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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Mathematics & Aphasia

Well, this is certainly weird. The other day, someone asked me if Bob could do math. My first thought was of course not, he doesn't even seem to recognize a five dollar bill. He also still has difficulty with reading and don't even ask about writing. So math would be harder than that, right?

But you know, the more I thought about it, I realized that I don't remember a single therapist ever giving Bob a math problem to try. So yesterday, while we were waiting for the OT to arrive, I brought out the eraser board we use for writing practice and wrote down this simple math problem:

2 + 2 = 

I handed it to Bob and asked him if he could do this problem. He took the marker from me and finished it:

2 + 2 = 4

I said, "Wow! You did it!"

He said, "Well, duh!"

I gave him a few more problems to try. He could add and subtract perfectly in his head. He could multiply but only the most simple problems. He drew a total blank at division... hmm...

The OT arrived and saw us doing math problems. She told me that math and language are located in different areas of the brain, so it was not surprising that Bob could do math but still have trouble reading. After she left, I googled this, but just found a lot of contradicting theories out there.

All I can say is this is certainly weird. 


Anonymous said...

It's interesting that math and language are located in different parts of the brain, but I wonder why he can do addition and subtraction however struggles with multiplication and division. Keep stimulating his brain and his body, and he'll keep improving. Take care of yourself, and stay cool. Hugs, Dan

Elizabeth, John and Jack said...

My cognitive abilities were greatly impacted but not my language. I could add and multiply, but subtraction and division required relearning. The brain is was strange the things I remembered and forgot.

Willowangel said...

Dahn can do addition but has trouble with subtraction, and cannot do mutiplication or division at all. He has lots of trouble writing and cannot spell well. Even simple words are hard for him. His right hand is still spastic and almost useless.

The brain is a complex instrument!!

Grace Carpenter said...

My husband is a physicist, and he was always dismayed that by my SPs lack of interest in math.

I have a lot of problems with math now, especially with auditory processing. A lot of it is aphasia, but I suspect the problem is more complicated.

The PBS Kids website has a game called "Banana 411." (I have embarrassment threshold is high.) It helped me with easy number processing. You have to have speakers on your computer. Warning: the monkey sounds are grating ;)

metalgirl162002 said...

Maybe it's why I managed to get a B.S. in English but totally stink at math beyond simple algebra, lol! I've heard that pretty much you're good at one or the other; being good at both is rare.