Touch Typing

A place to talk about your experience of living with Dyspraxia

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Touch Typing

Post by Lenore »


I was recommended to learn how to touch type, so I downloaded some software which is good, aimed at kids but I quite enjoy the format. However I find it almost overwhelmingly stressful to do it, if I can't see my fingers I have no idea where they are on the board, it's almost as if they are disconnected from me if I can't see them, the feeling is horrible. One of my main dyspraxia difficulties is being aware of my body in space and being dependent on my vision for motor tasks.

I have not long started so need to persevere a bit but I just wondered if anyone else has had this sensory reaction to things like this. I'm using a laptop so was also wondering if a different type of keyboard would help.
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Re: Touch Typing

Post by Tom fod »

Hi Lenore

They tried to teach me from around 16/17 I've reverted to doing it the wrong way again and tend to look at my fingers rather than the screen too. It is a bit of a case of having to persist and learn the muscle memory so you settle on the home keys (asdf jkl;) and your fingers know the way.

Laptop keybaords tend to be a bit dinky and an ergonomic keyboard is helpful for some It might make things easier having a standard larger keyboard. They're relatively inexpensive.

I use Windows and Mac and it finding some keys like @ or other special characters like # can be a pain as they're in different places of require key combinations that I forget.

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Re: Touch Typing

Post by philm »

Think I learnt it at school
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Re: Touch Typing

Post by Xenavire »

I understand touch typing difficulties - I can (sort-of) touch type after more than ten years of typing daily. On a good day I can go without even realising I'm not looking down, other days I'm looking down and correcting myself every few minutes, if not more regularly.

What I can say is that yes, it gets easier. But I don't personally think its likely that many Dyspraxics are going to reach a point where they are 100% accurate 100% of the time. I'll have good days and bad days, and when fatigue sets in, it starts to fall apart, and I think most of us would react the same way. The important thing is that, with practice, you will probably find yourself able to type faster and more accurately than you could by hand.
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Re: Touch Typing

Post by Jimi »

I found learning to type was great. It took me a year of daily practice and weekly lessons to become competent (I didn't pass my RSA qualification because I still made a lot of errors but I was the proudest (and male-est) kid in my class - 35 years ago typing was for girls). After you learn to touch type you practice it all the time. I even have a pocket sized fold out blue tooth keyboard to interface with my phone and I'm faster with that than any two thumbed teen. Stick at it - touch typing is probably the most useful skill I have deliberately learned and let us know how you progress.

I am familiar with the sensation of not knowing what your fingers are doing while you type and it is a bit weird to start with, particularly as I was familiar with that sensation being linked to my pen nib having wandered off somewhere unrelated to whatever it was I had been trying to do (leading to sarcastic teacher comments about spiders attacking my work). The great thing about touch typing is that once you have the fingers trained they do (more or less) what you want them to do without thinking. The sensation of not knowing what they are up to is a side effect but once you get used to it you can free your brain to think about the content. I still make errors - hitting an extra key or as someone commented getting symbols wrong but I don't think my error rate is much worse than a typical touch typist and that means I'm still better than the average untrained typist.

Once I became good at typing I could communicate in written form much faster than my peers - fast handwriting is about 20 words per minute and I was getting 40wpm typing after my first year of training (worst student in the class), I soon got up to and have maintained 50-60 wpm. Once you learn it doesn't go away either - it only takes minutes to re-format your flying fingers after years away from a keyboard.

Voice recognition software might overtake a good (but not great) typist for speed and accuracy and it may be convenient for most purposes (particularly if we never go back to our plague spreading open plan offices) but I think typing will continue to be relevant for generations.
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Re: Touch Typing

Post by Lenore »

Thank you, I have to get into a routine to do it every day, will keep persevering!
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Re: Touch Typing

Post by Jim »

Get yourself a full size keyboard to plug into the laptop. A laptops internal keyboard is very difficult to touch type with because it’s narrower and more compressed.

After that... it’s largely placing your hands in the idea place for your fingers to reach the most common keys and practicing to develop your muscle memory.

There are lots of on line tools which can test your speed too.

It’s a very useful skill to have in an office, administration, call centre or media setting.

Luckily for me, I’ve used computers since my toddling years and then developed my inherent familiarity of the keyboard by formally learning touch typing at school.
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