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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Applications for keyboarding with students with motor dysfunction Snider, Laurie Margaret


This study used the word processor as a tool for written output to examine the effects of an experiential 'Write to Read' program on typing performance, decoding strategies and successive processing in learning disordered children with motor dysfunction. A case history approach was taken in view of the small number of subjects available, and in order to adequately describe each individual's unique and complex cognitive motor profile. Subjects involved in the study were three male students in a Junior Learning Assistance Class in a Lower Mainland British Columbia school district elementary school. Each of the students had a history of poor motor performance, poor handwriting and delayed reading ability. The three subjects were involved in an eight week intervention program which taught keyboarding and word processing techniques using the 'Write to Read' program, a systematic method of training the motor skills required. It was hypothesized that, if the learning disabled student with poor motor skills could use the word processor as an adjunct to handwriting, the improved legibility would facilitate consistent decoding by the student of his own work, reinforcing acquisition of early reading skills. Within the case history format, a theoretical frame of reference based on the simultaneous - successive information processing model was chosen and a limited time series design measured the effects of the intervention on successive processing as determined by a block sequencing task (Das, Kirby and Jarman, 1980). The data was collected for each student and graphed for visual inspection, graphic analysis and statistical analysis. One subject showed a stable and significant intervention effect, and no stable trends or significant results for successive processing were found in the other two subjects. Rates of word processing output increased over the course of the study and the number of errors declined. All subjects made progress in measures of decoding and word analysis. Implications for future research and professional practice were described.

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