More than fourteen years ago, I went to work for an incredibly talented educator by the name of Dr. Ian Spence at the Ben Bronz Academy in West Hartford, CT. Ben Bronz specializes in giving bright students with learning disabilities the study skills they need to succeed in the real world. Ian had found in several decades of research, that children with learning disabilities like ADD, ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome, Dyslexia, even some forms of Autism, were not incapable of learning in a mainstream environment, they just needed to “learn how to learn.”
Dr. Spence built the school around an approach to learning called fluencies. A fluency is basically a timed exercise, repeated over and over again until the skill becomes second nature. Think of an athlete. Hitting a baseball, throwing a football, or kicking a soccer ball is effortless… a result of repeated practice. They perform basic skills naturally, without thinking.
Now apply it to a learning disabled child. If you can teach them a skill like touch typing where they don’t have to think about how hard to hold their pencil when they take notes, how to shape their letters correctly, or whether their writing is neat enough to be read, they can focus on the important stuff… learning!
For the past 3 1/2 years I have been selling this fluency-based learn to type computer program for children ages 8 to 14. It’s the only program of its kind anywhere. It’s called Keyboard Classroom. Check it out!