ADDitude Picks for Typing Software and Apps
When kids struggle with handwriting, assistive technology makes sense – these apps will help hone their typing skills for expressing themselves more freely.
Typing Instructor for Kids Platinum
(Mac and Windows; $19.99; individualsoftware.com)
Rather than spend hours helping your child with ADHD to learn to write faster or neater, teach him typing skills instead. Typing Instructor for Kids is a great starter program to teach proper typing technique. It uses segmented lessons that gradually introduce more of the keyboard to your child and teaches proper typing posture and finger position. The software has a full menu of mini-games and exercises to keep students engaged in the learning process, so children with ADHD won’t get bored.
(Mac, Windows, Linux; drop.notch.net; free)
This typing game pushes players’ skills to the limit. Complete with entertaining music and a mind-boggling visual presentation that holds the focus of children with ADHD, Drop requires players to copy a spiraling procession of letters with speed and accuracy. As new words appear, the time to type the required letters shortens, which challenges players to type more quickly. Hitting the wrong key causes the letters to speed up, and if you don’t touch the correct key quickly enough, it’s game over. Drop engages kids with ADHD and LD with the incentive of beating their own high score or the high scores of fellow students or friends. The game is a fun way to use a normal-sized keyboard to practice skills acquired in Typing Instructor for Kids (above).
(iOS; itunes.apple.com; free; Android; play.google.com; free)
Anecdotal evidence suggests that children with ADHD and learning disabilities are able to concentrate longer when playing a game or learning a skill on mobile devices. Mastering typing on a tablet or smartphone is probably a smart way for kids to learn how to type. Burning Fingers pits players against each other in a wild, fast-paced car race. Kids practice spelling by accurately typing a sentence generated by the game. The more accurately and efficiently a player types, the faster his car moves along the track. This game is addictive to kids, but who cares? They’re learning a valuable skill.
-Randy Kulman, founder of learningworksforkids.com