A Matter of Contradictions

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A Matter of Contradictions

I am a contradiction, but I have come to the conclusion that in some ways the Lord loves contradiction.  I am a writer, but I also happen to have Dyslexia and Dyscula, another words letters and numbers can be read or written back words, I was diagnosed at the age of six or seven the first time with this learning disability and again in college, but it is funny because for as long as I can remember I have been a reader, my Nonna never took no I can’t do that for an answer and neither did my Mom or Dad, so I grew up with a love for books and began reading at the age of three and a half not a bad feat for a child who did not walk until she was two and a half and who had/has dyslexia.

Dyslexia is a learning disability that makes itself manifest primarily as a difficulty with reading and spelling. It is separate and distinct from reading difficulties resulting from other causes, such as a non-neurological deficiency with vision or hearing, or from poor or inadequate reading instruction.[1] This suggests that dyslexia results from differences in how the brain processes written and spoken language.

Dyscalculia was originally identified in case studies of patients who suffered specific arithmetic disabilities as a result of damage to specific regions of the brain. Recent research suggests that dyscalculia can also occur developmentally, as a genetically-linked learning disability which affects a person’s ability to understand, remember, or manipulate numbers or number facts (e.g., the multiplication tables). The term is often used to refer specifically to the inability to perform arithmetic operations, but it is also defined by some educational professionals and cognitive psychologists as a more fundamental inability to conceptualize numbers as abstract concepts of comparative quantities (a deficit in “number sense”).[1] Those who argue for this more constrained definition of dyscalculia sometimes prefer to use the technical term Arithmetic Difficulties (AD) to refer to calculation and number memory deficits.

Dyscalculia is a lesser known disability, similar and potentially related to dyslexia and developmental dyspraxia. Dyscalculia occurs in people across the whole IQ range, and sufferers often, but not always, also have difficulties with time, measurement, and spatial reasoning.[citation needed] Current estimates suggest it may affect about 5% of the population. Although some researchers believe that dyscalculia necessarily implies mathematical reasoning difficulties as well as difficulties with arithmetic operations, there is evidence (especially from brain damaged patients) that arithmetic (e.g. calculation and number fact memory) and mathematical (abstract reasoning with numbers) abilities can be dissociated. That is (some researchers argue), an individual might suffer arithmetic difficulties (or dyscalculia), with no impairment of, or even giftedness in, abstract mathematical reasoning abilities.

The word dyscalculia comes from Greek and Latin which means: “counting badly”. The prefix “dys” comes from Greek and means “badly”. “Calculia” comes from the Latin “calculare”. which means “to count”. That word “calculare” again comes from “calculus“, which means “pebble” or one of the counters on an abacus.

Dyscalculia can be detected at a young age and measures can be taken to ease the problems faced by younger students. The main problem is understanding the way mathematics is taught to children. In the way that dyslexia can be dealt with by using a slightly different approach to teaching, so can dyscalculia. However, dyscalculia is the lesser known of these learning disorders and so is often not recognized.

[edit] Potential symptoms

  • Frequent difficulties with arithmetic, confusing the signs: +, , ÷ and ×.
  • Difficulty with everyday tasks like checking change and reading analog clocks.
  • Inability to comprehend financial planning or budgeting, sometimes even at a basic level; for example, estimating the cost of the items in a shopping basket or balancing a checkbook.
  • Difficulty with multiplication-tables, and subtraction-tables, addition tables, division tables, mental arithmetic, etc.
  • May do fairly well in subjects such as science and geometry, which require logic rather than formulae, until a higher level requiring calculations is obtained.
  • Difficulty with conceptualizing time and judging the passing of time. May be chronically late.
  • Particularly problems with differentiating between left and right.
  • Difficulty navigating or mentally “turning” the map to face the current direction rather than the common North=Top usage.
  • Having particular difficulty mentally estimating the measurement of an object or distance (e.g., whether something is 10 or 20 feet (3 or 6 metres) away).
  • Often unable to grasp and remember mathematical concepts, rules, formulae, and sequences.
  • An inability to read a sequence of numbers, or transposing them when repeated, such as turning 56 into 65.
  • Difficulty keeping score during games.
  • Difficulty with games such as poker with more flexible rules for scoring.
  • Difficulty in activities requiring sequential processing, from the physical (such as dance steps) to the abstract (reading, writing and signaling things in the right order). May have trouble even with a calculator due to difficulties in the process of feeding in variables.
  • The condition may lead in extreme cases to a phobia or durable anxiety of mathematics and mathematic-numeric devices/coherences.
  • Low latent inhibition, i.e., over-sensitivity to noise, smell, light and the inability to tune out, filtering unwanted information or impressions. Might have a well-developed sense of imagination due to this (possibly as cognitive compensation to mathematical-numeric deficits).

[edit] Potential causes

Scientists have yet to understand the causes of dyscalculia. They have been investigating in several domains.

  • Neurological: Dyscalculia has been associated with lesions to the supramarginal and angular gyri at the junction between the temporal and parietal lobes of the cerebral cortex.[2][3]
  • Deficits in working memory: Adams and Hitch[4] argue that working memory is a major factor in mental addition. From this base, Geary[5] conducted a study that suggested there was a working memory deficit for those who suffered from dyscalculia. However, working memory problems are confounded with general learning difficulties, thus Geary’s findings may not be specific to dyscalculia but rather may reflect a greater learning deficit.

Other causes may be:

Some may think that because of my learning disability my Nonna pushed me to much, reading at three may seem ridicolous, but that is not the case at all,. learning has always been a part of my life, and though I still struggle with math, and sometimes transpire words I would not be the author of four published books, including a novel if it were not for Nonna.

As you can imagine rewrites are difficult for me, so I have two friends who help me a great deal when it comes to the process of editing, as a writer that is my least favorite part of the job, my friend Sarah has been helping me with this for years, and more recently my friend Janet, who does not let her blindness slow her down, she helped a great deal in the edits of A Sisters Justice.

I long ago was drawn to the conclusion that despite limitations, whether they be the physical ones i.e my Muscle disorder or learning disabilities such as Dyslexia and Dyscalula which despite what same may believe are not tied with the Muscle disorders I have learned to embrace life, to cherish each moment and thank God for each breath.

Copyright Michelle R Kidwell

July.19.09

Word Weaver

There’s this remarkable feeling

Creating something

With pen and paper

Or finger tips and keyboards

A blank page

Tunrs into a story

A Poem

An article

Something that is created

From a mere thought

An idea

An image playing

In your head

Word weaver

Creating worlds

Not otherwise seen.

Copyright Michelle R Kidwell

March.11.2010

1:16 A.M PST

No Longer Denied

Just for a moment come with me to the time of Christ, and especially to Peter…Imagine what he must have been going through mind when Peter denied Christ? What kind of things must he have been thinking? And the guilt he must have felt afterwards?

Just for a moment come with me to the time of Christ, and especially to Peter…Imagine what he must have been going through mind when Peter denied Christ?  What kind of things must he have been thinking?  And the guilt he must have felt afterwards?

Mark 14:66-72

New International Version (NIV)

Peter Disowns Jesus

66 While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by. 67 When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him.

“You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus,” she said.

68 But he denied it. “I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about,” he said, and went out into the entryway.[a]

69 When the servant girl saw him there, she said again to those standing around, “This fellow is one of them.” 70 Again he denied it.

After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.”

71 He began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know this man you’re talking about.”

72 Immediately the rooster crowed the second time.[b] Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice[c] you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept.

Imagine for a moment you are in Peter’s place, and if we are honest many of us have been their…We have denied Christ in our lives, he has called our name and what have we done, we have gone to the world fallen into tempation.

I must admit before I truly gave my heart to Christ, I denied Jesus on many occassions far to many.  I allowed myself to care more about what the world thought about me than what Christ must have thought about me, until that amazing day, almost sixteen years ago when I gave my heart to Christ.

No longer was I the one deny Christ, but instead I embraced Christ.  I embraced the wonderful life I found in his light.

Was everything perfect after that?  Of course not.  Did I have my setbacks, sure I did, but I was a child of God, and I knew where to turn.

I am an avid reader, and I remember shortly after I was saved i was in my room at my Nonna’s reading from the old Bible she had let me use, and that night laying in that room listening to Christian Music and praying I came to realize just how much Christ had done for me.

Several years after I was saved my health took a turn for the worse, and test after test came out frustrating the answers were not their, but in that all I grew closer to Christ, not farther away.  I learned to find strength in my weakness.

I have been asked if I believe in Healing, and of course I do as a believer how can you not?  But do I think a person who is a Christian who is sick is not trusting God, that someone who is not Healed right away is being punished by God, not necessarily, sometimes that illness, that injury is used for his glory.

Take for example Joni Eacerson Tada, who was injured in a diving accident in 1967, she broke her neck damaging her spine, rendering her a quadriplegic, but despite that she went on to create a wonderful ministry for those with disabilities called JAF or Joni and Friends, and a ministry that provides wheelchairs, walkers and other necessary aides, to those who can not afford them all over the world.

She could have chosen to deny Christ, went on believing that because she was injured she could not live for Christ, but she did not, and that has not only gotten her through living with a spinal cord injury, but more recently she was diagnosed with Cancer, and through it all her faith remains strong, her and her husband have Ken Tada have spoken openly about her battle with cancer, the treatments, and how God continues to work in her life, in order to reach others.

Like Peter we have all faced our tests of faith, and at one time or another, in one way or another many of us have probably denied Christ, but the fact is we serve an awesome God, an awesome Jesus…

Christ at the Center?

For those of you that are believers and I know that not all of you are, is Christ at the Center of your relationships?  Are you walking the walk or just talking the talk?  I know I have been guilty of not putting Christ at the Center of my relationship?

The fact is Christ should come first in our lives, before our family, and friends, before our loved one’s and for those who are married or have significant others, even before them?

We live in a society that makes excuses, we always say to ourselves but this person needs me, and somehow Christ is put on the back burner.

What if Christ had put us on the back burner?

How different would the Bible read?  How sad would our lives be, or would we even be here?

Our hope would be stripped away

John 3:16-17 would have no meaning…

John 3:16-17 (New International Version)

16“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[a] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

There are so many excuses for us not to spend time with Christ, but why aren’t we thinking more along the reasons of why we should…

I admire those people who are not afraid to right of their struggles of faith and still are able to come back to the Lord, those that realize that not putting Christ at the center is wrong…We can make as many excuses as we want but doesn’t the Bible tells us we are either hot or cold, if we are lukewarm he will spit us out?

I am not saying Christ will not forgive us of our indiscretions, because that fact is that is what he was called to do, to forgive us of our indiscetions, but if we keep making the same mistakes over and over again, if we keep letting ourselves fall into the same traps then what are we really learning?

We really need to stop with our excuses and start living for Christ, if we call ourselves Christians, because if we don’t what kind of light are we shinning for those who do not believe?

Copyright Michelle R Kidwell

March.16.2010

Words Can Be A Powerful Weapon Or A Healing Gift

“Before saying anything, pass it through three sieves: Is it true ? Is it kind? Is it necessary?” ~ Amy Carmichael

 

Have you ever said anything and immediately wished you could take the words back, or have been hurt by words yourself?  Has anyone said something that made you feel like you were two inches tall?  I think we all have been the giver of this kind of pain as well as the giver, after all we are all human right?  We are going to make mistakes, we are not perfect, that is Christ and Christ alone who is perfect.  As humans we are going to make mistakes, we are not going to always say the right thing, but there are times when we can really mess up, when we can look back and realize that we really messed up, we really hurt someone with our words, or someone hurt us.

Some say that actions speak louder than words, and sometimes that can be true , but when words have a negative impact they speak plenty loud enough, and they can really hurt, whenever someone tells you, you are not pretty, you are not smart, or that they simply do not care about you and what you are feeling, then the words speak plenty loud enough.

 

“Yet we must say something when those who are saying the most, say nothing.” Augustine Confessions

For those of us who write we know the power of words, and the same can be said for those of us who read, are very aware of the power of words, we know that words are a gift from the Lord above and that for those of us who are called to write, we are given a very special gift, we are called to write, and it is up to us how we decide to use that gift.

 

I am sure that some are born to write as trees are born to bear leaves: for these, writing is a necessary mode of their own development. If the impulse to write survives the hope of success, then one is among these. If not, then the impulse was at best only pardonable vanity, and it will certainly disappear when the hope is withdrawn.” CS Lewis, Letters from CS Lewis to Arthur Greeves

How are you going to use your words today? Are they going to be a tool to build someone up, or break them down? What do you think Jesus would have you do?

It’s Not About

Image of me done by  Sweet Melodies Photography. 2011

It’s not about me

Or even you

But about the one

Who gave me the words

That see me through.

It’s not about empty faith or

Empty promises

But about prayers

Spoken in love.

It’s not about dreams

Or broken memories

But about the love

Of the one who died for us.

Copyright Michelle R Kidwell

8?03/2011

What Does it Mean

Image Copyright Melody Mainville 2011 All rights reserved, Used with Permission

What does it mean to be an author

I can more easily tell you

What it is not

It is not

Sitting around waiting for the words come

It’s working from the sweat of your brow and

Praying the words come out right

Someone somewhere is touched in some

Way by what you have to say.

Being an author is always having

That mental wheel spinning

Anything, and everything has the power

To become a story or poem.

Copyright Michelle R Kidwell

8/01/2011

9:09 P.M PST