Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Medical students with learning disabilities

Recently, we've had the opportunity to communicate with a number of medical students who have learning disabilities. Here's what Wikipedia has to say about learning disabilities:
Learning disability (sometimes called a learning disorder or learning difficulty), is a classification including several disorders in which a person has difficulty learning in a typical manner, usually caused by an unknown factor or factors. The unknown factor is the disorder that affects the brain's ability to receive and process information. This disorder can make it problematic for a person to learn as quickly or in the same way as someone who is not affected by a learning disability. People with a learning disability have trouble performing specific types of skills or completing tasks if left to figure things out by themselves or if taught in conventional ways.
There are a number of different conditions that may impact one's learning ability. Here's another interesting point that's made in this article:
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is often studied in connection with learning disabilities, but it is not actually included in the standard definitions of learning disabilities. An individual with ADHD may struggle with learning, but he or she can often learn adequately once successfully treated for the ADHD. A person can have ADHD but not learning disabilities or have learning disabilities without having ADHD. The conditions can co-occur.
Regardless of whether ADHD is included in the standard definitions of learning disabilities, it's important to provide students with the necessary resources and support to survive medical school.



USA Legislation related to learning difficulties

The Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act 1973 was taken in effect in May 1977, this American legislation guarantees certain rights to people with disabilities, especially in the cases of education and work, such being in schools, colleges and university settings.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, formerly known as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, is a United States federal law that governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to children with disabilities. It addresses the educational needs of children with disabilities from birth to the age of 21. Considered as a civil rights law, states are not required to participate.

1 comment:

  1. There are a number of learning disabilities besides ADHD and depression that should be addressed. Among these, which may be quite important for a physician who need to interact with patients and others, is Asperger's Syndrome.

    These very bright high functioning individuals, who may have difficulty in social settings yet may have quite a grasp of medical science, may be "forced" out of the profession due to their "social misfit", neuro-atypical personality.

    After all my medical/nursing/chiropractic/dental or other health care schooling and time in residency I don't want to be discriminated against if I find that I have this handicap.

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