Extra time? Choose wisely….

A great article at Headstrong Nation provides a cautionary note about the common classroom accommodation of extra time being extended to dyslexic students.  Sometimes the accommodations aren’t well suited to the individual’s needs. They can become an excuse for the school to avoid providing more appropriate support,.  Some key points:

1. Dyslexic does not mean “slow”.   Sometimes the problem is with the teaching methods being used.  Rather than increase the allotted time to complete an inappropriate task, it may be better to improve the approach instead. “We dyslexics are able to draw the right conclusion quickly when we have the right path to the information.”

2. Institutions might opt for extra time because it is cheap and easy. But extra time puts the burden of the students to fix themselves, rather than require the schools to find approaches that fit their needs.

3. Extra time can be stigmatizing. The student who is given extra time for assignments and exams may be segregated from other students. The added time may also come at the expense of other activities that may be more appropriate to the child’s interests or needs.

Read more:   Beware! Poor (or fake) accommodations!


Headstrong Nation is a non-profit dedicated to serving the dyslexic community.  Founded by Ben Foss in 2003, Headstrong Nation aims to end the isolation of the world’s largest (it’s true!) disability group by providing information about dyslexia, self-advocacy and new technologies.