Linda, like many adults with Williams Syndrome struggled and still struggles with numbers. Yes she can count but does she understand what those numbers mean.
Any reading of a list of symptoms for Williams Syndome include poor numeracy skills but what does this mean for real people?
If she works really hard Linda can tell you that 55 is more than 23 but it’s tough, and in honesty, I’m not sure it’s not down to luck. I think she really struggles when comparing numbers. So what do numbers mean to her?
Today I had my first real evidence that Linda can add-up.
When Linda came to live with us over a year ago now, we asked if there were any activities she’s like to learn. I was bowled over when she confessed “I’d like to get better at sums”.
For a year now she’s been participating in an adult basic numeracy class and seems to be enjoying it very much.
Occasionally she will bring home a page with her “sums” duely completed. All written in pencil, lots of corrections and all eventually correct answers but I really don’t know the process of getting to perfection… how much did Linda do on her own, how much help did she have?
But, in spite of my doubts I see her happy and know at least that she can count her pocket money much more confidently than she did a year ago.
Today we were preparing to invite friends for dinner and I asked Linda to prepare the table… “How many for?” she asked. “Well, there’s you, me and Beth” I said, “How many is that?” “That’s three” came the reply.
“And then there’s Rick, Jane and Emma. How many’s that?”. “That’s three” she replied. “Great, Lin, so how many is three and three?”.
She put her head on one side, screwed up her eyes, twitched her little nose and thought very hard… “Mmmm. Three and three. Mmmm. I think that’s six!” she exclaimed. She was about to turn and head into the dining room on a mission to set six place settings… I just had to draw her back squeal with delight and give her a hug!
Three and three makes six – and Linda knows that too.
She’d make any Mom proud!