Too Much Homework for Students with Dyslexia

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Over 3/4 of dyslexic students in US pubic schools are being given work they cannot possibly complete, reports Dyslexic Advantage. Lack of adequate teacher training and best practices for dyslexia leads to unrealistic homework and other work expectations as well as a cascade of negative consequences for dyslexic students.

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Dyslexic students are being placed in an impossible situation at school.

In one of the largest surveys of Dyslexic school children across the United States to date (Dyslexia at School Survey, Dyslexic Advantage), an overwhelming majority (76%) reported that their public school too-much-work-elementarystudents were routinely assigned work they couldn't possibly complete. 1/2 of these students are in elementary school.

"It took at least 3 times as long to complete her work. "
"Voluminous worksheets."
"Her entire life is trying to do homework."
"His anxiety and frustration is high after school."

Said, Dr. Fernette Eide, Co-Founder of Dyslexic Advantage, "Dyslexic students are being placed in an impossible situation at school. If you continually get asked to do something you physically can't do, it will take a physical and emotional toll on you."

In a recent study just released from The American Journal of Family Therapy, elementary school students were found to getting significantly more homework assigned than educational experts recommended. Sometimes the extra work was nearly 3x higher.

The National Parent Teacher Association and National Education Association has proposed a "10-minute" rule or 10 minutes per grade level per night. That means no homework for kindergarteners, 10 minutes for 1st graders, 20 minutes for 2nd graders, and so on until the 12th grade.

The homework issue is even more critical for students with dyslexia, states Dr. Eide. "First, dyslexic children have a classic late blooming pattern of development. What is absolutely impossible in the 4th grade, may be manageable in the 8th. Second, educational research studies have shown that successful dyslexic student learners tend to have a "deep learning" style that requires a deep understanding of a topic rather than rote memorization. Rather than emphasizing quantity which can increase the likelihood of fatigue and concentration-related mistakes, fewer problems should understood at a deeper level. Third, there are significant physical and emotional consequences of excessive homework. Whether or not the work gets completed, students are inevitably subjected to greater stress, physical exhaustion, and sleep deprivation, and then they are more likely to disengage from school.

There are 8.5 million school children with dyslexia in America's public schools, and a majority of them are in general education classrooms. There is no reason why every state and every district shouldn't have guidelines to ensure the appropriate education for all dyslexic students."


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Fernette Eide
Dyslexic Advantage
+1 800-757-8310 Ext: 705
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