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Typing with dysgraphia long term thoughts


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#1 displace

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 03:02 PM

DS is learning typing.  I tend to not supervise, because it's computer-based, but he must have X accuracy at 5 WPM before he moves on from each lesson.  

 

At first he used to do touch typing with proper finger placement, while checking keyboard for placement and fingering.

 

Today, I noticed it's mostly two finger typing.  Sigh.  

 

I'm going to try to "encourage" him to learn proper finger positioning.  But he does get frustrated and usually takes 5 trials per test (every week or so) before he can pass it.  IDK if his lessons will be affected by using proper positioning (i.e. make him slower).

 

I think that, in the "future", if he needs to do two finger typing, as long as he's fast enough for whatever, it's ok.  But I hesitate to allow two finger typing now on the keyboard, as I think it'll be really hard to correct in the future.   Also, when he types on the ipad (not often as he uses mostly dictation), he does use two fingers.

 

Thoughts? 



#2 PeterPan

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 04:46 PM

I had a worker stop paying attention to correct finger placement with ds for typing and I totally stopped letting her do it. I don't see the point of working on it if he's just gonna hunt and peck. 

 

With my dd, I finally switched her over to Dvorak (a different keyboard layout) so she couldn't hunt and peck. It's WAY more ergonomic and sensible for layout. You can type tons and tons of words, full sentences, never leaving the home row. No need for fudgy fingers to hunt and peck when it's so much better laid out. 

 

Your ds is a bit young yet to pay and push, but my dd was 12 or 13-ish when I finally did. And I paid big time. Like now, with inflation, you'd have to pay $2 per wpm. I paid $1 per wpm for her highest score any month where she increased by 5. But that was Dvorak, no pecking. Oh, and I put her on a user account on the computer so it was locked down, only Dvorak, which she couldn't change without a password, and I gave her email (motivator). 

 

With my ds, who also seems to be doom and gloom on this, I'm doing Dvorak but having to work around his rigidity. I made a velcro letter puzzle using a jpg of the Dvorak layout. We've been practicing typing words on that. For him it's super super hard because he has to think through the spelling and the motor planning. I covered the keys of the laptop with washi tape and he ripped the tapes off in a fit, which trashed an hour of work on my part. I haven't gotten it redone, sigh. My rouse there was that the tape was to color code for finger placement. So my letter tabs are color coded, not just blanks and the same. So pinky letters all match, ring finger letters all match, middle finger letters all match, power up (pointer) finger letters all match. And that's on the puzzle and the washi tape.

 

Or just whiteout the keyboard.

 

Like really, I just feel like hunt and peck is worthless at this age. But I have no illusions that it could be bad. I tried for years with my dd and it was only that combination of age plus readiness plus extreme motivator (like literally, she earned enough for half an ipad). 

 

And no, my kid didn't like me when I made her switch. My dh thought it was crazy too. But it worked. I wanted her functional, and she went from 13-15 wpm pecking to 35-40 within a few months. But that was older than your ds, on a much better layout (Dvorak), with the extreme motivators. But I was really like the Nasty Mom for a while there in their minds.


Edited by OhElizabeth, 11 October 2017 - 04:48 PM.

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#3 Kinsa

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 04:57 PM

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#4 Heathermomster

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 06:02 PM

My son developed terrible habits during third and fourth grade typing lessons while sitting in the classroom. DS finally learned to type second semester, fifth grade at home and with me.

The keyboard tray was underneath the table, so he was unable to look at his hands. While teaching him, I insisted that he use proper posture and hand placement. I didn't allow keyboard usage except for typing lessons. Once he achieved 30 words a minute with about 95% accuracy, I quit focusing on all that. My son was motivated to return to the classroom for 6th grade, so our priorities were clear.

Eta: The irony in all of this is that I've never learned to type.

Edited by Heathermomster, 12 October 2017 - 08:11 AM.

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#5 PeterPan

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 06:33 PM

Our behaviorist said she has people cover their hands with a sheet of paper. We haven't done that yet. It would be like Heather's keyboard in a tray gig. Maybe gentler and less prone to anxiety for some kids. 


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#6 displace

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 07:47 PM

Hmmm... I didn't even take typing until 6th grade, and we had the paper covering our hands. I think I'll try better supervision at first. Maybe a keyboard cover. I do hesitate to use a different typing system even if more practical due to future accommodations and practical applications. Unless keyboarding fails. We got through his anxiety by chewing gum during typing, at least. Now he's so focused on blowing bubbles that he doesn't care how slow he is 🙄😂
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#7 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 07:53 PM

I can't tell you whether it is o.k. to let him do two finger typing from now on out but if you are truly wanting him to type with a regular hand placement then honestly his best bet is to ONLY type on standard size keyboards with proper hand placement so that he has a fighting chance of developing proper muscle and procedural memory.  Is that going to be met with a lot of resistance?  Yes.  Is it worth the fight?  No clue. 

 

Can he be trained to type correctly?  I don't know.  I do know that when the kids are only doing something correctly a small portion of the time and doing it in a way that is not necessarily desirable a lot of the rest of the time then the brain and body connections are going to be weak and make doing something correctly very uncomfortable and possible feel wrong.

 

What has worked here for typing...

1.  When we used a program that required a certain speed and accuracy before moving to the next thing, while the program was fun (Type to Learn 4), there was a LOT of stress and frustration.  We switched.  And I definitely sat next to them and encouraged proper place of the fingers.

2.  Now that the kids use Touch Type Read Spell, there is no such limitation.  The kids do much better.

3.  I absolutely 100% could not have them do either program without me sitting right next to them and encouraging them to put their fingers in the proper place, have the correct posture, and have the keyboard at the right height and I had to do it not for months but for a couple of years.  Years.  Was it frustrating?  Yes a bit at times, but the lessons in TTL4 and TTRS are fairly short so I just sat nearby doing my own thing and making gentle reminders.  Without it, they struggled to develop proper muscle memory/procedural memory.  

4.  I heavily emphasized accuracy (typing and finger placement) WAY over speed.  Speed happens eventually (well not super fast but faster) if finger placement, posture, and consistently accurate typing are the priority, at least with my kids.

5.  I had them do a short lesson of TTRS 5 days a week, first thing in the morning even during summers.  It is still part of our routine.  They still use TTRS and still do a typing lesson nearly every day, even though they also type for classes.  It helps them with spelling and it keeps them working to improve wpm.  The kids no longer need any reminders on finger placement and their typing has definitely improved.  DD (no dysgraphia but dyslexia and some vision issues) types 35 wpm with 99% accuracy on average.  DS (dysgraphia/dyslexia/ADHD/Developmental vision issues) types 25 wpm at 99% accuracy.  When they started they were nowhere near that.  5wpm for DS with any accuracy at all was a miracle when we started with Type to Learn 4.  It has been a long road but worth it.  They are both very comfortable typing now, even if neither will probably win any speeding contests.

 


Edited by OneStepAtATime, 11 October 2017 - 07:55 PM.

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#8 Lecka

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 08:29 PM

My older son has turned into a decent typist.

He couldn't make much progress until his overall OT stuff improved some. I think it took him until an older age in some ways. And he had OT but who knows how much that helped.

But he couldn't get past the home row when he was younger (say 3rd/4th grade). It wasn't memory as much as just not being able to make his fingers do it. Once his fingers could do it he could learn and it wasn't too bad.

I think it depends on the kid!

It is definitely something you can ask about at OT if you do OT. But it's not like I think you have to do OT. My son had OT anyway so that included suggestions for him.

When he couldn't really type she didn't think he needed to work on it much, it wasn't like he was going to improve if I kept him at it at that time.

But he was frustrated too, and he couldnt so much when he was frustrated, either.

His ability to handle frustration has come a LONG way, too, and let's him make more progress. But maybe he is less frustrated with his OT stuff better.

Who knows with him. I mean -- things work, but he did a lot of little things and he had a lot of things where something that was impossible one year became possible to do well with 2-3 years later.

Edit: he did typing at school in resource room when he was in resource room in 5th/6th grade with a goal for him to type functionally in 6th/7th grade. He is in 7th grade and he can type as needed. He can do schoolwork with typing.

I don't really know how they worked on specifically.... this was a time period when I was busy with my younger son and I liked the resource teacher he had at school.

He is completely out of resource room now in 7th grade.

Edited by Lecka, 11 October 2017 - 08:37 PM.

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#9 PeterPan

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 10:25 PM

Ooo, I really like the chewing gum idea! Reminded me of the, lol.

 

The keyboard change is easy on a mac, a simple toggle. Once you get it set up the first time, you can jump back and forth from the top of your screen without ever going into settings even. Just for fun, sometimes I would switch my dd's keyboard to something crazy. :D


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#10 geodob

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 07:58 AM

Displace, is he typing on a Type Writer?  As this so-called 'correct placement' was suited to them.

But with electronic keyboards, other methods can be as equally efficient.

I've read studies, that have shown that people can use 2 finger typing equally efficiently.

Though it usually involve more than 2 fingers.

Also uses at least 2 fingers on hand.

Where 'patterns of movements' are developed, for phonemes.

 

Which doesn't involve 'hunt and peck'.

Though with today's kids growing using ipads and cellphones to type on?

I wonder if they will discard our current keyboard, and instead always use a 'hand held keyboard'?

 

 

 


Edited by geodob, 12 October 2017 - 08:19 AM.

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#11 displace

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 08:15 AM

Well, we had a little talk about my goals for him for typing, which I was in no mood to discuss the other day. He states that he does usually look at the keyboard instead of the screen for finger placement, but he claims that was "really" the only time he did two finger typing. If true, much better for us! I think I just have to cover the keyboard to help with memory. I always encourage accuracy but he gets frustrated because the program says he's too slow to pass tests, etc. And, he doesn't believe me when I explain he'll get faster. 😆

We did used to use TTRS?, but it was too blah so we're using Typing Quest ATM. It's more colorful but still not awesome. Maybe we'll switch it up to another program for variety but I hate to lose progress. I'll also supervise again. I can't work next to him because it distracts him but maybe I can read/browse stuff.
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#12 displace

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 08:17 AM

Ooo, I really like the chewing gum idea! Reminded me of the, lol.

The keyboard change is easy on a mac, a simple toggle. Once you get it set up the first time, you can jump back and forth from the top of your screen without ever going into settings even. Just for fun, sometimes I would switch my dd's keyboard to something crazy. :D


Gum is DS's #1 tool to get in the green zone. It's really a miracle for us. It can get distracting though, now that he learned to blow bubbles. 😎
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#13 hornblower

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 08:53 AM

I'm not sure if this link will work but I thought I remembered reading about this in The Mislabelled Child & google books actually came through for me 

 

tl/dr version: some kids w/ dysgraphia do way better with hunt & peck and seeing the keyboard 

https://books.google...raphics&f=false


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#14 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:02 AM

FWIW, covering the keyboard so they couldn't see it was horrendous here.  I know that can work well for others and if so, that's great.  It was not helpful at all here.  It caused all kinds of stress and confusion and struggle.  My kids really struggled with getting fingers in the right place over and over which meant reinforcing NOT putting fingers in the right place and reinforcing the feeling that typing was something they would never do well.  It worked a LOT better in our house when I did let them look at the keyboard and me making sure as they sat down to type that they absolutely had their fingers in the correct position.  It meant they were putting their fingers correctly the first time, which over time meant they were building better memory for correct location.  They don't have to look anymore.  They know.  It took time, though.  Patience, persistence, consistency were what worked here.


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#15 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:03 AM

I love the gum, by the way.  


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#16 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:17 AM

Well, we had a little talk about my goals for him for typing, which I was in no mood to discuss the other day. He states that he does usually look at the keyboard instead of the screen for finger placement, but he claims that was "really" the only time he did two finger typing. If true, much better for us! I think I just have to cover the keyboard to help with memory. I always encourage accuracy but he gets frustrated because the program says he's too slow to pass tests, etc. And, he doesn't believe me when I explain he'll get faster. 😆

We did used to use TTRS?, but it was too blah so we're using Typing Quest ATM. It's more colorful but still not awesome. Maybe we'll switch it up to another program for variety but I hate to lose progress. I'll also supervise again. I can't work next to him because it distracts him but maybe I can read/browse stuff.

I'm not sure I understand why you would lose progress if you find a better fit in a program for typing.  The goal is to learn to type.  Wouldn't he still be doing that?  Typing?  He wouldn't have lost any already acquired skills.  He would just need to get used to the new interface.  At least with the kids, when we switched from TTL4 to TTRS they realized they were actually better at typing than they had thought they were because the timed parts of TTL4 were so discouraging.

 

Is typing in and of itself boring?  Yes.  We started with TTL4 because it was more fun than Typing Pal or several others we had tried.  I wanted them engaged and had hoped to find something they could do fairly independently and not resist doing.  What all three of us realized eventually, much as we loved the fun parts of TTL4, was that "fun" wasn't the goal, nor was typing the goal.  The goal was getting better at typing so they could use that skill for other things. 

 

We switched to TTRS even though it doesn't have the "fun" factor because it didn't have mandatory time requirements and also worked on things like dictation and spelling in a gentle way, which really helped with reinforcing what they were learning in Barton, but the lessons were SHORT.  While the kids missed the "fun" of TTL4, they were happy to walk away from all the frustrating/demoralizing parts and fine with doing short lessons daily and moving on to other things.  Doing one short lesson daily in a boring typing program meant that skills were improving but typing was over quickly each day and they could go on to more interesting things as soon as they finished.

 

But my kids were older than yours when we started so I'm sure that is a factor in motivation.  As elementary age kids they probably would have still wanted the "fun" factor more.  By the time we switched they just wanted to get done with typing each day and move on.  


Edited by OneStepAtATime, 12 October 2017 - 09:28 AM.

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#17 Lecka

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:24 AM

I can't imagine covering my son's hands as he had a lot of trouble keeping his hands in the right place at first.  He would need to look and see his hands were in the right place.  Feeling the bumps on f and j keys would not be enough for him.  He isn't like that now, but he used to be.  I think you know what you're seeing on that, if you're seeing it help or hurt. 

 

I would not have used a timed program.  He stayed slow.  I would have needed a program not set up to need a certain time. 

 

He did speed up but it took a long time for him to speed up.  Like -- outside the scope of a typing program.  It took him using typing to chat on his computer games, a lot of practice!


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#18 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:34 AM

I can't imagine covering my son's hands as he had a lot of trouble keeping his hands in the right place at first.  He would need to look and see his hands were in the right place.  Feeling the bumps on f and j keys would not be enough for him.  He isn't like that now, but he used to be.  I think you know what you're seeing on that, if you're seeing it help or hurt. 

 

I would not have used a timed program.  He stayed slow.  I would have needed a program not set up to need a certain time. 

 

He did speed up but it took a long time for him to speed up.  Like -- outside the scope of a typing program.  It took him using typing to chat on his computer games, a lot of practice!

This.  That is the problem with most typing programs.  They are set up for the progress of an NT child.  My kids are not NT.  Therefore, the expectations for progress, including and especially timed anything, were not realistic.  I was having to modify a lot and the kids would get really frustrated.  Programs like TTRS recognize that for kids that have learning challenges, timed anything may cause more harm than they may help.

 

I stopped looking after we switched to TTRS but I wonder if there is something like TTRS that also includes some activities geared more towards younger children so would be more colorful/fun without including anything timed...


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#19 Lecka

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:59 AM

I stated at an IEP meeting in 5th grade that my son couldn't manipulate the mouse fast enough to play some "required" Spelling City games (you click on an animal that has a word on it) and I had his little brother and sister using the mouse for him.  (The teacher knew he had handwriting issues and she was good with him overall, but she didn't really know that he really couldn't do some of these Spelling City games.) 

 

They really aren't set up for kids who can't do things quickly enough.

 

After that meeting he switched to doing all his spelling in the resource room and she had something worked out with the OT where she combined spelling and handwriting for a little group of kids. 

 

Now he can use a mouse better, now he likes to play computer games with a mouse.  It is just strange how things go sometimes. 

 

Edit:  I think it goes differently for different kids.  But there is no computer program I could have used in 4th grade that would have made my son able to make faster/sooner progress in typing than he was fundamentally capable of.  But it would be obvious if you saw him then. 

 

If you are seeing that effort or time-on-task is leading to results ------ that is a really different situation.  His situation was definitely that effort and time-on-task was not getting him to do things faster.  And he was in OT and he had other OT stuff to work on, so at the time the OT's opinion was he should mostly have scribing and oral answers (sigh). 


Edited by Lecka, 12 October 2017 - 10:03 AM.

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#20 Heathermomster

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 10:01 AM

Couple of thoughts here...The typing program that we used allowed me to set the wpm and accuracy goals very low. My notes are in storage, so I cannot really share the particulars. The program had a feature on it that allowed DS to practice and play typing games, so DS practiced with games. DS did not know his typing times until he'd been practicing for maybe three months. My emphasis was accuracy over speed.

Prior to pulling DS from the classroom, we talked a lot about expectations. I'm in a unique position because I enjoy the privilege of knowing several experienced teachers, and I spoke with several youth that had taken typing at the middle school level. None of the students enjoyed their typing lessons, and they all complained about having their hands covered during lessons. I forewarned my son that he would be covering his hands. I covered his hands with a kitchen towel, and we used the keyboard tray.

Hand placement was never an issue once son figured out that there are raised dots on the f and j keys. The lessons were not easy, but DS was highly motivated and 11yo. I rewarded him. I wanted solid effort and no complaining.

Displace, my DD achieved cursive automaticy late 3rd grade. She worked with an OT for 4 weeks in kindie and a ped PT for a month during 2nd grade. Up until very recently, I scribed and she used a lined dry erase board and copywork sheets that I created with software. I attempted typing lessons with her during 2nd grade, and it was a bust. Her hands were too small, and she found KWT to be frustrating. If she had not achieved automaticity by mid-4th grade, it was my intention to get her tested and teach typing in 5th grade.

Some dysgraphic/DCD kids type using a modified style and speech to text. Ultimately, the aim is to be functional. Be patient. Your child is very young and will adapt.

Last thing, my DS turns 18 in a month. He has not purposefully practiced handwriting in years. Last April, CBT looked at my son's previous NP scores alongside his recent ACT with extra time accommodation numbers and mentioned that DS will likely lose his SLD for handwriting. WTH? Son types everything but math. Apparently, brain maturity and explicit writing instruction helped.

Anyoo...you know your boy and your situation. I'm not surprised that typing is difficult for a 4th grader. Make it fun and do the best that you can.
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#21 PeterPan

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 10:12 AM

The hand covering is probably a proprioception thing. When they can't see them, they don't know where they are. It's something you can work on separately. And obviously aggravating if will bring out anxiety and behaviors. My ds was this way and it improved with some OT stuff we did. If we cover at some point and he has issues we would separate it and work on it again. But again I'm not s fan of qwert. It would make the whole thing much harder.
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#22 Lecka

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 10:16 AM

What was really frustrating at this age ---- oral answers can feel like he isn't thinking deeply, they can be like a stream-of-consciousness.... and scribing ----- I got so sick of scribing.  Thank God he got scribing at school.  I think I got some pity scribing because I have a younger child who has autism and I said at the meeting I just couldn't scribe all of my older son's stuff anymore. 

 

What is funny is I had meetings with some of the same people as with my younger son...... REALLY for my older son to have NO behavior issues WHATSOEVER and in fact have a good attitude and willingness, and to be grade level, to have good class participation, etc., it is like ------ he had so much in place and going for him, to have so much problems from not being able to do his Spelling City during computer time and then having that become homework.  Ugh.  That was a very difficult time in our household though and honestly my younger son had much greater needs. 

 

But scribing got so frustrating.

 

It is much better now.  I still am not sure what will happen with math..... it has been a reprieve ever since he finished long division (or the class moved on).  He is in pre-Algebra now and he is actually lining things up decently, but there is not a lot of writing for his math, and there hasn't been since long division, so I kind-of don't know what will happen whenever he starts to have more writing/lining things up demands in math.  But he has just gotten better and his confidence is up, so I am hopeful. And ironically he is good at math, for all that it has always been the hardest class for me to try to scribe for him, as he talks too fast, but in the past he couldn't read his own handwriting, ugh. 


Edited by Lecka, 12 October 2017 - 10:19 AM.

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#23 displace

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 12:45 PM

Yeah, maybe I'll keep letting him work while looking at the keyboard. As long as he's using the correct fingers I don't really care.
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#24 Kinsa

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 12:52 PM

As a tangent, has anyone looked at or tried Keyboarding Without Tears? Since it was created by the Handwriting Without Tears people (occupational therapists), I thought it might work well for dysgraphic kids. But I admit I haven't investigated it deeply. Thoughts?
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#25 Lecka

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 01:19 PM

I tried a sample... it was not the right time for my son. But at the time it had some kind of free trial or sample.
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#26 displace

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 01:37 PM

As a tangent, has anyone looked at or tried Keyboarding Without Tears? Since it was created by the Handwriting Without Tears people (occupational therapists), I thought it might work well for dysgraphic kids. But I admit I haven't investigated it deeply. Thoughts?


We tried it their second year. It moved waaaay too slowly for us, so much that we abandoned it after 2? months. They would have lesson upon lesson of mousework. But, we were grade 1 or 2 at the time.

There were also problems with lessons seemingly being repeated, and at that time there was no index of lessons or a way to double check completion.

Maybe for older kids it may be better/different?

#27 Heathermomster

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 05:13 PM

KWT...DD used it, and the experience was a bust.
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#28 geodob

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 09:58 AM

Though this raises the distinction between learning the location of each letter on a keyboard?
As opposed to learning the motor movements, that link letters?
 
Where we learn the location of letters, in relation to each other.
So that as we type, we recall the movements.
 
As a simple test of this?  While you would know the location of each letter on your keyboard.
Perhaps you could try, typing out the alphabet?
 
Where I would make a guess, that you can't type it out at your normal typing speed?
As you wouldn't have the motor memory, for connecting letters in the order of the alphabet?
While some combinations would be familiar. 
Others would be new movements.  
 
But what I would highlight? Is that while typing, it is the movement between letters that we recall.

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