Both of my boys were diagnosed with dyslexia when they were around age seven. The elder boy also has ADHD.
When your kids struggle with learning difficulties, you know they have many battles to face and that school can be hard for them. Fortunately, my boys go to a school where typing is encouraged. Unfortunately, there isn’t time in the school day to do the actual typing lessons.
We started off with a typing program that had more animation and games. But we found it hard to institute a daily regime because with games it’s just a bit too flexible. Especially with my eldest, he needed more structure and organisation.
Then we tried Touch-type Read and Spell and it really worked. He knew he had to do two to three modules a day and it wasn’t too difficult for him.
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We’ve now introduced TTRS to my eight-year-old as well. He’s more dyspraxic and has working memory issues. You can see the cogs really starting to turn as he looks to find the right key for each finger. But that’s the beauty of TTRS. He can keep plugging away at his own speed because there’s no one there telling him that he’s wrong or shouldn’t be taking so much time.
Both boys really appreciate the certificates of completion at the end of each TTRS level. They find them motivating and bring them to school to get IT credit.
My eldest’s teacher even wrote in a school report last year that his overall IT confidence was up and his literacy teacher has noticed a marked improvement in the quality and quantity of his writing since keyboarding was introduced.
My boys were at average reading level when assessed as dyslexic, but they both struggle with expressing themselves with writing. Especially the ten-year-old struggles with organising and planning his writing.
When my son’s school introduced iPads and a keyboard in the classroom, thanks to his typing skills he was able to score 15 wpm on a dictation test and is now allowed to type any writing more than a paragraph long. Being able to type ideas in a word document and cut and paste to rearrange them makes writing a lot easier for him.
I haven’t explained to the boys that the Touch-type Read and Spell course is a dyslexia, spelling, and reading tool. They’re happy to accept it’s just a typing program and that’s fine as far as I’m concerned because it kills two birds with one stone. They’re getting the Orton Gillingham approach to literacy and typing practice at the same time!
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