ERIC Number: EJ972327
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
The Introduction of Keyboarding to Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders with Handwriting Difficulties: A Help or a Hindrance?
Ashburner, Jill; Ziviani, Jenny; Pennington, Ana
Australasian Journal of Special Education, v36 n1 p32-61 Jul 2012
This study explored the utility of using keyboarding as an alternative to handwriting for students with ASD who experience handwriting difficulties. Participants included 22 students with ASD (M age = 10.83 plus or minus 1.4 years) who had been using portable word processors in mainstream classrooms for at least 6 months to circumvent handwriting difficulties. Teacher, parent and student questionnaires rated perceptions of students' motivation, ability, preferences and frequency of use of keyboarding as compared to handwriting, helpfulness of portable word processors and factors contributing to or limiting their use. Keyboarding and handwriting speeds were measured in letters per minute. Two short compositions using handwriting and keyboarding were compared in length and quality. Handwriting legibility was also rated. The teacher, parent and student questionnaires indicated that students' motivation was generally rated as much higher for keyboarding than for handwriting. Teachers and parents predominantly perceived portable word processors as helpful. The group mean scores for keyboarding speed, and length and quality of keyboarded compositions were greater than comparable group mean scores for handwriting. These differences, however, did not reach statistical significance. Keyboarding, nevertheless, was effective in overcoming difficulties experienced by many students in respect of legibility.
Descriptors: Handwriting, Autism, Questionnaires, Statistical Significance, Word Processing, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Assistive Technology, Computer Uses in Education, Teacher Attitudes, Parent Attitudes, Student Attitudes, Student Motivation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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