verbal photographic memory – yup. it was really ‘funny’ in school, because on tests i could call up the exact page, paragraph and line to get the answers to questions. i still have it. even if i read upside-down. i think perhaps my ability to read a text upside down is connected to my dyscalculia. i used to be able to recount whole conversations in memory too. not so good at that now – probably because, as i said here, being chronically depressed (and stressed) will cause permanent brain damage.
writing skills – yup. which made it possible for me to phrase the answers in my own words, not just copying the text. this is one of my main skills. i have also been told that i have an ability to explain and clarify complex matters in written form so that what i say is easy to follow and understand.
visual skills – yup. i see more colors than most other people, i have an innate sense of proportions, balance and measurement; and i can ‘hit’ the golden ratio by eye sight when composing a picture.
all the above is true – so what is it i have difficulties with? i do not do maps. i have a very good sense of direction – if i have been to a place once i can find it again basically from anywhere, but show me a map or give me directions from a map, and i will get lost.
i do not do tables. bus time-table, train time-tables or graph tables. i do not understand them. i cannot read them. my brain simple does not register tables as coherent information.
i do not dance. i am very musical and have a very good sense of rhythm, but if dancing includes specific steps or sequences of movement, i cannot do it. the same goes for any kind of martial arts.
i cannot read music from a sheet and play it as i read. i do play the piano, and am rather good at improvisations, but reading music from a sheet and playing it, that i cannot do.
i do not do numbers. addition, subtraction, multiplication is fine, as long as i am working with natural numbers. and i even do them in my head faster than most people. division – no. i was still stuck in third grade calculus when i finished sixth grade. formulas – no. percent – no. oh, i understand the principles well enough when they are explained to me, but the moment i turn the page it is gone. i do not ‘read’ numbers (like phone numbers, zip codes, bank account numbers) – “five hundred-forty-three, six hundred and nine, twenty-two” does not compute into 543 609 22. they are not the same. 6+4 is not the same as 4+6, and it is definitely not the same as 8+2 or 2+8 or 13-3 and absolutely not the same as 5×2 or 2×5, and there is no way 20/2 can be the same as 6+4, 4+6, 8+2, 2+8, 13-3, 5×2, or 2×5. i often hear or read numbers switched – like 39 becomes 93 and 45 becomes 54 and so on.
i do not do time or time conversions. i had no real problems learning how to read an analog clock. but it means nothing to me. converting analog time to a digital clock is gobbledygook to me and vise versa.
there are a few other things i do not do, that belongs within the realm of dyscalculia, but i cannot remember them now.