The introduction of keyboarding to children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: a help or a hindrance?

Ashburner, Jill, Ziviani, Jenny and Pennington, Ana (2012) The introduction of keyboarding to children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: a help or a hindrance?. Australasian Journal of Special Education, 31 1: 32-61. doi:10.1017/jse.2012.6

Author Ashburner, Jill
Ziviani, Jenny
Pennington, Ana
Title The introduction of keyboarding to children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: a help or a hindrance?
Journal name Australasian Journal of Special Education   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1030-0112
Publication date 2012-07
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1017/jse.2012.6
Volume 31
Issue 1
Start page 32
End page 61
Total pages 30
Place of publication Cambridge, United Kingdom
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract 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 ± 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.
Keyword Autism
Asperger syndrome
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 3 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 14:30:24 EST by Dr Jenny Ziviani on behalf of School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences