My son is doing rotations in a medical school in IL. We know that he has dyslexia, he is failing and feels so miserable & helpless. Help

I don't know how to help him. He has never been diagnosed. Please tell me what steps I can take or rather he should take to convince the dean in his college that he needs extra time. My other son who is also a med student figured this out.

5 Replies

  • Equality Act 2010

    The Equality Act 2010, which encompasses the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Act 2001 (SENDA), gives rights to disabled people to end the discrimination that many disabled people face in society. Schools and Higher Education Institutions have a duty to provide reasonable adjustments to disabled students under the Equality Act. You’re disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have an impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities or if it hampers your ability to learn in the same way as others. For more information see:

    Disabled Students Allowance

    Currently, you can apply for a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) if you have a specific learning difficulty like dyslexia or dyspraxia. For more information see:

    For a dyslexia assessment for your son you can visit any Dyslexia Action Centre. To see which centre is nearest visit:

  • If you were in the UK you would need to pay for a private educational psychologist to assess him - here you can access that through dyslexia charity organisation or our GPs.

    What exactly is causing him problems? I assume he has good enough reading and writing to have got to Medical school? Is it keeping up with the work load, what is his hardest thing the reading or writing or both? I have just bought my daughter Naturaly speaking Dragon Nuance software - and although it took me all day to get it to install and I thought it was going to have to go back! - now I have it installed it is great, writing what I say far quicker than I can type and I think it will help my 8 year old daughter hugely! So that might really help him keep up with the huge amount of written work. If reading is a problem then Captura Talk can read docs scanned or I believe seen by a high end smart phone and read them to people.

    Good luck, let us know how he gets on. I am sure there are far more knowledgeable people than me who will soon give you som great advice!

  • Possibly a more empathic than constructive response (again from UK) but...

    I was talking to a friend the other day who i didn't know had worked as a support in colleges re dyslexia (and who hadn't known I was dyslexic).

    She had recently retired and was grateful not to be working the extremely long hours in a very demanding job but said it felt good that she had been able to have help so many people ... BUT (despite UK/EU legislation) the armed forces and medicine were 2 areas where the competitive nature of the work culture meant it was basically "impossible" to disclose one's dyslexia (even though there are recognised advantages of thinking in a dyslexic, aspergic etc. way and that all teams should try to have such people within them).

    Even in a world that is increasingly open to diversity, we do not live in a word that seems 'fair'.

    Often the best people do not get the jobs. £/$ over true understanding and people skills often seems an overriding concern. This is the world dominated by the neuro-typical.

    I have previously been told that the main reason that dyslexia is considered a 'disability' (i.e. within 'the medical model') is that dyslexic people seem severely affected by stress.

    Whilst not suggesting anyone should ever 'admit defeat' or settle for 'second best', whilst i know quite a few trained medical Drs, most have moved out of that area because whilst they loved the work, they didn't like the working conditions.

    Some women I know were simply told, 'You are a woman; you will never amount to anything in this profession.' Just yesterday i heard of someone in the medical world finally deciding they couldn't stand the culture any more and handing in their notice - the response was 'At last! Please, don't work off your notice, we'd like you to go right away' and then they cheered as she cleared her desk and walked along the corridor to the door out of there.

    We all have to pay bills, but sometimes we have to acknowledge that some environments are simply too toxic. Anyone wanting to work in the helping professions needs to be ok in themselves and practice self-care.

    That said, if he wants to get on (in that world or any other), and has it within him, I'm sure your son would benefit from private (i.e. discreet) tutoring/support/mentoring.

    I know i have seen people on here offering to Skype around the world...

    best wishes,

  • This website is in Great Britain so most don't know that IL means Illinois. However Yanks are welcomed here (I'm from Washington State.) As you can tell the UK government is WAY ahead of us in helping Dyslexics.

    I've never had kids so I never had to go through this nightmare. However I did run across this site.

    They have pdfs of all the federal laws applying to rights for dyslexics.

    Keep in mind I have no experience in this, but I would go to a college counselor and tell them the situation. They might be able to point you in the right direction...or they might blow you off. Then I would go to the dean. Tell him we NEED dyslexics in the medical profession and show him this

    Good luck! Keep us posted.

  • Your son must be very bright to even to get into Med School. I have a few family members that are physicians. If I am not mistaken I thought rotations is getting hands on practice on each speciality . I didn't think there were any test taking during rotations. But I could be wrong.

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