Dyslexia, DCD and dysgraphia – what do those learning differences mean and how do they affect your child?

Dyslexia, DCD, and dysgraphia – what do those learning differences mean and how do they affect your child?

Dyslexia, DCD, and Dysgraphia are 3 different types of conditions. They are all conditions that are common so there is a chance that your child may have one of these 3. Let’s have a look into each of these learning disorders.

What Is dyslexia?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dyslexia is best described as an unexpected difficulty with being able to read. Children that have dyslexia may encounter problems when it comes to the recognition and manipulation of sounds with language. Decoding words is something that children with dyslexia will have great difficulty with, which essentially means breaking down these words or phonemes and then sounding out novel words. Dyslexia makes it hard for the child to recognize words, read and write properly, and even spell properly. It’s important to note that a child who has dyslexia does not necessarily lack intelligence. A child with dyslexia may not even be that far behind their other peers in school due to the hard effort they may be putting in to be at the same level as everyone else in their class. However, it must be noted that this is only sustainable for a child with dyslexia for so long. As they start to get older in school they will struggle to keep up with their fellow classmates as the reading, writing, and spelling will, of course, become harder as they grow older. Dyslexia is something that isn’t necessarily an illness but is something that a person will have throughout their entire life.

However, by taking the appropriate measures towards understanding the difficulties and challenges are that come with having dyslexia it can then be made much easier to live with. When really delving into dyslexia and its impact it will have on a person, it is something that is a brain-based issue with language. That is why kids will have issues with being able to work with the sounds of language. It’s important to remember that reading issues may still exist for children with dyslexia even after they have been able to learn and read properly. The ability for a child to read that has dyslexia is more so a mechanical one. This is why children which have dyslexia will best be able to learn with reading programs that are systematic and take an explicit multisensory approach to. By doing this it will enhance the likelihood of a child being able to successfully identify words.

 

 

What is DCD?

Dyspraxia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DCD an abbreviation for developmental coordination disorder is a condition that is lifelong for a human being which makes it difficult for the person to learn motor skills and will also have issues with their coordination. DCD unlike Dyslexia is not known as a learning disorder, but it will have the ability to have an impact on their learning. Instead of being labeled as a learning disorder, it is seen as a neurodevelopment disorder. ADHD which you may be aware of is also a neurodevelopment disorder.  Things like physical tasks and activities in school will be what the child with DCD will tend to struggle with. When looking at how many kids are living with this condition, it lands in and around the 5 percent mark. It is important to note, however, that DCD is something that is more common with boys than with girls. There is no way for a child to grow out of having this condition but applying the necessary steps, will go a long way to improving the child’s motor skills. Many things which a child will need to learn when in school will prove to be difficult for them due to them having DCD, examples of this being writing and organisation. It’s not only in school where DCD will be an issue for a child, it’s also outside of the classroom. For instance, their motor skills will be affected when it comes to them brushing their teeth and putting on clothes also. Earlier lessons that kids would have learned will be affected as they will not necessarily remember what they were first thought. If they were told to put a knife in their right hand and a fork in their left, they may not remember this and end up doing the opposite and not learning from their wrongdoings. The key to overcome DCD is to understand as early as possible the difficulties your child is facing and to take the necessary steps to overcome them.

 

What is Dysgraphia?

Dysgraphia is a disability that affects a person’s ability to write. Not only does it affect ones writing ability it will also cause a person to have issues with their motor skills. Spelling, word spacing, and sizing are things which are aspects that a person with dysgraphia will have. Let’s take a look at some of the symptoms that come from having dysgraphia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Painfully gripping a pen or pencil by holding too firm.
  • The sentence structure is off what it should be.
  • Writing down the thoughts you may have in your head onto the paper.

 

These symptoms are able to change over time, as usual, it’s the mechanics of writing which young people will tend to have whereas it’d be more so grammar and comprehension difficulties for adults.

 

So, what causes a person to have dysgraphia? Scientists are not sure as to why it happens to children. When an adult is diagnosed with it, it can be related to a brain injury such as a stroke. Like other disorders which have been previously discussed, there is no cure for Dysgraphia. Things you can try in order to help your child may range from using grips on pencils for comfort to letting them use a computer as an alternative to writing and teach the person typing skills as early as possible.

 

Does your child have poor handwriting speed? How can typing help?

Does your child have poor handwriting speed? How can typing help?

 

 

 

 

 

 

As children growing up, one of the first skills we are thought to do when in school is being able to write properly. It usually begins with kids being taught how to write letters or shapes individually and teaching the child what the correct form to use when they are writing. Some children pick up this skill quickly at a young age, whereas others may tend to struggle greatly with this and begin to fall behind people their age. This tends to pose the question to parents about how they go about rectifying this issue that they are having with their child’s handwriting issues. This is where the ability to have your child learn how to type at a young age will give endless benefits to them which we will go further into below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learning to touch type – you may be wondering what touch-typing means. What’s the difference between regular typing and touch typing? Well, touch typing is where one types but without looking at the keyboard. By doing this you will constantly be staring at your screen so that if you keep making mistakes you will be able to notice them quicker than say if you were constantly looking down at your keyboard. The benefits of being able to touch-type properly are endless.

  Touch typing, if learnt as young as possible, will be of massive benefit to an individual as it will become a long-term skill, whether at home, school, college, or even in the work environment.

  Touch typing helps your child to type faster as well as more accurately, without having to look at the keyboard every now and then.

  Once your child is touch typing, this will become an unconscious action to them, which will then allow them to become more creative.

  Learning how to type at a young age will increase the likelihood of the child developing less bad habits, than if we were to start learning this at an older age.

  Touch typing helps children that have dyslexia, as some children who are dyslexic will find it easier to touch type rather than handwrite. This is due to the tactile element of pressing the keyboard is able to help with being able to manage difficult words.

  Drafting and editing can be made easier for children by touch typing as you can play around with your work by being able to move paragraphs, delete parts of the text that are no longer needed which is something that one does not have the luxury of doing if they are handwriting.

  By being able to successfully touch-type, will then allow for the person to really focus on their content. While touch typing will greatly enhance the ability for a child to be able to type at a fast pace it will also improve the quality of their work too. And because of this, they will be able to put their main focus into the quality of the content which they are producing.

 

 

 

 

 

Searsol  – Searsol was formed back in 2007 and has been teaching children how to be able to touch type properly. Previously we really delved into what are the benefits of a child being able to touch type, and one should look no further than Typewiz if they want to get their child learning how to perfect this skill in a fun and interactive way. Typewiz touch typing lessons are designed in a way to be short and encourage the child to complete their next lesson by achieving rewards and moving up leaderboards. Below is a little deeper insight into why you should get your child started with Typewiz.

  Typing games: Typewiz has fun and interactive games for your child to enjoy. Typewiz allows your child to compete with kids in their age range and they can try improving by moving up leaderboards. A virtual coin is used for each game and will measure your child’s performance of how they’re getting on in the course, which will then motivate them to complete exercises as fast and efficiently as possible.

  Avatar rewards: Typewiz allows your child to earn an avatar as they complete each lesson, and these include many cool looking avatars that will motivate the child to focus and do the best they can in order to achieve their desired avatar.

  Modular design: the modular design which Typewiz provides is something that is easy on the eye for children and really creates an amazing environment for children to learn how to touch type.

  Reporting: This is of huge benefit to parents of the children, as Typewiz offers a report showing how your child is getting on and progressing along throughout the duration of the course. The report will give you key information such as exercises your child has completed, average accuracy, highest score and much, much more. This information can be shown weekly, over the last 6 months, the past year or all the time. Typewiz will show you both accuracy and words per minute graphs in the report, so it can easily be available to view and print off either.

 

 

Overall you can see that there are endless benefits when it comes to a child being able to learn how to be able to type at a young age if they are struggling with their handwriting. The aim of this blog was really to give you an insight into not only all of the benefits that come along with your child being able to type properly but also the fun that can be had along the way in their learning process and we see this through games like Typewiz. Typing is something which is a vital skill for all ages nowadays and as time goes on the importance of being able to type will not become less vital.

 

 

What can you do to overcome your child’s poor handwriting?

Poor handwriting

Poor handwriting

What can you do to overcome your child’s poor handwriting?

 

Does your child have poor handwriting and is struggling to complete their homework? Does your child take a long time for them to do their homework? Is the quality of the handwriting produced by your child legible? What can you do to improve this situation for your child? Do you want a life that is free from the stress and anxiety of trying to get them to complete their homework? 

 

Definition of poor handwriting:

First off let’s define what poor handwriting is. According to Chivers (1999) – poor handwriting is a deficiency in the ability to write, primarily handwriting, but also coherence. Poor handwriting is a transcription disability, meaning that it is a writing disorder associated with impaired handwriting, orthographic coding (orthography, the storing process of written words and processing the letters in those words), and finger sequencing (the movement of muscles required to write).

 

Causes of poor handwriting

 

The main two causes of poor handwriting are deficiencies in balance sense or body awareness.   

Balance sense

Balance sense
Balance sense

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The balance sense is located in our inner ear.  Children who have experienced any of the following are more likely to have difficulties with their balance sense:

  • chronic ear infections
  • premature birth
  • neglect and trauma in infancy
  • other neurological conditions such as autism

Child jumping

When this sense is not developed properly, children are likely to have difficulty with balance, jumping, hopping, skipping, sitting still, concentration, managing fear or anxiety and learning to read or poor handwriting skills.

 

Body Awareness

body awareness

This sense is located in the muscles and joints all over our body and is often called the body awareness sense as it tells our brain where our body is in relation to itself and other things.

 

Children with poor body awareness often present with the following conditions:

  • appear clumsy
  • are rough
  • break things
  • bump into things
  • unable to sit still for long periods of time
  • poor concentration.
  • difficulty with reading 
  • Poor handwriting skills

 

These two senses (balance and body)  are the building blocks for all other skills. It doesn’t matter how much we practice with our child on handwriting skills, it won’t improve because of deficiency in their balance and body senses.

 

Your child may have a good pencil grasp and lovely letter formation but if they don’t have a functioning balance sense then their writing is likely to be much slower, messy, difficult to read than other children.

How do you improve your child’s poor handwriting skills?

You can improve your child with poor handwriting skills by trying the following:

 

Strengthen Fine Motor Skills

scissors cutting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Increasing hand strength and finger dexterity can help your child get more control over the pen and improve their handwriting.  Encourage your child on tasks like cutting with scissors, using a screwdriver, sewing or knitting.

 

Pencil Grip

Pencil grip
Pencil grip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A good grip could help reduce fatigue and prevent muscle cramps, which may help to improve handwriting.

 

Upper Body strength

 

 

 

 

 

Encourage your child to build upper body strength through sports,  swimming and gym weights. These will help strengthen and stabilise the shoulder muscles to free up the hand muscles for handwriting.

 

Frequent Breaks

Take a break
Take a break

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If your child tires easily or becomes distracted, then let them have a quick break as opposed to continuing on and their handwriting deteriorates. 

 

Pick your battles

Pick your battles

Pick your battles

 

Decide which subjects require good handwriting and which subjects you can get away with poor handwriting. 

 

Typing skills

Typewiz.com – be a wiz at typing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instead of writing out all their homework. Why not get them to type it out using a laptop or tablet? By typing out their homework, it helps not only to be able to read the text they produce but also allows you to review the document and make changes if required. By learning how to type correctly, your child overcomes poor handwriting and uses assistive technology to their advantage. 

If you want your child to learn how to type at one of our centres, you can book a free trial assessment at https://searsol.com/find-centers/

How long does it take to learn to touch type?

How long does it take to learn to touch-type?

It’s a question that we have been asked several times before and to be honest it’s a difficult one to answer.

Definition of Touch Typing:

Touch typing is the ability to type without looking down at the keyboard. A person who can touch-type will know all the letters location on the keyboard through muscle memory. The term is often used to refer to a specific form of touch typing that involves placing the eight fingers in a horizontal row along the middle of the keyboard

Home Keys

Touch typing is a skill that needs to be learned and it becomes better as you practice using the correct technique. The correct technique is to place your fingers on the home keys, left hand fingers should start with the little resting on the A button and the main index finger on the F button on the keyboard. The right-hand fingers should start with the index finger on the J button and the little finger on the semicolon button (;). If you are interested in learning how to touch type, check out our new typing tutor Typewiz which is specifically aimed at teaching children how to touch type in a fun and interactive way. Also, see our youtube video below on How to touch type using Typewiz which explains the correct procedure to learn how to touch type using our typing tutor Typewiz.

 

A range of factors come into play in deciding how long it will take to learn how to touch type.

Factors to consider are the concentration, motivation, age of the student, and if the student has any learning difficulties.

Concentration:

If a student has poor or weak concentration, then it will take them a lot longer to learn how to touch type. As touch typing requires a lot of concentration and persistence in learning where the keys are on the keyboard.

Motivation:

If a student is not motivated to learn touch typing, then, unfortunately, they will never learn how to touch type. If they don’t see the benefits of touch typing and rather do it their own way then a student will never learn to touch type correctly and will revert to their own ways (Hunt and Peck method).

Age:

The younger the student age the longer they will take to learn how to touch type. At Searsol, we believe the best age start to touch type is from the age of eight. We feel any younger than eight years old, a student is just not ready to learn to touch type successfully due to the size of their hands and lack of concentration.

Learning difference:

If a student has a learning difficulty such as dyslexia, dyspraxia (DCD), dysgraphia, then this student will take longer to learn how to touch type compared to a student that doesn’t have these learning difficulties. We feel for these students classroom learning is the best solution for a child that has learning differences. At Searsol, we offer a free trial for students who want to experience our classroom learning. A free trial is available by clicking on the following link (Ireland only). We also offer a free seven-day trial online click on the following link

 

How long does it take to learn how to touch-typing?

So going back to the question, how long does it take to learn to touch type. An average student without learning differences would learn to touch type within eight to ten hours. They might be touch typing at a very slow speed (8 – 15  words per minute).

Bronze standard – 15 words per minute

 

A student who attains 15 words per minute or greater will be rewarded with our bronze badge on Typewiz.  This would take approximately 10 hours to achieve for the average student doing the Typewiz course. 

Silver standard – 25 words per minute

The next level on Typewiz is our silver badge which is 25 words or greater. An average student would need to do around 30 hours on Typewiz to get to this level.

Gold standard – 40 words per minute

Forty words per minute is where a student can touch type faster than they can write which is an amazing achievement! It is the gold standard on Typewiz and for most students very difficult to achieve. It requires a student to put in an additional forty hours of practice using Typwiz. 

If a student achieves the gold badge on Typewiz. Then this is a great advantage to have for a student, as they progress through secondary school, third level and onto work. Typing faster than writing without ever having to look down at the keyboard!

Typewiz.com – a new innovative way to learn how to touch type!

Typewiz online typing tutor for kids

 

Our new typing tutor typewiz.com  is now available to any student that wants to learn how to touch type.

  • Typewiz is a new fun and interactive way to learn to touch type.
  • Students get to select different avatars as they progress up the lessons.
  • Students can earn coins based on their performance on the course.
  • Coins can then be used in our games arcade where each coin spent allows the student to access one game.
  • Students can earn different word-per-minute badges (Bronze, Silver, or Gold) as they become faster at typing.
  • Students can earn lesson badges as they progress up the lessons.
  • Realistic hands with a green finger show the user what keyboard button to press.
  • Graphs of all previous percentage scores with Words Per Minute (WPM) are available to access for the student at all times.
  • Typewiz is a self-paced course that allows students to work at their own pace in a classroom environment or at home.
  • Typewiz is also available through our Searsol centres monitored by our professional Searsol tutors (Ireland only). 

If you are interested in finding out more information about Typewiz. Visit our website at www.typewiz.com  Free seven-day trial available.

 

Why touch typing is beneficial for children with dyspraxia (DCD)?

Why touch typing is beneficial for children with dyspraxia (DCD)?
Why touch typing is beneficial for children with dyspraxia (DCD)?

Why touch typing is beneficial for children with dyspraxia (DCD)?

 

Dyspraxia (DCD) is a difficulty with thinking out, planning, and carrying out sensory/motor tasks. A recent study of nearly 7,000 seven and eight-year-olds in the UK found that just under two children in every 100 may have dyspraxia. This study used strict criteria for diagnosing the condition, which may explain why other sources suggest that six or eight people in every 100 may have dyspraxia.

Dyspraxia is more common in boys and sometimes runs in families. It may also occur alongside other conditions, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD.

Dyspraxia can make the process of writing laborious and even painful. This is why touch typing (keyboarding) is so frequently recommended for those with dyspraxia. Becoming more familiar with the keyboard or learning to touch type (being able to type with multiple fingers without looking at the keyboard) can be very helpful for children.

Once students are able to touch type successfully with accuracy and speed. This can help students unlock their potential and transfer easily their ideas onto electronic format without the frustration experienced when handwriting.  Creativity is unlocked and the student’s self-esteem greatly enhanced.

The keyboard has many important advantages:

  • It increases legibility and clarity of presentation
  • Increased speed of the input
  • Spelling – learning physical letter patterns on the keyboard can be helpful with the spelling of some words
  • Reduces the physical pressure and concentration of handwriting- pressing a key can be much easier than manipulating a pen or pencil
  • Editing work is easier
  • Confidence. The keyboard may allow the child to record work more independently and to produce the required work in the time allowed.

At Searsol, we have worked with children with dyspraxia to teach them how to learn to touch type. Children with dyspraxia need careful guidance and help so they can master the skills of touch typing.  Searsol offers touch typing courses in our typing centres

Searsol – who we are and what we do

Searsol provides after-school touch typing classes to students for students with learning differences such as dyspraxia, dyspraxia (DCD), and dysgraphia. We have centres in Ireland that allow Parents to bring their child up to trained up on how to touch type. More details about your nearest centre are available on https://searsol.com/find-centers/

 

Typewiz – typing tutor for kids

Typewiz online typing tutor for kids

Typewiz – be a wiz a typing

Typewiz.com is our new typing tutor for children who want to learn how to touch type at home. Typewiz is a fun and innovative way for children to learn how to touch type.  Typewiz can be accessed at home. More details are available on Typewiz.com

Typewiz offers the following benefits:

  • It is a fun and interactive way to learn to touch type.
  • Children get to select different avatars as they progress up the lessons.
  • Kids can earn coins based on their performance on the course.
  • Coins can then be used in our games arcade where each coin spent allows the student to access one game.
  • Children can earn different word per minute badges (Bronze, Silver or Gold) as they become faster at typing.
  • Kids can earn lesson badges as they progress up the lessons.
  • Realistic hands with a green finger which shows the user what keyboard button to press.
  • Graphs of all previous percentage scores with Words Per Minute(WPM) are available to access for the student at all times.
  • Typewiz is a self-paced course which allows kids to work at their own pace at home

Searsol Computer Camps

Searsol provides Easter and Summer computer camps for children each year. These computer camps are were very popular and if you are interested in finding more about the course please go to our dedicated website which has more details about the camps www.searsolcomputercamps.com

Searsol franchise opportunity

Searsol also has its own franchise opportunity. The franchise opportunity allows individuals to set up the Searsol after school touch typing classes and camps in their own area. Full training and support are provided.  To find out more about this go to our dedicated website www.searsolfranchise.com

If you have any other requests about Searsol, please contact us through the feedback form or call us on +353-1-6303384. We are on Facebook and Twitter and our contact details are on the website.