voice “says” them for me, sometimes I’m not sure if I’ve ever really heard them said aloud or not, until someone else says them or I say them incorrectly and am corrected. These could be words that I knew all my life but never happened to say, or at least not to someone who knew what it was or nobody corrected me. Also, if it’s something I learned with one mental pronunciation as a kid, I still read it that way in my mind frequently, even if it makes no sense. For example, when I was a kid my mother had a book marked W.B.Yeats on the back in large letters on the book shelf. While I concoiusly now know that it’s not pronounced to rhyme with Wheats, and learned that at a young age, I still say it that way in my mind and I have to change it if I say it aloud. Not only do I pronounce it that way, I also say “Wee Bee Yeets” in my mind because this is something I came up with when I used to look up at that book as a kid as the way it was said.

    Q4: I constantly mix up similar words, unrelated words, use sentences that don’t make sense grammatically at all, or invent terms for things I can’t remember the name of. It’s a wonder people can understand me at all. Actually I think people who don’t know me probably miss most of what I’m saying, but I don’t talk as much around people who don’t know me. This only happens in speech, not in writing. Sometimes I can’t remember the right word when I’m writing, but I don’t do the substitution thing. Even if I am chatting with someone in real time, it’s still more coherent than talking, but in that case sometimes I do find myself typing about “the thing that does the thing” (if it’s someone I know well) if I can’t remember. But I don’t write like that in official writing of course, in that case I would just pause until I remember what I need or look it up. I get people’s names wrong in speech even if I know who they are (I have a hard time with names in general). My parents do this if they are angry at me, they will accidentally call me by the other parents name :P. However I can remember several embarrassing incidents where I for example called my cousin “Daddy” even though there was no confusion, just the wrong word came out. I’ve also accidentally called people by pet names when they aren’t people I call by pet names (I usually only called my ex husband when married, or my son, by pet names, but then I have called other people the same thing by accident. I constantly forget the words for things, but figured it was related to “brain fog” and oxygen deprivation due to another health condition I have which causes reduced mental blood flow at times. I generally catch written mistakes when proof reading, but I’m very good at proof reading and I practice it a lot. It’s easier to proof other people’s work though, so I know that even after final proofing it’s best to sleep on something if I really want to catch all mistakes. The ones where I transliterate my mental voice are the hardest to catch because when my mental voice is reading it, it sounds right in audio even though the words are not correct, or if I’ve read it multiple times my mental voice might fill in missing words.

    Q5: I do mix up right and left especially on other people. For example if someone says it is the one on the right and I’m not facing the way they are, I have to do the whole calculation to figure out which one they are talking about. When I was a kid I had a small birthmark on my right hand between my fingers so I would just check that, it has faded in time but I still remember it being there so that helped a lot. I guess I have difficulty judging these things because I run into stuff a lot (with my body, not with my car), I pour glasses until they overflow, I talk too loudly compared to those around me by accident sometimes. I am cautious with approaching speedy things in terms of pulling into traffic and stuff. Printing both sides is difficult, however these are issues that I work out if I picture the item in my mind and rotate it around, so they’re solvable with slow approaches, and I use this method when I need to take things apart and put them back together with success. It may take me a while but eventually it works. 3-D puzzles are done this way as well. I can’t do things with my two hands at once that well (took me a looong time to learn touch typing, and I could never manage to do things like guitar and piano even though I really wanted to, my fingers just wouldn’t coordinate). It took me a long time to tie shoes, I had a practice book about Gertie Gopher that I liked 🙂 there was a lot of pressure about it. I think I learned earlier than my son though because I don’t see any reason to force him to learn to tie shoes before he’s ready, but my parent’s didn’t believe in velcro and got tired of tying my shoes, I remember my older sister having to tie shoes for me. I tie the classic knot now without difficulty. I do have to think about it whenever I tie a “square knot” in string though to avoid tying a “granny knot” that will unravel, and every time I have to visualize and check that the strings on each side are together, based on this knot tying diagram I saw about it. My father says this is because I am right handed and left handed people (like him) automatically have their hands in the right place to tie the square knot (but then, he can also play piano).
    Q6: Did you struggle to learn the times tables as a child? Do you still not know your times tables as an adult? Do you particularly struggle with mental arithmetic? Did you have difficulty learning negative numbers and subtraction of negative numbers (without a calculator)?
    I have to think about it to recite the times table, and I did practice it a lot as a kid. It’s not “automatic” but I learned tricks to remember them. I am very slow at doing mental arithmetic. I did well in math at college but I did do it slowly (also we were allowed to use calculators at this level). If I have to even just add up numbers like scores from a game it takes me a while, it’s not automatic like I see some people doing it. I have imaginary dots on each number in specific positions (each number has the appropriate number of dots, for example the 8 is outlined by 8 dots at the “corners”), and past a few simple additions I end up counting. I had a long time understanding concepts like fractions, but negative numbers I ended up doing by visualizing, it was easier I guess, I would picture a thermometer like scale (so there were numbers below zero) and then just shift the “block” of numbers so I could see how it worked logically. Just remembering the “rules” for doing it when numbers were too big too visualize was more difficult, sometimes I would visualize smaller number blocks to remind me of what rule to use with the big ones.

    Q7: I remember it taking a while to learn to tell time but I did teach my little brother (6 years younger) with enthusiasm. It took a while to sink in though. I think part of my issue was when people would “round” the numbers incorrectly (e.g. it is 17 minutes after 2 but they say it is 20 minutes after 2) so that was a hangup unrelated to the actual functioning of the clock. Time zones and clocks going forward and backwards present challenges for me to figure out every time.

    Q8: I hear words when I am reading or writing, and I guess I also see them sort of but if they’re in front of me that kind of supercedes the mental image, however if I want to think of a word that is not in front of me to spell it I can see it, or if someone says it. However, I also see pictures of everything. There’s a lot going on at once, like multiple “layers” of video screens in my head… there are mental pictures (non words) constantly, even if I’m also looking at something else (even if I’m reading or writing at the time), there’s the mental voice of me thinking about stuff, reading stuff, or writing stuff, or just babbling in the background, there are images of words which I don’t really focus on unless I need them, plus whatever is actually going on around me in the real world. I would say even in terms of words it’s mainly visual, but there’s an almost constant audio track, not just necessarily my own voice talking/reading/writing/making mental commentary, but also remembering/imagining other conversations and other people, there’s almost always background music of whatever song is stuck in my head too. Doing something like singing along while doing an unrelated task like cleaning helps cut down on the activity in there, because my speaking voice tends to override the mental voice when I’m actually talking, and if I’m singing, there isn’t another song going on simultaneously or the voice because the voice is really singing out loud (but, I can hear background music in my head that goes with my song, if there’s no real music). So then by turning that output into real output my head is just doing images and whatever task I have before me. This doesn’t work if the task requires conscious thought of course.

    Q9: I see the word in my mind and copy it down. Recently I asked a bunch of other people in my family and friends about this because my son, who is learning spelling, is most concerned about it, and he does not spell this way or “see” the word in his head so I was kind of at a loss of how to help him. If I can’ t see the word, or it’s all blurry in places because I don’t remember, I sound it out phonetically (which is how I learned to read), and as I make sounds it appears. Then I see if it looks all right in my mind. Usually when I see it typed in my mind I can tell if it doesn’t look right and fix it if needed. I have a harder time sounding out languages that I have studied which do not use the English alphabet or variations thereof (in other words totally different letters). Languages are an interest of mine, however, and i find it interesting the way their rules work and how they are put together and also I like to learn them, though I can’t say I’m universally good at pronouncing them. Also I have synesthesia with english letters so they have colors that go with them, this might help my spelling because if I know the word, the colors will look wrong too if it’s not spelled right. If I see a new word written I don’t have trouble spelling it, but I can have trouble translating a new word into writing when I hear it. For example I used to work in a call center and we had to type down people’s names, which I had difficulty understanding until they spelled them out, sometimes even if it was a common name that I knew how to spell, I just wasn’t sure what I was hearing. So I just asked them to spell everything.

    Q10: I have to puzzle out just computing a 15 percent tip off my receipt, and it takes forever, even though I first calculate 10 percent (easy) then halve it (easy) then put them together. Usually the other person has done it before me… if we split 50/50 I can copy 😛 or I just put some random thing which is at least 15% but easier. Awful. I don’t split bills… I ask the waiter to do it. Non-math related issues I pretty much work out visually by picturing them in my mind, sometimes symbolically (for example if I were seating people at tables, I wouldn’t picture all the actual people, it would be like a schematic drawing). Word problems also have to be solved by visualization, I’m not sure how else to do it. Drawing an actual diagram on paper is very helpful too.

  41. anonymous answers:

    Q1: No diagnosed SpLD. As of now, I don’t suspect I have any, but I wouldn’t rule it out completely (it’s possible I’ve been assuming traits of an SpLD to just be “part of my personality”, as I did with autism for so many years)Q2: Yes. I learned to read very early, I read very quickly, I have good spacial reasoning, and I have good concentration (providing I am in a quiet environment)

    Q3: No to everything except the last one.

    Q4: No to everything except I do tend to forget words for things when speaking, and it does get worse when I’m tired or stressed.

    Q5: No to all of these.

    Q6: No.

    Q7: No (however, I do occasionally unintentionally read clocks backwards)

    Q8: I think in a combination of words, images, spacial relationships, and motion. For example, when I think of a word, I feel the “motion” it makes (I’m not sure how else to describe it)

    Q9: I see the word and read out the letters.

    Q10: I mostly solve the problem be visualizing it or making a abstract brain-map a the problem (again, these things are hard to describe)

  42. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Low concentration

    Q2: Fast reading, learned to read early, good speller

    Q3: Read faster than can out loud for sure. Yeah if I haven’t heard a word or name before I have a hard time pronouncing them.

    Q4: Haha sometimes I do put the wrong parts of a word. And yes more when tired

    Q5: Yes I mix up left and right. I’m horrible at judging distance and space and size. I know my car doesn’t touch both lines on the road but I feel like they do. Yes I have trouble remembering which way to put paper in but I can reason it out if I think about it. I think I did take a long time to tie shoes. And trying to teach my son is hopeless lol

    Q6: I have no problem with numbers in fact I’m rather good at it – I even beat a teacher’s times table speed!

    Q7: The clock changing thing messes me up and trying to think about different time zones gets confusing too but I seem to be able to reason it out.

    Q8: I’m kinda a combination.

    Q9: I see the words I think

    Q10: Both?

  43. 1. I appear to be “slow” to others, until they get to know me. Then they think that I’m too intellectual.
    2. I was a speed reader before I sustained a head injury. I could look at a paragraph and know what it said just as you look at a word and know it immediately. But I did not learn to read until I was 6 y.o. I struggled in class with embarrassment and fear. I wanted to learn so badly. I would stare at the alphabet posted above the chalk board. I remember the exact moment when I understood what the mysterious alphabet was. It hit me like a light. From that moment on I excelled at reading and spelling in every class.
    3. I hear my voice reading inside of my head as I read silently to myself. When I speak my pronunciation is often funny. When someone asks me about my accent I sometimes reply, “I think it’s called bookish.”
    4. Yes to most of these.
    5. I mix up left and right (most opposite things) I scramble words and concepts. Everything is worse when I am tired.
    6. I struggled with multiplication tables at first. Since my head injury I have trouble with single digits, but not with calculating percentages when figuring sales discounts or for leaving tips.
    7. I prefer analogue clocks. Digitals are just numbers sitting on a screen to me. Analogues give me a sort of time/spatial reference somehow. Just looking at them.
    8. I hear and see things and words in my head. I’m an artist. I made my living selling paintings. I experience strong sensations just looking at some textures. I am sensitive to space and symmetry and asymmetry.
    9. I just “see” the spelling of words. In college I learned a lot of French and some Russian. A few years ago I taught myself to write some Japanese. (complete hiragana and katakana phonetic alphabets.)
    10. No problem with calculations. I’m visual and graphic-minded with space. I adore maps.

  44. Great Questions.
    Q1-non-diagnosed but do have dyslexia. words, numbers, time. I have come up with ways to help me through it. I talk to myself when working with large numbers or currency conversion. The check double check of reading out loud 2-3 times helps me to usually get it straight. Before I send emails I speak my sentences out loud. This usually helps me pick up the missing words.
    I write notes to help remember things as I talk to people. My husband has watched me write and then told me what I’ll do. He says that I will miss words or letters and then go back and fill the missing items in. My spelling is deplorable. I can’t do math in my head (even simple math like playing blackjack is difficult).

    Q2- I am a speed reader. i learned very early. I would go to library and bring home 7-10 books and complete in a week.

    Q3- not improved much but i am able to work thru it. Computers have helped a great deal as writing long had is challenging. I print, but trying to get the sentence out coherently writing is a challenge

    Q4- words come out wrong. and I get the “you are weird” look from most people. I always get people’s names wrong. it is the running joke and I work to apologize to new people in advance. It would really help if they wore their hair or clothes the same everyday. (just saying)

    Q5 yes always mix left & right. distance is hard especially at night. but “space” and what can fit in a space like packing a car is easy. I remember tying shoes was hard, i found my own way. Learning how to sail and do knots for scouts, is a challenge, but I can tie safety knows like bowlines pretty quickly

    Q6. times tables still don’t make sense. I can’t do simple math in my head. I have to write it out to make sense. Yes I do use math every day. for work, art etc. But it is hard!!! negative numbers I can only do on paper so i can “work the formula”

    Q7 no problem with clocks. time changes – spring forward fall back and then I get it correct in changing clocks. Computers made it easy that we have to “change” less these days in the house. Mental arithmetic is hard. doing my time sheets is hard and breaking up my work to the .1 hour

    Q8- I struggle with words. I want to try to capture the correct word and they don’t always line up in my speech. I DO think in pictures. It is the gift that lets my husband and I communicate better than most.

    Q9 – i don’t see words. I spell them by repeated memorization or nemonic. new words are hard. Foreign language is easy to speck and repeat, but spelling is hard

    Q10 – I think of it as a word based problems.

  45. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Not that I know of

    Q2: While at school I was quite good at learning lists of things by heart and at least remembering things until the test, as long as the list wasn’t longer than a few pages and I didn’t do this more than an hour or so before.

    Q3: I have no difficulty with spelling or pronunciation once I have the link between spelling and pronunciation down (when learning a new language)

    Q4: Rarely

    Q5: It took me about 25 years to be able to tell left from right, and sometimes I still check by stretching thumb and index finger, to se on what hand it shapes like an L. I have difficulty estimating distance etc, but in the sense of saying how many meters, not in judging the moment to cross the street. Although I do always judge ‘on the safe side’.

    Q6: No

    Q7: No difficulty with the clocks, only with the time shoft in my routines.

    Q8: I tend to think with words and concepts, and struggle with visualization. I’d rather write something out than make a picture collage in order to get my ideas across. I do tend to place concepts spatially around me, and may refer to those directions with hand gestures to illustrate my point (which noone gets, obviously)

    Q9: I see the words. I don’t have much difficulty in learning new languages.

    Q10: With calculations I tend to see the numbers, and I have no problems ‘just’ calculating them. Things like seating I would try to visualize, and probably end up writing it down.

  46. 1. Not diagnosed. I suspect I have poor concentration and slow processing speed. I know because I really hate sitting in front of a textbook or in class-I don’t know what I’d do in class. I can only focus when I’m mentally repeating what the book or the lecturer is saying.

    2. N/A, but spelling and reading was pretty good.

    3. If it’s a boring textbook, I cannot read faster than I read out loud; I lose interest fast. I did have difficulty pronouncing some words I’ve read but never heard before: for example, I read “island” as “IS-land” and “salmon” as “SAIL-mon” for years when it’s supposed to be read as “I-land” and “saw-mon” respectively. I don’t know if that’s normal or just the way the words work.

    4. YES. I pointed at a burrito and called it a taco. I mix up my left and right all the time so I’ll point left and say right. I’m sure there was more. Not sure about postfixes and missing parts of words. So yeah I forget the words for things when speaking. Well when I’m tired I don’t talk so it’s hard to say.

    5. Do you often mix up left and right? See #4 – I point left and say right. I can’t judge distance, speed, size, volume etc. I HATE spatial reasoning tasks; it took me days just to figure out how to shorten my pants using a sewing machine. Not even watching a Youtube video helped me to grasp the concept. It only clicked when I stuck a needle through the cloth to see how things fit together, and even now I still need the constant practice to remember the concept. I can’t imagine space; I need to feel it. But if I can’t feel it, I can’t imagine it.

    6. No.

    7. Analogue clocks: No but if you see those watches where there’s only two hands and not much else to indicate what time it is, I have a huge problem with it. I don’t completely understand daylight savings time. I think it’s because I still don’t really know which word means you get an extra hour and which one means you lose an hour. (I get a lot of my opposites mixed up.) I compensated using Google…so mathematically I can figure it out.

    8. I need to use at least two of my five senses in order to grasp concepts. I have to speak my words out loud in order to think in words. I don’t know the meaning of “visualizing a concept” and it gets used as a class objective a lot.

    9. Spelling wasn’t a big problem with me. Nor is learning a new language. But I think it’s because I’m all about repetition for most aspects of my life.

    10. Word based problems. Although when forced I draw it out.

  47. Q1: I have dyscalculia, almost no working memory some days, I’m a slow reader, and have poor concentration

    Q2: I have a really good sense of balance, form, and symmetry in 2D, but less good in 3D

    Q3: I have pretty good spelling, but I always misspell the same set of words. I thought everyone “read out loud” in their head when reading silently, so I guess I do that too.

    Q4: Yes to the first two questions. I avoid calling people by their names, so I’m not sure about that. I frequently forget words (esp. nouns) when speaking, and in writing (it’s usually articles), I can’t catch my mistakes in proofreading. It is worse when I tired.

    Q5: I always have to double check left and right, and I usually mess up the paper in the printer the first try, sometimes even the second and third. When I finally did learn to tie my shoes in one specific way, I’ve never been able to learn any alternative ways.

    Q6: Yes, I have trouble with all of that. I never passed the timed multiplication tables test and I still struggle to to remember even basic problems, like 5X5.

    Q7: It takes me a long time read analog clocks and figuring time zones and daylight savings is a nightmare. Mental math is very hard for me.

    Q8: I usually see an image and hear myself say the word in my head simultaneously.

    Q9: I usually see it pretty clearly and I don’t have too much trouble with new words/languages if I’ve seen them printed enough times.

    Q10: I’m not sure, the examples seem like really different types of problems to me. For restaurant problems, I have some coping strategies like, figuring out what 10% of my bill is and doubling that for tip, rather than just calculating 20% directly. For the wedding dinner problem, I’d probably visualize the people as I tried to arrange the seating.

  48. Hi all! I’ve only commented here once before, but I read the blog regularly. This topic is so interesting, so I definitely wanted to respond to the survey!
    1. I don’t have official diagnoses for these just yet, but I score high on ADHD self-reporting forms, and definitely have kind of learning disability. I had a comprehensive IQ testing done last year as part of my ASD assessment, and my non-verbal processing scores and working memory are on the low side, like in the mid-high 90s. My verbal IQ is in the 99th percentile and my processing speed is in the Superior range. I’ve always been kind of a dippy space-cadet, have to really be hyper-organized to keep myself on-track with responsibilities, I’m always forgetting something, and I can’t do math to save my life. 😦 I was always told in school that I “wasn’t working to my potential” and whatnot. I also have poor handwriting and I can be very clumsy.
    2. I process information extremely quickly, and I’m good at making quick connections with information that others might not always see. I didn’t learn to read early, but once I did, I shot ahead of my peers and was always a few levels ahead of my classmates. School bored me to tears and I begged my parents to let me homeschool, unfortunately to no avail. I’ve worked in the past as a GIS Analyst, so while I wouldn’t say I excel at the math side of spatial analysis, I am very good with the IT and visual side of it. I understand statistics fairly well from a conceptual, visualized standpoint, but I can’t seem to keep the “language” of mathematics straight in my head. I can manipulate data visually but find it hard to do so mentally. I can do the hyperfocus thing, for the most part. And I’m also one of those nerds that can memorize short strings of numbers easily, so stuff like bank routing number, debit card #, driver’s license #, IP addresses, etc. – all memorized! (I make a singsong thing in my head where the numbers correspond to what telephone number tones sound like. I think it’s a holdover from my days of doing tech support.)
    3. I spell like a mofo and have a very large vocabulary. (It was one of my highest scores on the IQ test; the proctor said that I was the only person out of the 400+ she’d tested who answered those questions correctly!) I don’t generally have problems with not knowing how words are spelled. I don’t understand the next question…doesn’t everyone read aloud in their head using their inner voice? (Or the imagined voice of the character/author?) I’d say that I read faster quietly than reading aloud, but that’s partially because people always tell me I talk too fast. 😛 I do have trouble pronouncing more obscure words correctly…I chalk that up to being one of those people who gained their vocabulary mostly via reading rather than spoken conversation.
    4. I find that I am becoming mildly aphasic as I get older. I can visualize the concept for the word I won’t, but my brain won’t connect to my mouth to make the right word come out. ;P I’ve started using a sort of similar-phoneme approach to find the right word…eventually I get to it sideways by a few steps, instead of directly to it. I do all of the things in the question re: missing word parts, stumbling over my speech, etc. I can’t remember people’s names to save my life. I forgot the words for things when speaking, and sometimes writing. I’ve started to make transposing errors when typing, like writing “tmea” instead of “team,” skipping words, writing words I didn’t consciously intend to write, and stuff like that. (Prob partially due to too much computering, and I type faster than my brain can keep up.” I also suck at proofreading, and yes, make more mistakes when tired.
    5. I’ve never mixed up left & right in reality, but I get turned around a fair bit if I am trying to navigate a place like a downtown area that I’m unfamiliar with. I have a pretty strong mental map of my city, and I can usually orient myself in relation to that. But if the left and right directions are too visually similar, sometimes I go the wrong way until I can figure my way past the mirror-image part. I can’t remember more than 2-3 steps of verbal directions, either. I’m sometimes anxious about street crossings. I do have to give deliberate thought to what direction something needs to be assembled or done in, but once I think it through, I have a really solid, 3D mental image of how it works. I solved all of the block diagram tests, but not in the amount of time alloted during the test. (It was really frustrating to not get the answer in time! Especially because I find tasks like that to be satisfying at an almost-stimmy level! It’s like it satisfies a particular brain itch. *grin*) Sometimes it takes a while to get there, though.
    I don’t think I understand the next-to-last question. It did take me a while to learn to tie shoelaces, and I’ve had people tell me that the way I do it is odd.
    6. I struggled to learn some of the times tables more than others…I liked some numbers better than others and thought that, say, the 9 times table was more elegant than the 7. I can still visualize them in my head, but for the less-interesting ones, I still have to recite the whole table to myself before I can figure out the problem. I’ve had to learn my times tables over the years for various work-related quick-calculations, but only to the tens. I *definitely* struggle with mental arithmetic and anything involving negative numbers or fractions, so I surreptitiously use my fingers or use a calculator. I usually have to visualize arithmetic operations as money instead of just, like, a black number against a mental white screen, or whatever. My math ability is embarrassingly low and I can barely do anything above 8th-grade math, but that is partially due to moving twice during my childhood. Each school was a little different; I was on the honor roll at my old middle school, but the new school was a grade ahead in their math program and I just never got caught up. They thought I was “so smart” that I just wasn’t studying hard enough in math (I got sternly-talked-to a lot), and I never got any testing or tutoring outside of my classes. It really makes me angry, because I’d always wanted to go into a STEM field, but I never got a handle on math and that disqualifies me from my preferred professions. 😦
    7. It did take me a while as a kid to understand analogue clocks, but now I don’t have a problem reading them unless they don’t have a complete set of numerals and tick-marks. I think I understand the spring forward/fall back thing. Mental arithmetic is basically impossible bc I can’t visualize the numbers firmly enough for long enough to keep it all straight in my head. If there was a way to do math with pictures I would kick ass at it, probably. I think that’s why I liked geometry so much!
    8. I visualize everything in ridiculously realistic 3D detail, and my dreams are like movies. My memory is kinda-sorta-almost photographic, but unfortunately not down to the level of recalling words on a printed page. (If only!) I mostly think in pictures with a verbal narrator who never shuts up. 🙂 Sometimes I actually mentally see the words scrolling along in front of the picture, in addition to ‘hearing’ them. Sometimes when I’m talking & struggling to verbalize what I’m thinking, I get really frustrated because I wish I could just beam my thought to the other person. It’s like trying to get water out of a plugged hose.
    9.Hrm, this is a tough one. Maybe all of the above. No major difficulty with spelling new words or learn new languages…it’s kind of a hobby for me. (I enjoy philology.)
    10. I think I usually have to visualize it, and then describe it to myself verbally. (Either aloud, or in my head.) I had to find tricks for the bill-stuff, like keeping a tip percentage card in my wallet, or “move the decimal point one space to the left and double that amount,” or just use the calculator on my phone to do the math for splitting the bill.

  49. 1. Nothing diagnosed, and when I last had an IQ test, I tested at least average for all of these things. But I know I don’t have a great working memory by and large, I’m terrible at spelling and regularly rely on spell check, and my concentration is horrible if it’s not something I’m interested in. I do have some traits of dyspraxia and am exceptionally clumsy, unable to participate in most sports.

    2. I am a fast reader and learned to read early. I think my reading skills are one thing that really helped me do well in college.

    3. My spelling hasn’t improved much since childhood, probably because I tend to rely on spell check as a crutch. I don’t like reading out loud and tend to stumble over words when I do that. I read very quickly when I’m reading in my head. I’m TERRIBLE at pronouncing words that I haven’t heard before and I regularly mispronounce words or purposefully avoid using words that have pronunciations I’m unsure of. Often I will hear someone use a word I had never heard out loud before, and I’ll say, “THAT’S how you say that word???” because in my head I was always pronouncing it way differently.

    4. I always have to proof read my emails and comments because I do tend to leave out small words or change the the endings of words (e.g., I regularly write “not” when I mean to write “now” or “my” when I mean “me”). Yes, I make more mistakes when I’m tired. I do often forget what things are called and instead try to describe what they do until someone can help me out and remind me of the name.

    5. Spacial reasoning is the worst! I’m very bad at parking my car, and that’s not even counting parallel parking which is nigh on impossible. I have a terrible time figuring out how fast cars or going and often find myself running the rest of the way across the street because I misjudged how fast a car was going. When I’m driving it’s hard to know if I have enough time to make turns if another car is coming. And don’t even get me started on double sided printing. It doesn’t happen.

    6. MENTAL MATH IS MY WORST NIGHTMARE. This is the one thing that made me look intellectually disabled on my IQ test. I just cannot do it. At all. I still remember trying to learn my times tables and all the rewards my parents offered me in an attempt to get me to have them memorized. Subtraction of negative numbers still doesn’t make logical sense to me, although I know how to do it. I just can’t conceptualize the idea of there being a negative number. I don’t get it.

    7. Not applicable.

    8. I tend to think in pictures. When I can’t think of a picture for a more abstract word, I see the word in my head. Or for some abstract words I have pictures that go along with them. For example, if someone says love, I think of a heart, if someone says justice I visualize a judge’s gavel, and if someone says freedom, I think of a bald eagle. So I have pictures that I associate with words and I struggle to process words if I don’t have a mental picture to accompany it.

    9. I see the word in my head and read out the letters. Yes, learning to spell new words and speaking/writing new languages are major struggles. Interestingly, I did really well learning American Sign Language in college because it was all visual and gestural. But learning German was a nightmare because my auditory processing skills and my ability to pronounce strange words were not good enough. Spelling was actually okay because in German, you sound everything out and there aren’t the weird silent letters and stuff that English has.

    10. For splitting the bill and working out a tip, I whip out my smartphone’s calculator and let that do the work for me. I can’t figure things out like that on my own. When it comes to things like seating charts, I prefer to see it visually, but I struggle with creating my own charts. I like when other people draw charts for me and show me a picture of how something is going to work out.

    1. I’ve never thought about the concept of negative numbers until now but actually they don’t make sense – how can you have a negative?! You can take something away because you’re reducing a positive but… that is so weird. I shall have to ponder some more! Thank you 🙂

  50. 1) I do seem to have a bad short term memory/concentration issues. I also stumble speaking on occasion.
    2) I can speed read, I tend to find the most efficient way for me to do things. Key to what I just said is “for me”. What I do makes little to no sense to anyone else.
    3) I am probably above average with my knowledge of spelling and pronunciation. However, I am obsessed with spelling and pronouncing words correctly. Even words I can’t remember (I have to look up privilege every time!) The same words tend to trouble me and I struggle to learn them.
    4) I forget words and faces, specifically when I am tired. When writing, I will often repeat the same sentence or phrase. This is probably due to problems outlined in question 1.
    5) At age 35, I have to look at my hand and notice which one has callouses from holding pens to tell you which one is my right hand and my left. If you place a pen in front of me I will always grab it with the correct hand and use it. If you tell me to raise my right hand, I will raise the correct hand. If you tell me to point to my right, I will need to think about it. If you are opposite me and need me to point out something to your right or left, were talking deep thought there.
    6) I would say that I am neither gifted nor troubled with mental arithmetic. No issues your basic multiplication table. I can handle division and multiplication of numbers such as 16, 30 and 75 quite well, as I encounter them on a regular basis at work. Not the biggest fan of the word arithmetic.
    7) I struggled with analogue clocks as a child, no problem with them now. Time used to confuse me because my mind wanted a base 10 system, not 12 numbers on the face of the clock with 60 seconds and 60 minutes.
    8) I think visually and I have to translate it to words.
    9) I don’t see words. I try to work it out from the way its pronounced. I
    10) To me the biggest problem is people that spend an overt amount of time debating and figuring out how to split the bill and calculating the tip. If you want to know how much to pay for your meal, observe the price of what you are ordering on the menu before you order it. If you are ordering alcohol, or not mathematically inclined but are worried about absolute to the penny accountability for yourself and every member of the party, request separate checks . For calculating a 20% tip, move the decimal point back one number then double that number. If you want to leave less or more just work from that 20% number. If you want to show off your newly upgraded smartphone for an exact number, don’t. I just want to go home. Also, someone else can plan the wedding. I don’t care where anyone sits.

  51. 1. I have not been diagnosed with anything but I am part way through the diagnosis process for ASD, just have the parent interview to go. Several attempts were made in my childhood to diagnose me or to isolate my problems but it was pre-1994 and I suspect that ASD is the only thing that I have going on. I suspected that I was dispraxic for a year or two but ASD makes more sense. I have extremely low processing speed. 9th percentile. There was an attempt to diagnose me ADHD in 1995 but I did not meet the criteria.

    2. I am a strong reader and many of my scores on the psych-ed assessments from my youth were very high so I have strengths but my slow processing speed sometimes makes me appear slow. My concentration is not stellar unless I am in the throes of a special interest. I can write novels very quickly.

    3. My spelling has steadily improved since childhood and while it is not perfect now even at it’s worst it was never terrible. yes. no. yes. sometimes.

    4. One big yes. My speech can be more than a little wonky. Paint cans, caint pans, pant cains, cant pains. That sort of thing and losing or forgetting words or swapping names. I’m better on paper or in writing. Writing seems to eliminate this problem. And yes it is worse when tired.

    5. Yes I mix up left and right. My judgement of distance volume etc. is fairly accurate. Sometimes my spatial reasoning is spot on sometimes it’s not. It took me a long tome to learn to tie my laces.

    6. I did not struggle to learn as a child. I only struggled to do it the way my teachers wanted me to. My math would be fine if I had had better teachers but I could not do math at the speed they wanted. My mental arithmetic is reasonably good all things considered.

    7. Yes, I still do it The Polka-dot Door style. No and no.

    8. I think in words and pictures.

    9. I sound things out to spell and also remember the sequence. It takes me a while to remember new words and I had never successfully learned another language (slow processing speed).

    10. I think that I conceptualize them in other ways (mental pictures). Also my brain does not work well under pressure so if someone is waiting for me to split the bill it will take me a while.

  52. 1. I clearly had but was not diagnosed with dysgraphia, which was largely attributed to poor fine-motor control in my school records. My processing speed was low as a child, but improved as I got older.

    2. Are you actually unusually good at any of the above? For example unusually fast reading speed, learned to read early, extremely good at spelling, usually good short term memory, extremely good spacial reasoning, adept at doing things efficiently without conscious planning, excellent concentration regardless of interest level etc? I learned to ready early and was noted to have superior visuospatial reasoning. I can usually concentrate if I am not interested, but it’s difficult.

    3. I always hear myself read out loud.

    4. Not really, except in writing.

    5. I had no difficulty with left and right and can estimate how fast cars go pretty well. I’m not sure if I have trouble crossing my hands, but I did learn to tie my shoe laces as a child.

    6. No real problem with math.

    7. No.

    8. I think in a combination of visual, spatial, and verbal ways.

    9. I see the word. Difficulty reaching fluency in speaking a different language, however.

    10. I conceptualize them by my gut, if that makes any sense.

  53. 1. I don’t have any learning disabilities, and I guess I’m not really sure if I have slow processing speed or poor working memory. If I do have either of those, it wasn’t bad enough to cause any problems in school.

    2. I don’t think I read very quickly, but I did learn to read at a pretty early age and I’m a good speller. I think my concentration is usually pretty good, but that probably varies depending on the situation.

    3. N/A

    4. I’m not sure how frequently I get words mixed up, but I know I do it occasionally at least. I always get the words “habit” and “hobby” mixed up, and sometimes one or the other comes out as “hobbit.” I don’t usually mess up parts of words, but I do forget whole words sometimes. I don’t think that’s necessarily an ASD trait, though, is it? I also hear neurotypical people talking about how a word’s right on the tip of their tongue or something like that. I definitely make more of these kinds of mistakes when I’m tired, though.

    5. I don’t mix up left and right very often, but I don’t really know them automatically, either. I always take a second to picture which hand forms and L shape with the index finger and thumb before I’m sure which is which. I’m really bad at figuring out sizes of things, and I think I’m bad at judging speeds of things, too. In regards to the crosswalk example, I always end up waiting until a car is completely stopped or close to it before I try crossing the street. (This has made learning to drive pretty frustrating sometimes; I’ve had a couple of impatient people honk at me in intersections, which always scares the shit out of me. And right now I’ve been trying to learn how to parallel park, which…is not a lot of fun. :/ ) I don’t think I’ve ever really tried tasks that “cross the midline,” so I’m not sure about that. I didn’t have much trouble learning to tie my shoes, though.

    6. I know parts of the times tables. I remember I hated learning them when I was a kid, and I don’t think I ever thought it was terribly important. I think learning subtraction and negative numbers was easier for me, but it’s definitely easier to do on paper than in my head.

    7. I’m just okay with analogue clocks. I can use them, but it takes me a minute, and I’d rather use a digital clock. Trying to figure out daylight savings time and time zones is pretty tough, though.

    8. I think I do a mix of these, but I’m not sure. I think I lean towards visualizing images more than words, but I’m not sure. This is a bit tough to explain, but I think that when I do think in words, I think about them the way that I would read them rather than the way I would hear or say them. I imagine words as utilizing both the visual of the written word as well as the sound of the spoken word, if that makes sense, because when I read something I imagine hearing it spoken, but then if I actually hear a person say a word it’s harder for me to process than the written word is. It’s complicated and difficult for me to separate the two; I’m not sure if I’m making any sense right now.

    I’ve always been frustrated that psychologists tend to group writing and talking into “language” skills, because I feel like they’re separate but related skills.

    9. When I try to spell a word, I visualize the way the written word looks. When I learn a new word, I can only remember it if I know how to spell it – but then again, if I see a written word, I can’t always figure out how to pronounce it. It’s much easier to learn a new word if I know both the spelling and pronunciation.

    10. I think I mostly visualize them. Math problems are easier if I have something to write on, but if I need to figure out something simple like a tip on a food bill, I can do it by picturing the numbers in my head.

  54. 1. No, I’ve not been diagnosed with anything. Slightly below average spelling for my peer group, I think I’m better than kids who are used to spell check and text speak nowadays.

    2. I used to be very good at reading books fast and Uni taught me to be very good at flick reading and picking out the important parts. I did a test (one that had to be sent off to be marked and I received a bound book of the results – it was to do with careers) that had a spacial awareness section and I scored very high, which is unusual – even more so in a woman. My mind is good at flipping stuff about. Avoiding walking into things less so.

    3. My spelling is worse because I don’t need to think with spell check. My hand writes words wrong when I know perfectly well how to spell them. I have a mental block on a few words – I should know them as I’m always correcting them. Oh yeah, I read far faster in my read. As mentioned in other comments, I hate reading out loud as I sound like I have reading difficulties when the opposite is true. Yup, I have difficulty in working out the pronunciation of words I haven’t heard and cling to my ingrained personal pronunciation.

    4. Yes, especially when giving people directions I say ‘left’ instead of ‘right’. Yes to prefixes I can sort them out afterwards though. Yes to names. Today I forgot the word for litter tray, I can see the item in my mind but the word escapes me. I often use ‘thing’ or ‘stuff’ or description. Eg I’d call a food processor a food chopper-up.

    5. Yes, fortunately I have my writing hand (right) to help me out. I have to think about the printer tray carefully but I can do it. I err on the side of caution with cars, but I think that’s more caution than lack of judgement. Terrible at tying my shoelaces when I was a kid, still have to tie the bows in a knot. I have trouble visualising spaces in my head eg if I read a description of a very wide river I can’t summon up anything bigger than a dual-carriageway.

    6. No. At infant school we did a times table out loud everyday in a group, so that may be why. I prefer to do maths on a calculator or written down because I find it hard to hold the numbers in my head. I was good at negative numbers. Mad concept but I can do it.

    7. I have trouble with clocks that have no numbers or have lines instead of numbers. I have a watch with lines and my mind flips my readings about so instead of 7.25 I’ll read it as 5.35. I like my watches to have the minutes marked. Fine on daylight saving time.

    8. This question stumped me – I had to think about how I think! It’s largely a heard monologue in my head. I do visualise things as well.

    9. If it’s a word I know I see the word and spell it. For more difficult ones I’ll try to work it out phonetically as long as I know it’s not spelt funny eg Leicester.

    10 I think of bill splitting mathematically. Ooh I’d fuss about with a list for ages or tell people to sit where they want:)

  55. 1) I was diagnosed with dyscalculia and possible mild dyspraxia/dysgraphia 2-3 years ago during my first neuropsychological tests. A year later, Cognitive Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified was added to that list. Whether a part of the rest or not, I showed slow cognitive processing speed, poor attention/concentration, and limited working memory. In the last year or so, I’ve also developed a paraphasia that comes and goes, garbling my speech and typing (language output).

    2) I did not learn to read early, but I read extremely fast and with unusual comprehension (until recently). Despite the general attention problems, I CAN hyperfocus on certain tasks to the point of not being aware i’m even moving (such as while riding in a vehicle.)

    3) I have issues typing words in their correct spelling sometimes (fairly recent problem). I can read MUCH faster silently than out loud. I’m fair to pretty good at prounouncing new words I see in print. If anything, I learn words easier after seeing them in print first, especially foreign languages.

    4) I tend to mix the letter-order of words when typing. If speaking, I’ll usually use a word of similar meaning to what I wanted to say, but it might make little to no sense in the context of the rest of my sentence. This does not happen with greatly predictable frequency, though worse/more if I’m stressed and/or tired. I do miss letter/word mistakes when typing and proofreading, at least until later.

    5) How well I do at spatial reasoning depends on how much I have recently been doing related tasks, such as drawing/painting/design. I know left and right, up and down. I have trouble calculating the speed of vehicles and large objects coming directly toward me. I do not remember the size or volume of objects correctly, most of the time. I have a great deal of difficulty translating a picture, a live scene, or a memory of an object into an accurate drawing or painting, even though I “see” the object correctly.

    6) I managed to learn multiplication tables through sheer rote as a child. Division wasn’t so easy, and still isn’t. Some kinds of mental arithmetic are hard-to-impossible for me.

    7) Clocks do not confuse me. Telling the passage of time without them is the hard part.

    8) I think a great deal in pictures and word pictures, like metaphors. Words only fill in the gaps in my slightly-warped visual memory. I see words and pictures as I think, in a complex mix of still pictures, video, and very rarely, print. I can recite certain auditory sequences that I’ve rote-memorized over the years, but I don’t process pure auditory input very well for long periods.

    9) I see a word, but have to concentrate VERY hard to both “see” and be able to speak the letters that make it up. I have some issues learning new spelling words unless I read them in print. While I can rote-memorize certain phrases in a new language, I quickly forget them and cannot progress very far in speaking or writing a new language, save with American SIgn Language, and even that faded over time.

    10) I have to use shortcuts, estimations, and/or a calculator to do nonverbal math and practical arithmetic problems.

  56. 1. I have dyspraxia; really poor spatial awareness, I don’t know where my hands and feet are, although I’ve been doing training with weapons (stick fighting) that has helped with that a lot. I still fall over my feet *all* the time though. I’ve always been considered “accident prone”, which is a combination of lack of concentration and focus and lack of co-ordination.
    2. I have always been above average with numeracy. I was reading before I was 3. However, in school I would avoid subjects that required me to read a lot, even though I would read two or three books a week for fun. Post high school I studied the humanities and I am now very above average at reading and writing, it is one of my main strengths.
    3. I’ve learnt how to speed read. I’m a good speller and I am good at pronouncing new words. Words and etymology are a fascination for me.
    4. I don’t mix up words, but I do mix up names. I forget words and it’s worse when I’m tired.
    5. I was late tying my shoes, but it was the standard knot. I don’t think I have particular difficulty judging speed and distance, although I do err on the safe side a lot.
    6. Mental maths were instinctive to me. I don’t really remember learning the times tables, they’ve just always been there for as long as I can remember.
    7. I’m fine with reading clocks. I prefer to use 24 hour time as it makes more sense to me. I do find adjusting the clock for daylight savings frustratingly difficult compared to my other abilities with maths.
    8. I tend to think in words; a lot of voices and the like. I hear them mostly, occasionally see them. I also “feel” a lot of colours when I think about things emotionally. That one is hard to explain. I see numbers as shapes and colours.
    9. I’m rubbish at learning new languages (tried many times). Most of my spelling is like muscle memory, so if I’m asked to spell something I’ll have to actually write it down (or pretend to). This is even if I haven’t written it much before. When I became a teacher and had to write on a whiteboard (i.e. changing around the way I write) I noticed a significant decrease in my ability to spell. Sometimes I would have to write a word on the flat to see how it was spelt.
    10. I’ll do that visually, but probably the most defining thing about how I work out these kinds of problems is that I use my hands to “place” the thoughts in my mind. For example, if I’m done with one aspect of the thought process then I’ll swipe it away with my hand.

  57. 1. No
    2. Learnt to read very early/quickly. Not a fast reader though. Find it very difficult to remember the plot, recall what I have read. Remember small parts out of context.
    3. No difficulties
    4. No difficulties
    5. Terrible spatial reasoning, difficulty telling left from right
    6. Learnt tables through rote as a child could not recall them now, terrible mental arithmetic
    7. Clocks fine
    8. Think in pictures, translate to words
    9. Visualise the spelling
    10. Use shortcuts to solve non verbal maths problems

  58. I’m 44. Aspi. I’m on committees. I’m on boards. I can function well when it’s something I know. I can’t answer the door. I can’t phone for pizza. Every fiber of my being screams at me to stop when I try something new. I’ve had years of practice to appear normal. It’s the disclosure that you write about that’s hardest. I’m petrified to approach my boss let alone tell her about what goes on in my head. When I’ve told people at boards or at support meetings (for my son’s aspi) they say no you don’t have that. You are so out going. I can fake it very well now. I’ve got to good now asking for accommodation would be very hard

  59. anonymous answers:

    Q1: My spelling is very bad as I spell words how they sound more often than not.
    I also have test anxiety which can effect how well I do on tests even though I already know the subject quite well.

    Q2: I read much faster than many of my class mates.
    I also can tell you where any particular bus is in the city within 200m of its location by just knowing what time it is. (this includes construction delays)

    Q3: If I spell a word wrong it usually is spelt the same way over and over because that’s how I learned the word. It is very hard to change that into proper spelling. My spelling has improved since childhood much because I now use a laptop and it underlines words that are incorrect so I know they are incorrect.
    My reading in my head is much faster than reading outloud becuase I stumble over words that I am trying to read.

    Q4: I sometimes drop words that arn’t as important for communication. Similar to ASL (sign language) they only have the important signs.
    I am almost always blanking on the word or name of something when I am talking. I can see it in my head but I can’t make it into sounds. I can tell you how many letters the word has, if they are soft or harsh sounding, and any other important part of the word (I usually do this until I remember the word)

    Q5: Yes yes yes. I am left handed so I always get the two mixed up and when I am driving its hard to tell how far and fast the car is.
    When tieing my shoes I do it differently and its something that I have only started to do, before that used slip on shoes.

    Q6: I love numbers. So once I understood what these numbers were and how they fit together I went with it and learned them all in a few hours. I am particularly fond of bus numbers.

    Q7: not particularly

    Q8: I see in pictures and its sometimes a struggle to make those picturse into something other people can understand. Thats why I love art and photography, its a similar way to communicate.

    Q9: Spell it out.

    Q10: Visualize them and move them around in my head.

  60. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Slow processing speed, difficult short term memory, hard to concentrate, hard time understanding accents

    Q2: Pretty good at doing things without conscious planning, but it was not easy to get to this point.

    Q3: Spelling improves with time, but then again I do a lot of writing and learning to spell correctly is a time saver. Though there are some words I can’t get straight no matter what.

    Q4: I’m horrible with names; I make a point to avoid using people’s names in speech in case I’m wrong. Often forget the word I’m looking for. In writing/typing I often leave out words and don’t catch it when I proof.

    Q5: Spacial reasoning has always been a challenge, but has improved with years of driving.

    Q6: Struggled horribly with math tables. Fell way behind, nearly failed one grade because of it. Still don’t know most math facts in late 30s.

    Q7: I hate daylight saving time. Mental arithmetic gives me a headache.

    Q8: I have a hard time visualizing things, but I do much better when I can see things when learning.

    Q9: I need to see the word in my mind.

    Q10: I don’t know?

  61. 1. As well as an autistic spectrum condition do you also have a specific learning difference (aka US English ‘learning disability’) such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, nonverbal learning disability, ADHD etc? Even if you don’t have a diagnosed/labelled SpLD, do you have cognitive traits commonly associated with SpLDs like slow processing speed, below average spelling, fragile working memory, poor concentration etc?

    Slow processing speed was a major player in getting a diagnosis. Even math tests, in which I showed much greater accuracy than the average NT, showed that I took more time than the average NT.

    2. Are you actually unusually good at any of the above? For example unusually fast reading speed, learned to read early, extremely good at spelling, usually good short term memory, extremely good spacial reasoning, adept at doing things efficiently without conscious planning, excellent concentration regardless of interest level etc?

    Spelling and grammar are nearly flawless. Memory is in the superior range. Concentration… When am I NOT concentrated?

    3. If you have spelling difficulties, has your spelling had much improvement since childhood? Do you still remember how to spell words correctly by remembering how to correct your automatic wrong version? Can you read without ‘reading out loud’ in your head? Can you read faster than you can read out loud? Do you have difficulty pronouncing words you’ve read but haven’t heard said before – even if you’re told they’re said how they’re spelt?

    Mentally I know all the words I need to, but hands often make shortcuts: defition, appriate, etcera. I can skim without a mind’s ear voice, but I won’t retain much. Silent reading is slightly faster than speaking the words because I don’t have to worry about the logistics of pronunciation and breathing. “they’re said how they’re spelt” doesn’t make any sense in English, because there are so many exceptions to the rules that there might as well not be any rules.

    4. Do you frequently mix up two options when speaking or writing (for example confusing ‘train’ and ‘bus’)? Do you find you often miss out small words or parts of words, or tend to add inappropriate postfixes to words (for example writing ‘specifically’ when you meant ‘specific’, or vice versa)? Do you regularly get people’s names wrong in speech even when you know what they are? Do you repeatedly forget the words for things when speaking? When you make these mistakes do you often not realise that you have, sometimes even when proof reading? Do you make more mistakes of these types when tired?

    My hands will add “ly” to almost everything, especially actual, because I say actually a lot. I rarely use people’s names in conversation, which turns my memory of names into a useless talent. My worst proofreading failures involve omitting the word “not”, e.g. “Hitler was a nice person.” Proofreading is hard when tired because my eyes start to gloss over the information instead of focusing and pacing.

    5. Do you often mix up left and right? Do you have difficulty judging distance, speed, size, volume etc? For example, do you need to be careful crossing the street because it’s difficult to judge how fast cars are going? Do you find spacial reasoning tasks difficult, for example working out which way up to put the page back into the printer when you want to print on both sides? Do you have particular difficulty performing manual tasks that ‘cross the midline’, ie, your hands cross over and both do different things? Did it take you an unusually long time to learn to tie shoe laces, and if so did you learn an alternative type of knot to do so?

    I wore strap-based footware for a while. I still prefer sandals. I usually leave my shoelaces tied and just slip in, because constantly tying and untying is annoying.

    6. Did you struggle to learn the times tables as a child? Do you still not know your times tables as an adult? Do you particularly struggle with mental arithmetic? Did you have difficulty learning negative numbers and subtraction of negative numbers (without a calculator)?


    7. Do you have difficulty reading analogue clocks? Do you find it a challenge to understand/visualise how the clocks going backwards or forwards when daylight savings starts or end will affect time differences with time zones where the clocks haven’t changed? Do you find mental arithmetic unusually difficult?

    Sometimes it looks exactly an hour ahead or behind but if I stare long enough I’ve got it.

    8. Do you struggle to visualise things and tend to think in words, or alternatively do you naturally think in pictures and have to translate to words? Do you ‘hear’ words or ‘see’ them when you think? Alternatively do you not fit either of those models and think in some combination of them or think in some other kind of unusual way, for example in spacial relationships or in tactile sensations or motion?

    Sometimes I think in pictures, sometimes in words. Most of the time I think in thoughts. Speech and writing are always a translation.

    9. If you’re asked how to spell something, do you ‘see’ the word and read out the letters or do you have to work it out from the sounds or simply remember the sequence? Do you have difficult learning how to spell new words or speak/write new languages?

    Visualization is the easiest path to memorization.

    10. When you mentally solve non-verbal problems like splitting the bill and working out the tip, or like how to seat everyone at a wedding dinner, do you tend to think them out as mostly word-based problems using verbal reasoning or do you visualise or conceptualise them in other ways?

    Visualize numbers.

  62. anonymous answers:

    Q1: ADHD, poor spatial reasoning

    Q2: Fast reading, learned to read early, good at spelling

    Q3: I read faster than I read out loud, and I have difficulty pronouncing english words for the first time, though with other languages it’s simpler. (English is my first language.)

    Q4: I frequently forget words for things, or replace words with other words. I make these mistakes more when I’m tired or stressed.

    Q5: I mix up left and right constantly. I have difficulty judging size or volume (I.E. finding an appropriately-sized container for left-overs). I find spacial reasoning task difficult and have difficulty with manual tasks in general, including those that cross the midline.

    Q6: I never was able to learn the times tables, and mental math above the basics is nearly impossible for me. Negative numbers were incredibly difficult and I still have trouble with them.

    Q7: Yes.

    Q8: I struggle to visualize things, and I ‘see’ words in my head when I think.

    Q9: I ‘see’ the word and read out the letters. I have very few issues with spelling new words or writing new languages, but speaking new languages is a challenge.

    Q10: I visualize them as simple numbers, as word-based problems give me too much information to sort through.

  63. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Spastic CP, Sensory Integration issues

    Q2: + above average Long term memory
    +IQ Tests results consistently between 140 to 160

    Q3: yes to all

    Q4: Yes to all but last one

    Q5: yes, for first 2, & the last one
    Rest I’m good with directions not multitasking

    Q6: no, no, no but I wasn’t exception with numbers.
    Tough I was exception with Geometry

    Q7: No

    Q8: I’m visual, but have difficulty at times in explaining them

    Q9: Yes I can spell any word with ease & good at learning languages in general

    Q10: visualise

  64. anonymous answers:

    Q1: I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the connection between autism and dyslexia because my family and my husband’s family is full of people with different variations these traits. My oldest daughter has been diagnosed with asperger’s and mild dyslexia and my youngest daughter is strongly dyslexic with occasional aspie traits. I consider myself aspie/dyslexic, but it is unlikely I would be diagnosed as autistic and I don’t have the signature trait of many dyslexics have of phonemic processing issues.
    I (erroneously I assume) tend to use the term dyslexia very globally to include at least classic dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, and likely some types of attentional issues, and here’s why. I find the work of Dr. Manuel Casanova of the University of Kentucky School of Medicine (described well starting on page 37 of Drs. Brock and Fernette Eide’s book The Dyslexic Advantage) to be very enticing in an hypothesis-forming sort of way. To be as brief as I think I can manage: He found that the minicolumns of synapses in the brain’s cortex are spaced differently in different people. These relative spacings fall somewhere along a bell curve and generally individuals with dyslexia are biased toward widely spaced minicolumns (longer and more widely spaced axons that might lead to the global type of thinking ascribed to many dyslexics and detail difficulties such and phonemic processing) and individuals with autism are biased toward more closely spaced minicolumns (shorter more closely spaced axons, tending perhaps to detail strengths, but also perseveration or maybe even some of the sensory over-sensitivites). The Eide’s explanation is better than mine. Here’s where my speculation travels. Could people have different minicolumn spacings in different parts of their brains?Could this lead to one person being dyscalculic while another ADHD and a third classically dyslexic? Could there be some epigenetic process involved in determining the final outcome? Are autism and dyslexia the flip sides of the same coin? I know this is likely oversimplification to the point of being wrong, but I still find them very interesting animating questions.
    To answer your question more specifically, I am self-diagnosed aspie (probably a tad short of official diagnosis criteria) with dyslexia that tends toward the problems with “rapid naming” and sequencing. Most reading, planning, or academic tasks take me 10 to 15% longer to complete than other typically intelligent people. I spell well. My working memory and concentration are quirky. With regard to working memory, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are certain types of information (sequences, some spacial thought et. al. that I don’t seem to be able to “chunk” well enough to keep in my working memory) I have some attentional issues, so concentration is either very good or not good at all.

    Q2: I’m not unusually good at any of the above. There are two things that I do better than any body else I know. One is my ability to process tactile information through my fingers. I used to be a soils lab technician, and I could stick my fingers in a sample and tell the % of moisture and particle size distribution with freakish accuracy. This is nearly useless except for some cooking applications and I was a hair dresser for a while, and I know I processed information through my hands that I could in no way verbalize.
    The second thing I do unusually well is process micro expressions, so I’ve been good at predicting interpersonal outcomes at say workplaces before they happen. My husband is an aspie of sorts (of coarse) who occasionally displays inappropriate facial expressions. It is very confusing.

    Q3: Spelling and reading did come a bit late to me. I remember struggling with reading as a young child, but having an insight as a third grader that I had figured out a different way to do it. I suspect I process my reading through my Broca’s area (a part of the brain that is involved with speech and many dyslexics use for reading but non dyslexics don’t), I “hear” my reading in my head, and when I really am struggling with a passage my lips are moving. Mostly, I read the speed of speech, but in the last 5 or 10 years my reading has speeded up (I”m 47).

    Q4: Yes, I make these types of mistakes when speaking. I have a hard time recalling words. Tiredness will make it worse. I call it the “direct object disease” even though it isn’t only with direct objects. “Please hand me the__________uhh,________spoon.”

    Q5: I learned left and right in high school. I’m not good at things coming at me (like balls), but I’m very good a estimating size and volume. Your printer example is perfect: yes, that is hard. No midline problems and excellent manual dexterity.

    Q6: No, I have a good memory for numbers. My most dyslexic daughter, however, is taking 3 years of regular practice for mastering the times tables. It’s rough. I’m putting her through it though because I know that her school won’t know what to do with a dyslexic, dysgraphic kid who nonetheless is good a mathematical concepts. I don’t want them to give up on her and poor wrote memory would be just one more strike against her.

    Q7: It took me a long time to learn to read an analog clock as a kid. I’m pretty good at mental arithmetic with specific quirks related to working memory.

    Q8: I’m not a visualizer per say, more words. I “hear” words in my head as I’m reading. But I do seem to use “non verbal” tactile sensations.

    Q9: I work it out from the sounds.

    Q10: I suspect I turn problems into words, but visuals or alternate conceptualizations often really help me understand even basic problems much better. Sometimes I’m just daft when faced with everyday life.

  65. anonymous answers:

    Q1: i have dyscalculia, and a poor memory, and some trouble with language processing (despite a high reading speed)

    Q2: i do read fairly quickly, and was always considered to be an “advanced” reader in school.

    Q3: words that i spell wrong (which are primarily words with double consonants) i was actually better at spelling in childhood, and now struggle with much more by accidentally adding/dropping consonants even when i’ve been corrected countless times. I can read faster in my head than out loud. I have TERRIBLE pronunciation skills when it comes to words I haven’t heard before, and often read the letters out of order which causes my pronunciation to be way off.

    Q4: I do make these sorts of mistakes, especially when it comes to postfixes or words that start with the same syllable (like writing “somewhere” when i meant “someone”). I rarely use people’s names when i’m speaking because i’m so likely to get them wrong. I tend to notice the mistakes 10-15 minutes later if I look over my writing. I’m not sure if its more common when I’m tired but it probably is.

    Q5: I can’t tell left from right even remotely. I dont know how good i am at judging speed/distance/etc but when driving if I have to get out in front of cars i can never tell if they are a safe distance away or if i should wait. I always end up just waiting to be safe.
    I don’t remember learning to tie my shoes but i can do it now.

    Q6: I still don’t know my times tables and i am 18, a fact which has dissappointed teachers countless times. I can add and subtract in my head as long as numbers stay under 10 or 20 but not multiplication/division,

    Q7: ugh i hate time changes and clocks. dont even get me started on clocks.

    Q8: I think in words, and i hear them rather than see them. I’m an artist but I find it almost impossible to visualize anything in my head.

    Q9: I honestly cannot spell out loud, I can’t even spell my name out loud. I tend to either have the sequence memorized by rote, or get it hilariously wrong.
    New languages are hard for me but I have primarily worked with languages without letters so it’s been a different experience entirely

    Q10: I tend to think them out as word-based problems, but thats very difficult and i’m likely to get it wrong, so i tend to either pass that job onto someone else or work it out on paper/with a calculator/etc.

  66. anonymous answers:

    Q1: ADHD-PI (not diagnosed ASD yet but I’m in the diagnosis process)

    Q2: no

    Q4: no more than most people

    Q5: The shoe tying one. My grandfather taught me a different knot and I still use it now. I’m 28 and can’t seem to figure out the ‘normal’ shoe knot.

    Q6: No, in fact I excelled at math, primarily mental math. In fact, showing my work was the worst part of school.

    Q7: No.

    Q8: I think almost exclusively in pictures, and unless I can visualize it, I have a hard time understanding things.

    Q9: I see the word and read out the letters. I seem to have some trouble learning new languages, but that could be because I’m not using the right method, since almost everyone has a lot of trouble without having to pay for a teacher.

    Q10: I have to visualize it or it’s not going to happen.

  67. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Nothing diagnosed. I do have poor working memory and executive function, though.

    Q2: I read very fast, and I learned to read very early–what would be called hyperlexia now. I’m a very good speller and extremely conscientious about spelling, grammar, etc., in my own writing or others’. I worked as a proofreader and copyeditor for a long time and loved it.

    Q4: I stumble over words pretty frequently, more so when I’m tired, and usually what I end up saying is nonsense. I always thought this was just because I was trying to talk too fast (I’m a fast talker) and my brain got ahead of my mouth. Only when I started learning more about ASD did I realize that this might be related to autism.

    Q5: As a kid, I had an outline drawing of my hands on the kitchen wall, labeled “left” and “right.” Whenever I needed to identify left or right, I pictured myself standing in front of those outlines and lining them up with whatever I was looking at. I am really, really terrible at spatial reasoning–my brain just goes blank, and unless I can physically arrange objects or draw a diagram, solving these kinds of problems is pretty hopeless for me. I did take a long time to learn to tie my shoes, though it never occurred to me before as an ASD trait!

    Q6:I’m really bad at mental math. I have to “check” it by doing the problem several times in my head to make sure it’s coming out right. Even then I might be wrong.

    Q7: Analog clocks aren’t impossible, but they do take an extra effort. Calculating time zones is a real challenge. I forget whether to add or subtract. And once you get into time differences of more than twelve hours, it’s almost hopeless.

    Q8: I think mostly in words, sometimes with vivid images. When I’m writing fiction, for example, it’s like watching a movie–I just write down descriptions of what I see and transcribe the dialogue. (When the writing is going well, that is. Otherwise it’s a lot more grueling.) Written words have movement for me, though, which is usually related to their meaning. When a word’s movement doesn’t appear to match its meaning, I get confused, and would rather use the word according to its movement than according to the dictionary definition. For example, “livid” looks like it should mean “white with rage.” It actually means “red or purple with rage.” I can never remember that!

    Q9: I spell words by visualizing the letters. I learn to read new languages very, very easily, but speaking and understanding them is much harder. Those are totally different skills.

    Q10: If I’m doing a seating chart, it needs to be visual. Splitting the bill or calculating the tip is really hard, like most mental math. My mind blanks and I have to try to grind it into gear. Thank God, my wife is one of those people who can do math instantly, so I let her figure these things out. (I also love when restaurant receipts come with different tipping percentages pre-calculated on them!)

  68. anonymous answers:

    Q1: No.

    Q2: I read very fast.

    Q3: I read much, much faster in my head than out loud.

    Q4: I notice my mistakes. I don’t have issues with words when typing, but verbally is a different story. I remember words by the letter they start with, regardless of pronunciation, and sometimes the letter is all I can come up with. I mix up the wrong words in speaking, but in a more pronounced way than the example of “train/bus.” I definitely repeatedly forget words when speaking. My hesitation in speech makes people think I am finished giving my thoughts – or write me off completely. I try to compensate by reaching for the simplest statements to get my point across, but this sacrifices the finer parts, and I end up failing to communicate the complexity and completeness of the thoughts. I cannot hang onto names. I am a ballet teacher, and I even make an announcement in class at the beginning of the year about this so as not to offend students by making them feel I’ve forgotten them. I forget their names, but not anything else about them. This applies to people I’ve known a long time, too.

    Q5: Judging distance is a bit of a challenge for me, but not enough to mess with my daily living, even driving. It took me a much longer time than normal to learn to tie my shoes, but I later became extremely good at fine motor coordination. Crossing the midline is not a problem.

    Q6: No.

    Q7: Serious difficulty! It’s funny, because I’ve had an analogue clock on my wall for 15 years that I can now read fairly well (sometimes I get the hour confused still). I totally understand the concept; I taught my children to read clocks. I even built a special type of color-coded clock to teach the kids in kindergarten and we practiced every day. Still, it takes focus for me to read one. It’s challenging to calculate time zone difference. Again, I understand the concept and have taught it, but I have to stop and really think in order to calculate what time it is in a different zone. Other mental arithmetic does not challenge me.

    Q8: I don’t think in English. I think in abstract concept, sometimes images, and then translate to English in my head before speaking or typing. This takes up moments in real-time conversation and jacks up the rhythm & flow of the conversation, so I end up communicating on a much more primitive level verbally to keep up. For some reason, the translation to typing is faster. I “hear” words as I’m translating, unless it has an unusual spelling, in which case I see them as well.

    Q9: I hear the word, sometimes see it, but not a sharply as a photographic thought. I sound things out to spell them, then look at them on paper/screen and see if they “look right.” I had good Latin/Greek etymology training in school, so I don’t usually have trouble spelling words in English or understanding written languages that are Latin-based.

    Q10: It depends upon the problem. Math problems are often digits in my head, but sometimes they are more like puzzles that work themselves into place until I recognize a balance. It’s like a click. Sometimes things just make sense without being “worked out,” like the pieces are already in place.

  69. 1. I haven’t been diagnosed with anything else so far, but I’ve been told that I have some traits that match up with that of ADD
    2. Concentration is a huge problem for me, but I read exceptionally fast and I had an above average knack for spelling growing up. I believe that’s plateaued out a bit as I transition into adulthood.
    3. I’ve never had a problem spelling, and I’ve learned to not subvocalize when I’m reading. I have difficulty pronouncing any word I’ve never heard spoken, and even then I might struggle with it a bit. (I have mild speech impediments that add to the struggle, a slight lisp and on some days I stutter.)
    4. I do all of this a lot whenever I’m typing, it’s sucks having to go back and retype everything all the time. I usually manage to catch my mistakes but not always. People are constantly interrupting my speech to correct it whenever I jumble up words.
    5. I was 9 before I finally figured out for good my left and right. I still often have to hold up my right hand and make a squiggle in the air to remember, I write with that hand, so that’s my right. I’m crap with spatial reasoning, and I usually sprint across the street no matter what because I don’t know when a car might hit me. I’ve never had to do the printer thing but every time I use my debit card I have to examine the picture and my debit card to swipe it in the right direction, even though I’ve been using it for a few years now. I was hopeless learning not only how to tie my shoes but also how to zip up a jacket (or anything else where you have to put the zipper in place. Nothing like jeans where the zipper just needs to be pulled up.). I don’t know how I ever got the hang of zipping a jacket (though I’m still frequently breaking those) but my grandmother taught me an alternate way of tying my shoes, without witch I’d probably be wearing Velcro now.
    6. I know my 2’s my 5’s and my 10’s and nothing else. I cannot do division without a calculator, I’ve absolutely no idea where to even start with that, and basically all arithmetic has been incredibly difficult for me.
    7. I only learned how to read an analogue clock within the last two years. I knew before that but I would have to count it all out and it took a while, now there are certain times I can read on sight and others it only takes me a few seconds and not minutes like it used to. The only reason I learned was because my last high school had analogue clocks in every room, and I was constantly looking at them to figure out how much time I had left to suffer in my classes.
    8. I think visually and with words. The visualizations are very, very vivid, and the words aren’t spoken, they’re also a visualization, I suppose. Text on the screen. I have ticker tape synesthesia as well so that might contribute to how/why I think like this, not just autism.
    9. Yup! I see the words in my head all the time, like pictures, it’s hard to wrap my head around the idea that other people do not do this. I’m learning French and Esperanto right now and though it’s frustrating at times I don’t think I’m at a disadvantage to others with this, I just need to stay focused.
    10. I can’t mentally solve non verbal problems, I have to write it out.

      1. Same here. Plus my pin was changed last time I got a new debit card, and now, half a year later, I still have to stand there and think through the old pin, realise that one wasn’t it, and remember what the new pin is.

  70. I answered all of this a while ago through the anonymous survey. I have a question that has been bugging me for years that is related to this post, so I thought I would ask it here.

    I love to read out loud. I like to hear the inflection and modulation of my voice and the musicality of it, but I am terrible at telling people what I read. When I got married my husband let me know I was reading wrong. I was picking up words from the next line as the sentence wrapped down the page and inserting it into the line I was reading. This makes for non sensical reading. It happens both reading out loud and reading to myself. I will often catch it when reading a story but rarely when reading a textbook. I’ve noticed it’s getting worse.

    Do you know what this is called? It’s not dyslexia but it’s sort of similar.

  71. Okay, I found this page after looking for something on not saying peoples names (which I found) and as I started reading, again starting nodding my head affirming myself and letting go of one more area where I had judged myself stupid. Thank you!

    My answers below:

    Learning Differences/Disabilities Questions

    1. As well as an autistic spectrum condition do you also have a specific learning difference (aka US English ‘learning disability’) such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, nonverbal learning disability, ADHD etc? Even if you don’t have a diagnosed/labelled SpLD, do you have cognitive traits commonly associated with SpLDs like slow processing speed, below average spelling, fragile working memory, poor concentration etc?

    So far I have not been diagnosed with any of these things in item 1, but I know my short term memory is not great, I see it often in trying to remember people’s names, sometimes I will even blank on their names when I know them. Our daughters future father in law is a case in point. I’m always forgetting his name and I’ve known him for almost three years now. Our local bookshop is owned by a very sweet couple and I Knew her name, and then for over two weeks I blanked on it and every time I went in she would greet me by name and I would blow right by that trying to hide that I could not remember her name feeling the idiot as I did so. I also have poor concentration, but it’s related more to if too many things are going on around me that distract me. Like if the TV is on in the background with just the DISH (Cable Provider) screen, I can see it out of the corner of my eye and it bugs me if I am trying to concentrate because I can see it. I have a sibling and a nephew with dyslexia, dyspraixia, and dysgraphia. Also a brother with ADHD and siblings with HD (hyperactivity disorder diagosed in 70’s) I suspect that I might have one if not more of those three D’s as well. My handwriting is horrible, my hand cramps if I try to write for any length of time. It took me longer than most to learn to write cursive, and when I print I often interchange capital and lowercase letters. Not sure if anyone else does the latter. Not good at math either.

    2. Are you actually unusually good at any of the above? For example unusually fast reading speed, learned to read early, extremely good at spelling, usually good short term memory, extremely good spacial reasoning, adept at doing things efficiently without conscious planning, excellent concentration regardless of interest level etc?

    I read pretty fast, have always loved reading. As far as spelling, I’m pretty good at it, I sound things out that I have challenges with, and spell check helps. The other things in number 2, not so good at.

    3. If you have spelling difficulties, has your spelling had much improvement since childhood? Do you still remember how to spell words correctly by remembering how to correct your automatic wrong version? Can you read without ‘reading out loud’ in your head? Can you read faster than you can read out loud? Do you have difficulty pronouncing words you’ve read but haven’t heard said before – even if you’re told they’re said how they’re spelt?

    My spelling has gotten better since childhood and that is because I have put extra effort into it. It’s funny because sometimes I will look at a word and question if it is spelled right, and sometimes I will have such an intense focus on a word that I start looking at it like its something foreign or alien. Like what is that collection of things that have come together on the page. What does that really mean? What is a chair? Why is it called that? I digress 😉 I do read much faster than I read out loud. Out loud I will stumble over words, lose my place on the page. I never thought about the pronouncing words out loud thing but I think I have had that stumble before. I’ve left the other question to last because I had to think about it. “Can you read without ‘reading out loud’ in your head. I’m trying to understand that one. For instance, as I type answers to these questions I am thinking the words in my head. Is that reading out loud in my head? I can also see the sentence and if I misspell a word, I go back and correct it. In my head I don’t see the spelling per say, I know what I am saying, and then if my fingers miss a key and don’t type the right word I fix it.

    4. Do you frequently mix up two options when speaking or writing (for example confusing ‘train’ and ‘bus’)? Do you find you often miss out small words or parts of words, or tend to add inappropriate postfixes to words (for example writing ‘specifically’ when you meant ‘specific’, or vice versa)? Do you regularly get people’s names wrong in speech even when you know what they are? Do you repeatedly forget the words for things when speaking? When you make these mistakes do you often not realise that you have, sometimes even when proof reading? Do you make more mistakes of these types when tired?

    No to train and bus, at least I think its a no. Not sure about miss small words or parts of words. I do things automatically and don’t realize my habits and am just starting to really look at these things now so I may have to go back and look at things about me that are not as obvious. I have seen myself do things from time to time with words like specific and specifically. Yes to getting peoples names wrong. I just did it with our daughters future father in law on the phone. Yes, I forget the words for things on a regular basis. My dad used to do it all the time too. He had a word he would use instead. He would call whatever it was the “watchamacallit” 🙂 I do miss more things when I am tried or feeling like I have reached my sensory limited for the day. I usually catch things when I proof read, but I do know I miss things because given an hour or two and I go back and look at an email I have sent and I’ll see the mistake or two that I have made. It’s worse when it is a professional email to a client 😦

    5. Do you often mix up left and right? Do you have difficulty judging distance, speed, size, volume etc? For example, do you need to be careful crossing the street because it’s difficult to judge how fast cars are going? Do you find spacial reasoning tasks difficult, for example working out which way up to put the page back into the printer when you want to print on both sides? Do you have particular difficulty performing manual tasks that ‘cross the midline’, ie, your hands cross over and both do different things? Did it take you an unusually long time to learn to tie shoe laces, and if so did you learn an alternative type of knot to do so?

    Yes, I mix up left and right all the time. I joke about it with those close to me and they laugh. They know when driving with me that as copilot, I am as likely to point a direction as to say left or right. Or I might say right, I mean left . . . and then laugh. Yes to distance. I hold the railing on the stairs so that I make sure my foot makes good contact with the stair below. Do NOT like escalators for many of the reasons in number five. I used to have nightmares as a kid about getting across the street fast enough. I would dream that instead of walking or running across I was rolling or tumbling across and I could not get to the other side fast enough. Printers and paper and loading it the right way, like when doing two sided paper, or printing things that need to go in a certain way have always been a challenge for me, no matter how many times I do it. Like walking and chewing gum at the same time??? I’m better at doing one thing at a time. I tried to take a Jazzercise class once and I could not follow along for anything. Even when she was facing the mirror and her back was to us I still had a hard time. I never learned to tie my shoes until I was in kindergarten. My teacher taught me, it took me that long to learn. I still remember her showing me how to double knot so I would not have to keep coming to her when the would untie. I do remember doing different types of ways to try to keep them tied (this was before velcro sneakers were an option)

    6. Did you struggle to learn the times tables as a child? Do you still not know your times tables as an adult? Do you particularly struggle with mental arithmetic? Did you have difficulty learning negative numbers and subtraction of negative numbers (without a calculator)?

    I never got the hang of the times tables and felt so stupid because of it. It seemed that everyone else was able to do it. I would use my fingers, hiding them under my desk because the teacher would say things about being too old to be counting on my fingers or the kids would laugh at me. Mental math, nope, not for me. Negative numbers were weird, but I had a much harder time with division and fractions, and algebra – who the heck knows how a equals b or why c is a part of the whole thing??? The negative numbers I found kind of fascinating.

    7. Do you have difficulty reading analogue clocks? Do you find it a challenge to understand/visualise how the clocks going backwards or forwards when daylight savings starts or end will affect time differences with time zones where the clocks haven’t changed? Do you find mental arithmetic unusually difficult?

    No problems with clocks. Mental math, I have to have paper and pencil or a calculator.

    8. Do you struggle to visualise things and tend to think in words, or alternatively do you naturally think in pictures and have to translate to words? Do you ‘hear’ words or ‘see’ them when you think? Alternatively do you not fit either of those models and think in some combination of them or think in some other kind of unusual way, for example in spacial relationships or in tactile sensations or motion?

    I see whatever it is first. When I a describing something or writing an email or an article, the whole things is a series of movements, images for me. It’s like when I read a book, I am there, immersed in it. People can talk to me and ask me a question and I will often not hear them the first or even second time, and sometimes they will startle me because I am so deeply immersed in the book. Alternatively, I’ve been diagnosed with OCD and there are times when there is a conversation going about the steps I will take when I get in the shower. Which comes first, the conversation-thoughts (one in the same when you say words?) or the images of what I will do in the shower. In this case it is a combination. I am aware of the thoughts – words and at the same time the images.

    9. If you’re asked how to spell something, do you ‘see’ the word and read out the letters or do you have to work it out from the sounds or simply remember the sequence? Do you have difficult learning how to spell new words or speak/write new languages?

    So for example, fruit, the first thing I am aware of is seeing a picture of some kind of fruit, or several kinds of fruit, The concept or idea of fruit. Then I see the letters, almost like a overlay. Sometime I will go blank and forget how a word is spelled and have to take a moment when I am mid writing the word to think to myself, fourty . . .and move the letters around in my mind and translate that to the paper in front of me. I’m moving them around in my head before I write, and sometimes that can take a moment and there is a delay. I used to think it was because I was thinking faster than I could write or type, or speak. I’m not sure now what it is that causes this. It’s like I know what I want to write down and can see the word, then as I start writing I have to stop midway through the word to recall it’s spelling. New words, I don’t think so. I’ve tried learning Spanish once but let it go, though I would like to learn it. All of the memory required, how things are referenced, like the arm instead my arm confused my already trying to understand language brain. To this day I have real challenges with what a noun, pronoun, or verb is and if you asked me for a definition, I could not tell you.

    10. When you mentally solve non-verbal problems like splitting the bill and working out the tip, or like how to seat everyone at a wedding dinner, do you tend to think them out as mostly word-based problems using verbal reasoning or do you visualise or conceptualise them in other ways?

    I function best with an actual piece of paper in front of me, or it laid out on my computer. Like we bought some new furniture this past winter for our great room and I could have pushed the furniture around ahead of it arriving but instead I found a simple interior design program on the furniture stores website. It had pages where you could choose the side of the room, pick and put in windows, doors, closets, and then choose rugs, lighting, tables, couches, chairs etc. and move them where you wanted them. I loved it and had so much fun with it. I wished it had color and more detail but it was still a lot of fun. I do best by seeing it, touching it when I can. I love the concept and the visual.

    Thank you, these are all good questions and many I had never though about before in this way, or really noticed about myself to considering them. Others gave me another reason to nod my head and say, me too.

  72. I have always had problems in school as I was always struggled with maths and I had also a great deal of problems with my writing, comprehension but my spelling was okay. I was much slower at learning anything new. I still have these problems and because I was born in the 60’s, you had to have a severe learning disability before you were put into a special school. There was no such think as classroom support assistants. I have a lower than average iQ ( i have done online IQ tests) and I have just recently got an offical diagnosis of A.S.D. formerly known as Aspergers.

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