Touch, Type, Read and Spell (TTRS), is a multi-sensory computer based learning course for people with reading, writing and spelling difficulties, dyslexia or other learning differences.
The program was developed in the United Kingdom in 1992 as a way to develop literacy skills, confidence, self-esteem and motivation in those struggling with their reading and writing skills.
It is a language re-education program geared to dyslexic students and learners with specific learning disabilities or reading struggles.
This means that you don't have to be dyslexic to benefit from this program. If dyslexia is not diagnosed early, the child gets grouped into a general 'learning difficulties' area where the child is not being properly assisted.
Unfortunately some children are wrongly tagged as having an ADHD; the child can't focus or CAPD, which is a central auditory processing disorder; the child is not hearing things properly and therefore is not fully understanding what is intended.
The most difficult challenge faced in helping families is that even when properly diagnosed, dyslexia can be a very difficult condition to work with and overcome.
Dyslexia simply means having trouble with words. These words can be spoken, words written, words anything that has to do with language.
The other issue you face is that no two dyslexics, just like no two people, are the same in how it manifests itself. Like all conditions, it can be anywhere from mild to severe.
It is easy to package and dismiss the condition as a child who struggles to read, and then the teachers are left to help the child struggle through their issues.
Unfortunately, it's not that simple dyslexia affects more than just their ability to hear a word, spell, read. Some students are very skilled in other areas e.g. maths, but when it comes to word issues, they have terrible issue.
They get identified as having special needs and therefore they can access certain services through the school system, but although, throughout this process the child is 'supported' by the school system, it does not necessarily teach the child to read.
Failing to teach a child to read is something that will rob individuals and the wider community, of a brilliant future.
To be a successful, functioning adult in this modern world, the child has to be able to read. If you don't diagnose dyslexia for what it is, you deny that child the opportunity to learn to read and if you can teach a child to read, you have given them the world.
As with the general population, Dyslexic children possess good intelligence, some are even above average intelligence but dyslexia can also bring other strengths. Some of those strengths are wonderful visual, spatial abilities, the ability to see or think outside the box.
They can be very are artistic, creative, athletic, analytical. The bottom line is we have no idea the kind of world this will be in five, 10, 15, 20 years, but we are suppose to be educating our children for it.
Now if we aren't accommodating the ones who are struggling, the very ones who have that ability to think outside the box, to come up with solutions, to see things in a different way, we are doing our world, our generation, our society, a disservice by pushing them aside and making them think that because they can't read well, they are stupid and not wanted on the voyage.
Convincing a person with dyslexia that they aren't stupid is something that takes time because quite often they have been surrounded by frustration on many fronts but it is something that needs to be done.
The TTRS program claims to do more than give individuals good keyboarding skills. Using the multi-sensory approach, TTRS is said to work because it makes things simple for the dyslexic learner. Anything that makes things simpler must be good, right.
TTRS claim that your fingers are trained to go where the letters are. So as you think the words, the fingers automatically know where to go; they know how to spell the word; you remove that fear of spelling the word correctly and whether they can get their thoughts out.
The argument goes, that if you train them to think, and type the way they think, they have more success in getting their thoughts on paper.
User of this sytem claim that it is geared to the dyslexic learner, it lays everything out in a very specific order. So without them realising it, they are learning to read, and spell, while building their keyboard skills and their speed.
Well, you need to try it for yourself. If it is so simple and it is such a great keyboarding program, then it should help children and students who struggle to read.
Let me know how you find this system and I am always interested to hear your comments. For more information on TTRS, also visit www.ttrs.co.uk.