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We recently purchased an AlphaSmart Neo for our son, who is dyslexic and dysgraphic. We have also tried the Mavis Beacon program, but he thinks it is boring. Do you know of another good typing program?


As you noted, there are a variety of typing programs on the market. The best answer to your question is that there may not be one single program that best meets your son’s needs. Keyboard development requires practice and, unfortunately, repetitive exercises can be boring. Access to a variety of programs offers choice, lessens boredom, and increases motivation for practicing keyboarding skills.

Another program that might work is Read, Write and Type by the Learning Company, which has been rated as an effective early reading intervention by the What Works Clearinghouse. Many dysgraphic students have difficulty with correct fingering in keyboarding skills. It would be best if your son used correct fingering, but he should not be forced.

The ultimate goal is for him to type fluently, with speed and accuracy. Some students who type in their own style have been known to reach 60 words per minute. Others gradually begin to type with correct, or partially correct, fingering. The key to improvement is practice and consistency.

I suggest that you encourage him to practice everyday, but limit the practice time to 10 minutes. Let him choose which program he wants to use, what he wants to type and what fingering method works best for him.

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