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DD (4) frustrated with not being able to write - typing might be the answer!

(24 Posts)
Piffle Fri 23-Feb-07 11:41:07

DD is visually impaired, not really 100% correctable and really struggles to make letters and numbers and discernible shapes.
I'm not overly concerned as she is only 4 BUT she is! She is reading and adding now and seems very keen to progress onto writing esp with numbers.
So after another morning of tears where she simply cannot get her eyes and fingers to do what she wants, I thought about maybe typing in large text on the pc might help her...

Let's just say I'm lucky I've managed to get on for 5 minutes.

So for anyone else with a child ready to write mentally but unable to physically...
Worth a crack to relieve some frustrations!

Hulababy Fri 23-Feb-07 11:42:39

No experience sorry.

But there are special word processing packages for children - simple ones where they can do it all themselves with big ocons, etc to help. Word can be a pain for a little one.

You can also buy keyboard overlays with lower case letters.

Piffle Fri 23-Feb-07 11:44:10

We were wondering about a special keyboard
only as we worry she might reformat the pc while we're not looking.
She seems pretty confident and really enjoys it.

Enid Fri 23-Feb-07 11:44:26

that is itneresting about the keyboard overlays

the capital letters annoy dd2

indignatio Fri 23-Feb-07 11:44:57

Piffle, does she have problems with your exisiting keyboard ?

Piffle Fri 23-Feb-07 11:46:26

not really she only started today, just she catches the menu tabs and function buttons.

I was actually amazed at how fast she picked it up, it must be the age of learning or something, like little sponges at this age.

indignatio Fri 23-Feb-07 11:47:43

How is she with the mouse ?

Piffle Fri 23-Feb-07 11:49:57

no good her eyesight is too bad to pick up the cursor
I know do will be able to find a childrens large cursor icon, I'll get him onto it this weekend

Hulababy Fri 23-Feb-07 11:50:45

You could just buy a cheap ewcond keyboard and use these lower case stickers for keyboards. Probably cheapest option.

This lower case keyboard also is an option - not bad at £20.

You can also set the machine up to have a seperate log on for DD. You as the administrator can set the settings so that she only has access to a limited number of options and software. You could also set the font size and icon size larger for example.

Piffle Fri 23-Feb-07 11:52:38

All great ideas thanks - I'd like her to use a mouse as there are some great sites and games available for her age group.

It is so bizarre seeing her sat there typing... she emailed her daddy at work
He was floored

LIZS Fri 23-Feb-07 11:53:49

ds has touch typing lessons at school. He loves it and it has helped both his confidence to write and spelling. Definitely a worthwhile skill for the fine motor challenged although your dd is still quite little !

Hulababy Fri 23-Feb-07 11:54:46

There are various software more suitable to children available from word processors to drawing packages, etc.

\lnk{\Letts} - this is just the first one that came up.

You neeed to consider using the accessability optiosns on your computer for her to help with visual impairment. Go into your control panel annd have a look through. You can change the mouse double click speed to make that easier, cursor size, font size, icon size, ignore double presses on keyboards (holding key down to long, etc,) Lots you can play with. Especially if set up as a new user so you have own settings.

Hulababy Fri 23-Feb-07 11:55:34

Ignore the Letts link - not what I meant!

indignatio Fri 23-Feb-07 12:00:33

IMHO if she is 4 and wants to write, she will not need a lower case keyboard, she will pick up the capital letters very quickly.

this website is great

indignatio Fri 23-Feb-07 12:18:19

game to practise finding capital letters on the keyboard I would have posted this earlier but ds heard me on the website and came and took over

Piffle Fri 23-Feb-07 12:25:28

she has no probs with the letters, she is confident on lower and upper case letters so probably no need to worry on that score.
Have had words with DP and we're going to set up her own user account with larger cursors (windows has some great extra large black ones) she needs good contrast as much as a larger size.
That inclusive site is great Hula, many thanks
The writing repeater I think is going to cause her the same probs as writing but I'll give her the choice. it's coordinating the hand eye that poses the challenges.

thanks for all the help btw

frances5 Fri 23-Feb-07 12:36:42

My son has poor pen control. He had orthopedic problems when he was little and it has delayed his development. My son has excellent eye sight, but cant control a pen.

We got some foam bath letters from tescos for £1.99. You put the letters in the bath and your child can make the letters stick to the side of the bath. My son loves spelling out words with these plastic letters.

I also got an old ice cream box and stuck some coloured paper in the bottom of the box and covered the paper with flour. My son finds it easier to make patterns in the flour with his finger than to hold a pen.

I also get my son to do the lower case can writing sheet

Does your daughter have an occupational theraphist? We been told by our community paediatrian not to worry about my son being unable to control a pen until he is in year one. In our area the child development centre organises a hand writing work shop for children who stil cant physically write who are over a certain age.

Cappuccino Fri 23-Feb-07 12:40:12

piffle my dd (6) uses a big keyboard at school and a special mouse due to fine motor difficulties

there is a word processor programme that her teacher recommended called something like clicker for 4

have I remembered rightly and was she the little girl who you were wondering about school/ nursery a while ago?

could have been someone else; my memory is not what it was

Piffle Fri 23-Feb-07 12:42:36

frances dd has had intervention from portage and a peripatetic teacher for the visually impaired, dd does also have some muscle tone issues.
She has the bath letters and like your ds enjoys making little phonic words.
The handwriting is miles away, we can totally understand her issues as it is very obvious when she tries
Tracing over things is never going to be an option. but she may learn freehand
also writing on lines/lined paper will be an issue.
But I think although she is not going to be statemented at school she will get a lot of aid for extra visual assistance

I'll ask about OT at her paed review next month

Piffle Fri 23-Feb-07 12:43:38

yes capp that's me
However her wonderful montessori nursery is closing [sob] due to owners husband taking seriously ill.
So school it is, we have found a GREAT little school though.

Cappuccino Fri 23-Feb-07 12:44:24

dd gets an ICT review so they can work out what they need to give her in terms of IT stuff to help her

dunno if your dd will get this

she has some visual impairment but her probs are mainly motor

Cappuccino Fri 23-Feb-07 12:45:50

ooh piffle glad I remembered rightly

I'd say that if she's interested in writing at this stage school would def be the way to go anyway

we certainly found much more expertise there even though dd's nursery was fantastic

frances5 Fri 23-Feb-07 13:30:40

My son started reception at four years and eight months. At the start he didn't even have the pen control to draw a circle. Five months later he can now trace over large letters. I would have never thought that my son would be able to trace letters at five years old if you had asked me when he was four.

The finger phonic books have the letters cut out so that children can feel them

My son also loves playdough. We have some cutters that cut out letters and he writes little words with that. I also got some magnetic letters that stick on the fridge.

I enrolled my son for gymnastics classes at the local club and this has helped his upper body strength. I was nervous how he would cope because he is partically deaf due to glue ear and has poor coordination. However he has been fine.

The club divides the class into groups according to ablity. My son's group has about five children and one coach. My son is loves gymnastics all he isnt much good at it. We also do swimming.

Piffle Fri 23-Feb-07 14:40:28

fab that your ds has made such amzing progress frances
Dd has done far more than we could ever have hoped for and it's allowing her to achieve what she can by finding ways around things for her
Her eyesight is truly her biggest hurdle to overcome, glasses have helped but she is going to struggle for some time.

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