Touch typing is the new handwriting!
There’s been a spate of TV programmes recently where people ‘go back in time’ and live as people did in the past. After the initial adjustment, the families often say how wonderful it’s been to live without digital technology – even the children end up preferring to help bake a cake than sit glued to their tablets and smartphones.
Whilst I can see what the programme makers are trying to do, I think they have a responsibility not to demonise digital technology.
Children with Dyslexia and Dyspraxia have far, far more support lines available thanks to advances in digital learning technology than they did, say 50 years ago. One of the most effective of these is touch typing. At Limespring School, we see positive results from this on a regular basis, which is why we run regular touch typing courses.
Computer keyboards are part of everyday life. For children with learning differences it gives them so much more: it eases frustration associated with not being able to express themselves and aids learning.
Difficulty with handwriting is one of the primary symptoms of Dyspraxia, and it can be very challenging for children with Dyslexia. Amongst other things, touch tying can help children with Dyspraxia by reducing the reliance on motor skills – which are needed with pen and paper; and for children with Dyslexia, it can help with spelling – allowing them to concentrate on the subject matter, not the method of conveying it.
Children with Dyslexia and Dyspraxia can often have processing difficulties. Think of all the processes involved in writing with a pen… getting your thoughts down on paper, putting your ideas in sequence, spelling, grammar, writing on the line. There’s a lot to think about, and that’s where touch typing really helps – it removes many of these processes and allows children to get their ideas down first and then edit them later.
There are many touch-typing learning programmes available, but it’s important to use a system designed for children with these needs. We use the Englishtype system, which has a strong multi-sensory approach. It uses clear key/finger colour coding to help reading, spelling, grammar and punctuation by linking patterns on the keyboard to words. And it’s fun, which goes without saying is a vital aspect of any teaching.
In a nutshell, touch typing can greatly reduce the hurdles associated with learning for children with Dyslexia and Dyspraxia. And that’s why I wouldn’t swap the modern world for an idealised dream of yesteryear any day!
Limespring School intensive touch typing course, is for children aged 6-16 and runs on Monday and Tuesday (4pm – 5pm).
Each course last for 5 lessons, and includes a home version of Englishtype so your child can practice.