Handwriting vs. Keyboarding

Nadia Shanab | autism, general advice, parenting, tips
30 May 2015

When was the last time you had to turn in a handwritten assignment at school, college or at work, or even a personal letter? I don’t recall where else do we use a pen other than to write a greeting card or a birthday card? People walk around with their mobile phones, mini tablets, and tablets to be most effective and productive in this new style of life. The technology level that the world has achieved thus far is not to be fought. We keep following the successes we ourselves have created to make the world a better place. Is your grocery shopping list on your cell phone or the iPad,…?

I am not advocating here against learning or practicing handwriting. It is really a “nice-to-have” skill, but not a “must-have” skill to function properly in the society. I have even dedicated a whole chapter in my book about “How to Improve Handwriting“, chapter 16, page 109.

Starting this year, the common core standards will be applied nation wide to schools from kindergarten through twelfth grade. The common core standards were developed to meet the the expectations of the higher education in college. Given the fact the education level has not been at its best level for some time now, the common core standards will be imposed to assure a smooth transition from high school into college. It is a great way to close the gap and reduce the drop out cases.

Common core standards require that the students, starting elementary school, take tests and deliver assignment on a computerized system, at least for language arts and math. Are kids with special needs at the speed level needed to take tests on a computer device, even if it is not timed?


  • It is more sensible and practical to train the kids to type and turn in homework and presentations neatly printed out and legible for everyone to save a great deal of comparison and hassles.
  • People use printed words to communicate. Whether the words are handwritten or typed the purpose is the same. It is not a bad idea to have your child/student with special need start right away practicing the program “Type to learn” every day rather than once or twice a week.
  • By getting your child ready for the common core standards, you are giving her the chance to join the general education in a more natural way.
  • You are simply eliminating some frustrating obstacles your child is struggling with by replacing handwriting with keyboarding.
  • Typing is faster and more legible than handwriting.
  • Besides, your child is less stigmatized.
  • It prepares your child for the work environment in the future.
  • Typing became an expected and essential skill to be acquired at an early age, not an optional one anymore.
  • Keyboarding provides more independence and discipline.
  • Most importantly, from my personal observation, kids with special needs, like most kids, are using all electronic devices intuitively. Take advantage and invest in this great resource.

Pick your battles! However, during the summer break if you want, you may have fun practicing handwriting with your kids!

Get ready for the common core!

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