Dr. Tracy Gray is an expert at LDOnline, “The world’s leading website on learning disabilities and ADHD”. He not long ago was asked in her Ask the Expert section of this website about assistive technologies to meet the needs of students with dysgraphia. He believes that dysgraphia can affect writing performance in a number of ways. He admits that it is difficult to recommend products without knowing the individual’s specific needs. However, no matter the learning disability we are dealing with, there are several “assistive technology” tools that have proved to work and expedite writing skills. These tools usually have centered on:
- Word prediction tools can support spelling or word choice
- Voice recognition programs allow a user to dictate writing to the computer and then edit and make corrections via voice or keyboard
- Spell and grammar checkers are commonly used to support word processing
- Concept mapping and outlining tools can support organization and brainstorming
- Reference manager tools can support and organize research organization
They are helpful with spelling, punctuation, grammar and usage. Some of these AT tools may work or may not for you/your child. Here is a list of the recommended technology by LGOnline:
1. AlphasMart 3000.
- Portable, Battery Powered, Word Processor
- Compatible with PC and MAC
- Infrared capability enable cableless transfer
- Full 80-key keyboard with function keys
- 128 KB of memory
- Enables Children to Write Whatever They Can Say. [Age 6 - 8]
- Combines a strong phonics approach with writing and typing skills.
- Write animated stories while building skills in phonics, reading, and keyboarding.
- Includes 57 sound games with more than 200 words with accompanying pictures.
- Supports the five-step writing process
- Bilingual text-to-speech capability empowers ESL learners
- Provides opportunity to integrate written and spoken language with illustrations
- Develops story-sequencing & story telling skills
- Encourages students to personalize their stories and share writing with an audience
- Improved Accuracy: Dragon 12 delivers up to a 20% improvement in out-of-box accuracy compared to Dragon 11.
- If you use Dragon on a computer with multi-core processors and more than 4 GB of RAM, Dragon 12 automatically selects the BestMatch V speech model for you when you create your user profile in order to deliver faster performance
- Better performance: Dragon 12 boosts performance by delivering easier correction and editing options, and giving you more control over your command preferences, letting you get things done faster than ever before.
- Smart Format Rules: Dragon now reaches out to you to adapt upon detecting your format corrections – abbreviations, numbers, and more – so your dictated text looks the way you want it to every time
- More Natural Text-to-Speech Voice: Dragon 12?s natural-sounding Text-To-Speech reads editable text-with fast-forward, rewind and speed and volume control-for easy proofing and multi-tasking
5. Kidspiration 3.
- Math View with 5 visual math tools develop students’ number sense, spatial reasoning and conceptual understanding of the four basic operations.
- 3000+ symbols offer visual support for concepts taught in the K-5 curriculum.
- Symbol search makes it easy to find the right picture, image or symbol to express thoughts and ideas.
- Word Guide –a combination dictionary and thesaurus–builds students’ vocabulary and reading comprehension.
- Kidspiration offers more support for ELL and ESL students with the Kidspiration Word Guide, expanded searchable symbol library and enhanced audio capacity.
- Customized training for improving typing speed and accuracy
- 150+ self-paced lessons; 10 fun arcade-style typing games
- Download to a Palm OS handheld device for practicing on the go
- Track progress with detailed feedback and performance analysis
- Bonus training CD with practical tips and hints within Microsoft Word included