Mary Lobascher, Former Principal Clinical Psychologist.
The Portland Hospital for Women and Children
For those with dyslexia or dyspraxia the use of a computer as an enabling technology provides a huge boost. Educational Pyschologists, Special Needs Teachers and others in education are increasingly recognising the value of touch-typing.
Our course was originally designed to teach touch-typing to young people with dyslexia. Our intention was to remove everything that could create a barrier to a dyslexic learner. Hence the emphasis on a minimalist, uncluttered appearance to the work-screen.
We devised amusing and memorable clues to help build up a mental picture of the keyboard. This transformed the way children were able to internalise the finger movements.
A great deal of attention is paid to how new letters are introduced to build up familiarity with common letter strings and their keying patterns.
A fear of failure can sometimes put children off attempting to learn to touch-type. This is particularly true for children with dyslexia. We always joke in the first lesson that the longest word you need to be able to spell on this course is the word ‘as’. It’s amazing how reassuring that is. The great thing is that it’s true!
"For many, touch-typing offers a whole new opportunity to learn to spell."
The International Dyslexia Foundation
Many parents have commented on the improvement in their children’s spelling and punctuation that has come about after learning to touch-type. Moreover, the mastery of a skill so closely associated with literacy gives a huge boost to confidence that carries over into other areas of work.
Mrs H Coupe, former SENCO, St Christopher’s the Hall School, Beckenham, Kent.
Dyspraxia can make the process of writing laborious and even painful. This is why learning to touch-type is so frequently recommended for those with dyspraxia. Children who find the action of gripping a pen difficult and tiring more often than not take to touch-typing without any problem. The results can be enormously liberating.
Once able to touch-type students can transfer their thoughts to paper at speed and without the frustration and physical discomfort experienced when handwriting. Creativity is unlocked and the student’s self-esteem greatly enhanced.