At a quick glance:
-- Typing is easier than writing by hand for children with learning and thinking differences.
-- Kids with special learning needs have an area of weakness that impacts typing.
-- If children struggle with the mechanics of typing, it slows them down and impacts the quality of their writing.
Differences that Impact a Kid’s Ability to Type
Excellent typing speed and accuracy is an essential skill these days. A lot of jobs today are done on computers and efficiency is the key. Confidence and competence while typing on computers are a skill that employers look for when they make hiring decisions.
So these are differences and challenges that you need to know as a parent, so you can address them early on.
#1 Issues with motor skills
It can be a little challenging to coordinate both hands on the keyboard while move one finger at a time to isolate a letter, especially for beginners.
#2 Memory trouble
Some children would encounter problems remembering where letters are on the keyboard. So, they rely on their vision to search for the right letter, and this slows them down. Kids with difficulties spelling, or who possess language-related issues will encounter a challenge. In addition, letters on the keyboard are arranged in a different order compared to the letters in the alphabet. It makes it harder to memorize the layout.
#3 Spatial challenges
Spatial issues can create difficulties when it comes to learning how to type. When they're typing, kids need to keep one hand on the right side and other one on the left, while hovering over the middle row.
#4 ADHD and functioning issues
A constant slew of feedback on what kids are writing can be distracting, especially if they have ADHD. Some may even lose their train of thought by focusing on fixing mistakes than on moving forward with their idea.
Children with attention issues can also get distracted by shifting gazes from handwritten drafts to the keyboard on-screen.
How to Help Kids with Typing
Addressing children's specific challenges will take more than one day, and it needs time for nurturing and development in the right direction. But there are ways that you can make typing easier for your kids.
-- Let your kids use tablets for shorter assignments. They can type with their thumbs and fingers, just like texting.
-- If your child finds touch-typing frustrating, let them type in whatever way works for them. Don't worry about them not typing the "the right way" yet, as long as he's getting it done.
-- Turn auto-correct off if your kids find it a little distracting to have spelling and grammar mistakes. Turn them back on when the project is finished, and they can make corrections all at once.
-- Try alternative keyboards. These types of keyboards have special overlays that customize how a standard keyboard functions and looks. Sometimes they group keys by color or add graphics to help in comprehension.
-- Use typing tutor programs if you have to. It boosts children's proficiency.
If your kid's challenges impact typing, then don't give up. It might take longer to master compared to other kids. But once they do, they might find writing assignments easier and less frustrating.