Dysgraphia Life hosted a fantastic live webinar with Dr. Steven Feifer on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021. For those who were unable to attend live, the full recording of the webinar and the slide handouts can be found on our website HERE.
Dr. Feifer spoke about how dysgraphia is defined, the areas of the brain that are responsible for writing tasks, different subtypes of dysgraphia, and some strategies that can help. We conducted a quick poll and notably, parents reported that their children struggled with handwriting, spelling, AND written composition -- almost in equal numbers with handwriting edging out the other two for the most problematic area.
There were a lot of questions a and unfortunately we couldn't get to them all. A huge thank you to Dr. Feifer who has tried to answer many of the others that came in through the chat. Please see the responses below:
Q. Please give advice on having dysgraphic children develop traditional touch-typing skills vs. adapted typing where keyboard is divided in half, and child only uses index fingers and thumb.
A. If the student has graphomotor dysgraphia (Subtype 1) due to a particular apraxia which renders them incapable of using multiple fingers, then perhaps adaptive typing would be a good alternative approach than regular typing. I have personally seen kids who just use one finger…and kind of hunt and peck around the keys….and can still type 40 wpm!! However, I would start with traditional typing first.
Q. What is the most appropriate assistive technology for a 9-10 year old boy whose handwriting is illegible. Speech-to-text is undesirable because it records classmates as well unless the child goes out in the hall, which feels punitive.
A. How about an iPad or interactive whiteboard. Good point about the speech-to-text software.
Q. Do you recommended Co:Writer?
A. Sure do. I really like the word predictive software. Very good for kids with Executive Dysgraphia.