The Zen of Touch Typing for Dyslexics
For most people diagnosed with dyslexia, the world is an even more complicated place than ever, full of pitfalls at each turn. That exam you have to take, the interview scheduled next week or, the paper that needs to be turned in on Monday.
These are all areas of your life that can be affected by a way of processing information that many people don’t really understand.
Touch typing can help many dyslexics conquer what society deems a disability. But before we go into the hows and whys, let’s take a look at what dyslexia is.
Dyslexia is a language processing disorder that affects a person’s ability to read, write, spell and sometimes speak. It’s not something that comes on suddenly, but rather a disability that some people are born with. And, although it’s been labeled a disability, it is really just a different way of processing information.
People with dyslexia might experience changes in the way they process information over time. These changes can become quite complex and range from transposing letters while spelling to difficulty with grammar and writing on an in depth level.
To those who do not understand dyslexia, it may look like the person who is dyslexic is lazy or lacks intelligence. However, it has nothing to do with IQ levels or motivation and the drive to learn. Rather it is based on the way that the brain processes information.
For the dyslexic, one skill must first be committed to long term memory before learning another. Most classroom learning focuses on learning multiple skills at once which leads to overload of the working memory in dyslexics and ultimately: frustration.
This presents a number of challenges to the person who struggles with dyslexia on a daily basis and can have a negative impact on grades, work performance and self image.
Touch typing is one of the most effective ways that people with dyslexia can function in the real world. In fact, it can be used as a learning and communication tool in ways that traditional handwriting cannot.
How can touch typing help dyslexics?
For many young dyslexic students, touch typing helps cement other skills like reading, spelling and vocabulary to memory. Students who learn touch typing at an early age do better on tests that involve these skills and this holds true for both dyslexic students and those who are not.
Typing offers a new way for dyslexic students to learn. Muscle memory allows spelling to become a series of patterns on the keyboard making it much harder to inadvertently misspell or transpose words.
Handwriting is a particularly challenging skill for dyslexics. That’s because mistakes take longer to correct, papers often end up messy with eraser marks or cross-outs and students lack the benefit of using a spell checker. Even for people who do not suffer from dyslexia, touch typing is an easier, faster and more efficient way of getting work done.
Touch typing has been shown to actually help handwriting in dyslexics. This might be because touch typing allows for more freedom and experimentation in writing styles.
Because of the way the dyslexic brain works, people with this disability have much more success being able to capture their thoughts on paper or through a computer screen first and formatting and structuring that information later on.
The benefits of touch typing are plentiful. From helping dyslexic students communicate more effectively to allowing them to compete in the real world through harnessing a new skill one thing is for sure: touch typing truly is for everyone.