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    Posted June 15, 2014 by

    The Cost of Dyslexia

    As a 36 year old doctoral student at Florida State University, I didn't think my disability would prohibit my progress. However, when the FSU disability center improperly diagnosed me, it led to my subsequent dismissal from the program because of improper testing accommodations after I failed a doctoral exam twice (the disability center had diagnosed me as having memory issues but subsequent testing (from a private psychologist) noted dyslexia and a more severe memory problem.

    My dismissal from the criminology program led to financial hardship, depression, anxiety, and other life altering issues. I appealed the dismissal to the Department of Criminology Dean, who, when approached with the possibility of a more severe learning disability (after the second exam failure, I contacted the FSU disability center, who reviewed my file and noted that I likely had dyslexia and needed further accommodations) he refused. I contacted the dean of graduate studies, who spoke with the disability center, but she still denied my appeal. My appeal currently is in review by a committee of faculty members. Regardless of the outcome, my circumstances exist--I'm behind professionally and financially.

    My concern is the lack of a more robust learning disability center that has the resources to properly diagnose learning disabled adults, and an educational system that appears uncaring regarding those that are in positions such as mine. What are universities doing for those learning disabled? Are there other students like me? Is this a larger, more endemic problem? The psychologist I used noted, "You get what you pay for" regarding the poor testing resources that led to me being improperly diagnosed. But, should I accept this?

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