A Dyscalculia Network Success Story – Pursuing a Dream
‘In school, I couldn’t get my head around math. I always struggled. I always felt I was stupid because I couldn’t understand the simplest sum.
Throughout my whole life, I have always avoided math. Until one day, I couldn’t run any more as I had started a level 3 Educator Early Years course to become a teacher for young children and I needed maths.
I knew it was going to be a struggle to pass my Functional Skills Maths Level 2. I failed so many times when I had to do it remotely, I knew it might help if I did the paper exam. I paid two different tutors which didn’t work. I even tried doing it through a different exam board as well as through City and Guilds. However, I still didn’t pass (September 2021- July 2022). I was advised by my assessors that unfortunately I was running out of time and that I needed another solution.
One morning, I decided to have a look on Google’s search page to find adults that struggle doing math. I remember reading about an adult who said they always knew they couldn’t understand maths. It was later that I was diagnosed as having this same learning difficulty – dyscalculia. I didn’t realise there was actually a name for it. As I carried on looking on google, I typed in dyscalculia quiz and the result was that I had dyscalculia. I cried as I realised that I wasn’t stupid, but I truly had a reason for my difficulties. I was so happy to know why I struggled so much. I contacted the GP and explained my situation and she said that she will refer me. I went back and told my assessor, she checked with City and Guilds to see if they can give me extra time for my exam and they could.
Contacting a tutor
I knew I had to find a dyscalculia tutor so I went on Google and I applied to quite a few until I found the one that fitted me and my needs. I contacted www.dyscalculianetwork.com and received an email from Cat Eadle who was ever so kind. Cat put me in touch with a tutor called Marijke Walters and forwarded me her email address. I emailed Marijke about my situation and she responded straight away. She said she was busy with many clients however she knew I needed her help so agreed to help me. We arranged a time to talk and then she booked me in for my first lesson.
My first lesson was October 2022 and I knew Marijke was going to be a good tutor. She is patient, knowledgeable, understanding and extremely supportive. In my first lesson, I had a light bulb moment – that was the first time I understood prime numbers. It was the way she explained and breaks down hard question step by step that really helped me. I had tears in my eyes, for the very first time in my life I finally understood maths. As Marijke continued tutoring me, my confidence and understanding grew. We both agreed the paper exam was the best way to go.
On the 14th December 2022, I did my exam and, on the 3rd January 2023, I was told by my assessor that I had passed my Functional Skill Level 2 Maths Exam!
As an adult I never thought the day would come that I would ever understand maths, let alone pass my maths exam. I’m truly grateful to Marijke Walters for tutoring me and for the Dyscalculia Network for everything they have done.’