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Edgar Nikitin
Edgar Nikitin

The Benefits of Reading My Thirteenth Winter: A Memoir by Samantha Abeel - A Book that Will Change Your Perspective on Dyscalculia and Learning Disabilities

My Thirteenth Winter: A Memoir by Samantha Abeel

If you are looking for a book that will inspire you to overcome your challenges and pursue your dreams, you might want to check out My Thirteenth Winter: A Memoir by Samantha Abeel. This book tells the story of a young girl who struggled with a learning disability called dyscalculia, which affects the ability to understand and manipulate numbers. Despite her difficulties with math, Samantha discovered her passion for writing and became a successful poet and author. In this article, we will explore what dyscalculia is, how it affected Samantha's life, and how she overcame it with the help of words.

My Thirteenth Winter: A Memoir ebook rar

The Challenges of Dyscalculia

Dyscalculia is a term that describes a range of difficulties with math, such as counting, memorizing facts, calculating, estimating, measuring, telling time, handling money, following directions, and solving problems. Dyscalculia can affect people of any age, intelligence, or background. It is estimated that between 3% to 6% of the population have some form of dyscalculia.

People with dyscalculia often face many challenges in their academic, personal, and professional lives. They may have trouble keeping up with their peers in school, especially in subjects that involve math, such as science, economics, or engineering. They may also have difficulty managing their finances, planning their schedules, navigating maps, or playing games that require strategy or logic. Dyscalculia can also affect their self-esteem, confidence, and mental health. They may feel frustrated, embarrassed, anxious, or depressed about their math skills. They may also develop a negative attitude towards math and avoid situations that involve numbers.

Samantha's Struggle with Numbers

Samantha Abeel was one of those people who had dyscalculia. She was born in 1977 in Michigan, USA. She was a bright and curious child who loved reading and learning new things. She excelled in subjects like English, history, and art. However, she had a hard time with math. She couldn't tell time, remember her locker combination, or count out change at a checkout counter. She often made mistakes in simple calculations or forgot basic facts like the multiplication table. She felt like she was missing something that everyone else had.

Samantha didn't understand why she had such a problem with math. She thought she was just lazy or stupid. She tried to hide her disability from her teachers, classmates, and family. She pretended to understand what was going on in math class or copied answers from other students. She avoided doing homework or taking tests that involved math. She lied about her grades or made excuses for her poor performance. She hoped that no one would notice her weakness or judge her for it.

But as Samantha grew older, her math problems became more noticeable and more serious. She started to fall behind in her classes and lose interest in school. She began to have anxiety attacks and panic attacks. She felt overwhelmed, hopeless, and alone. She wondered what was wrong with her and why she couldn't do what others could do.

The Diagnosis and the Treatment

It was not until Samantha was in seventh grade that she finally found out what was wrong with her. She was diagnosed with dyscalculia by a psychologist who specialized in learning disabilities. She learned that dyscalculia was a neurological condition that affected the way the brain processed numbers. She also learned that dyscalculia was not her fault and that it did not mean she was dumb or incapable of learning. She realized that she was not alone and that there were other people who had the same condition as her.

Samantha decided to take action to overcome her disability. She enrolled in a special program that helped her develop her math skills and strategies. She worked with tutors, counselors, and therapists who supported her and encouraged her. She also received accommodations and modifications in school, such as extra time, calculators, or alternative assignments. She gradually improved her math abilities and confidence. She also learned to cope with her anxiety and stress. She started to enjoy school again and to pursue her interests and goals.

The Power of Words

One of the things that helped Samantha cope with her dyscalculia was writing. Samantha had always loved words and stories. She had a vivid imagination and a creative mind. She enjoyed expressing herself through poetry and prose. Writing was a way for her to escape from her problems, to explore her feelings, and to communicate with others.

Writing also helped Samantha discover her talent and potential. She realized that she had something valuable to offer to the world, something that dyscalculia could not take away from her. She realized that she had a gift for writing and that she could use it to inspire, educate, and entertain others.

Samantha's Poetry and Stories

Samantha started writing poems and stories when she was in elementary school. She wrote about anything that caught her attention or moved her emotions, such as nature, animals, family, friends, dreams, or fantasies. She wrote for herself, for fun, or for school assignments. She wrote whenever she felt like it, without worrying about rules or expectations.

Some of the poems and stories that Samantha wrote were based on her own experience with dyscalculia. She wrote about how she felt when she faced math problems, how she dealt with them, and how she overcame them. She wrote about the challenges, the frustrations, the fears, the hopes, and the joys of living with a learning disability. She wrote with honesty, humor, courage, and optimism.

Here are some examples of Samantha's poems and stories:

The Math Test

I sit at my desk

And stare at the page

The numbers look like aliens

From another planet or age

I try to remember

What the teacher said

But all I hear is static

Buzzing in my head

I feel my heart racing

And my palms getting wet

I wish I could disappear

Or hit the reset

I look around the room

And see everyone else

They seem so calm and confident

Like they have magic spells

I wonder why I'm different

Why I can't do math

Why I always struggle

And end up on the wrong path

I wish I could be normal

And ace this test

But I know I can't

So I just do my best

The Locker Combination

I have a secret

That no one knows

It's something that troubles me

Everywhere I go

I can't remember

My locker combination

It's a simple sequence of numbers

But it causes me frustration

I write it down on paper

And hide it in my pocket

But sometimes I lose it

I try to memorize it

I hate going to my locker

I wish I had a magic key

Samantha's Advice for Others with Dyscalculia

Samantha wanted to share her story and her lessons with others who had dyscalculia or other learning disabilities. She wanted to help them understand their condition, cope with their challenges, and pursue their dreams. She wanted to give them hope, encouragement, and support.

Here are some of the tips and resources that Samantha offered for people who struggle with math and learning disabilities:

  • Don't be afraid or ashamed of your disability. It is not your fault and it does not define you. You are more than your math skills. You have many other talents and abilities that make you valuable and special.

  • Don't hide or deny your disability. Seek help and support from others who can help you. Talk to your parents, teachers, counselors, friends, or mentors. Ask for accommodations or modifications in school or work that can help you learn and perform better. Find a tutor, a therapist, or a support group that can assist you.

  • Don't give up or lose hope. You can overcome your disability and achieve your goals. You may have to work harder or differently than others, but you can do it. You may have to face some failures or setbacks, but you can learn from them. You may have to try some different strategies or methods, but you can find what works for you.

  • Don't compare yourself or compete with others. You are unique and so is your learning style. You have your own strengths and weaknesses, your own interests and passions, your own pace and path. Focus on your own progress and improvement, not on others' expectations or judgments.

  • Don't forget to have fun and enjoy life. You are not alone and you are not doomed. You have many opportunities and possibilities ahead of you. You have many things to be grateful for and proud of. You have many ways to express yourself and contribute to the world.

Some of the websites that Samantha recommended for more information and support on dyscalculia and learning disabilities are:


Dyscalculia.orgA website that provides information, resources, tools, tests, and services for dyscalculia.

The Dyscalculia ForumA website that offers a platform for people with dyscalculia to share their experiences, questions, tips, and stories.

LD OnLineA website that provides information, advice, resources, forums, newsletters, and podcasts on various learning disabilities.

The International Dyslexia AssociationA website that promotes awareness, research, education, advocacy, and support for dyslexia and related learning disabilities.

The Learning Disabilities Association of AmericaA website that provides information, resources, advocacy, events, and membership for people with learning disabilities.

Samantha's Future Plans and Goals

Samantha did not let her dyscalculia stop her from living her life and pursuing her dreams. She continued to write and publish more books and articles. She also became a speaker and a workshop leader who traveled around the country to share her story and her insights with others. She also pursued higher education and earned a degree in English from Mount Holyoke College and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Michigan. She also worked as a counselor for children with learning disabilities.

Samantha had many plans and goals for her future. She wanted to write more books and reach more audiences. She wanted to continue to speak and teach about dyscalculia and learning disabilities. She wanted to help more people who had similar challenges as her. She wanted to make a positive difference in the world.


My Thirteenth Winter: A Memoir by Samantha Abeel is a book that will inspire you to overcome your challenges and pursue your dreams. It is a book that will show you that dyscalculia is not a curse, but a gift. It is a book that will teach you that you are not alone, but part of a community. It is a book that will remind you that you are not hopeless, but hopeful.

If you are interested in reading this book, you can find it online or in your local library or bookstore. You can also visit Samantha's website at to learn more about her and her work. You can also follow her on social media or contact her through email or phone.

We hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new from it. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, please feel free to share them with us. We would love to hear from you. Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day!


  • What is dyscalculia?

  • Dyscalculia is a learning disability that affects the ability to understand and manipulate numbers. It can cause difficulties with counting, memorizing facts, calculating, estimating, measuring, telling time, handling money, following directions, and solving problems.

  • How common is dyscalculia?

  • Dyscalculia is estimated to affect between 3% to 6% of the population. It can affect people of any age, intelligence, or background.

  • How is dyscalculia diagnosed and treated?

  • Dyscalculia is diagnosed by a psychologist or an educational specialist who can administer tests and assessments to measure the person's math skills and abilities. Dyscalculia is treated by developing the person's math skills and strategies through tutoring, counseling, therapy, or special programs. The person may also receive accommodations or modifications in school or work that can help them learn and perform better.

  • What are some of the challenges and benefits of dyscalculia?

  • Some of the challenges of dyscalculia are: difficulty keeping up with peers in school or work, difficulty managing finances or schedules, difficulty navigating maps or playing games, low self-esteem or confidence, anxiety or depression. Some of the benefits of dyscalculia are: creativity or imagination, verbal or artistic skills, empathy or compassion, resilience or perseverance, diversity or uniqueness.

  • Who is Samantha Abeel and what is her book about?

  • Samantha Abeel is an author, poet, speaker, workshop leader, counselor, and advocate for people with dyscalculia and learning disabilities. Her book My Thirteenth Winter: A Memoir is based on her personal experience with dyscalculia and how she overcame it with the help of writing.



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