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Assistive Technology for Dysgraphia: Low Tech & High Tech for Writing

Are you a tech person? Admittedly I am NOT! However, I have had such a fun time digging in to learn about tools that our clients can use to better access their education. So I thought I would share with you all as these tools will likely be helpful for YOU too!

But before diving in, let me preface this by saying - accommodations and tech do NOT replace remediation!! We are big believers in both remediation (so building up the lagging skills and foundations of writing) while using assistive technology to help a child access their education. It is all about balance and meeting the child where THEY are at.

You may hear some people say "by grade ___, kids should be given computers and give up on writing" but we STRONGLY disagree because:

1 - it is NEVER to late to remediate

2 - if a child has never received adequate writing instruction, you are doing a disservice

by skipping this critical component of literacy

3 - science supports writing as it improves retention, reading, and spelling

Hot topic... but now you know where we stand. AND we also FULLY SUPPORT access to education and allowing a child to utilize the appropriate accommodations to share their thoughts.

So, that leads to... when should we use Assistive Technology?

When a child is struggling with writing, peeling back the layers to understand the barriers is critical. While we are assessing and remediating, we also offer accommodations to help the child access education immediately, no matter the barriers. These accommodations can be low-tech, so easily accessible and inexpensive, or high-tech which we will learn more about below. The key is to make sure the accommodation matches the child's needs and strengths. Assistive technology is NOT a one size fits all approach. So just because a child might have a specific diagnosis (think dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD), does not technically mean they need a specific accommodation. It is individualized for EACH child, just like the remediation should be!

Low Tech Tools for Writing

Pencil Grips:

SO many options here, from the Writing Claw to the Egg Grip, just google 'pencil grips' and you'll see dozens of options. Finding the one that works best for your student is key, so we like the variety packs from Amazon. Achieving a more functional pencil grip helps decrease pain or discomfort with writing while also allowing for smoother and more controlled writing.

Adapted Pencils/Pens:

Weighted pencils and pens, erasable pens, shortened golf pencils, and broken crayons are a few of our favorite writing tools. Dry erase markers are also great. Again, trialing a few options to see what works for your student is key. One child may need a weighted pencil due to tremors, while another child might need a dry erase marker and board due to sensory concerns.


Placing the paper is an alternative position is a quick way to achieve better writing. Using a slant board or even taping paper to the wall gives the student better wrist positioning for more refined writing.

Adaptive Paper:

This is such an easy adaptation but one we sometimes don't think about. Switching their paper from basic lined notebook paper to an adaptive paper can make a world of difference in their writing. From double-lined paper, to 3-lined, to graph paper, to shaded or highlighted paper, there are many options available depending on your child's strengths and needs.

High Tech Tools for Writing

Speech to Text:

Tech that offers a student the option of speech to text is incredibly helpful for getting their ideas out and onto paper. The AudioPen app is newer and perfect for this, as well as most devices include software via Google/Apple/Microsoft that allows speech to text.

Tablet or Computer:

Use of a tablet/iPad/computer can be a basic accommodation allowing for a child to type rather than write. In addition, applications such as Snap Type, PhotoMath, and ModMath can be downloaded to tablets/laptops to increase accessibility to worksheets via keyboarding.

Editing or Word Prediction Software:

Many editing tools are already built in to typing programs, such as spellcheck. But Grammarly and Wordtune can be especially helpful for students who struggle with written expression.

Recording Devices:

From a basic audio recorders to use of a tool such as OtterAI, which translate audio to text, students can re-listen to their teacher's lessons as well as use these tools as speech to text devices.

(Note, these lists are not all encompassing, but just a glimpse of the tools that are available. There is new low and high tech tools coming out so frequently that it is a JOB to keep up with. But these are tools that we have either used, or that come highly recommended by others in the field).

What this looks like in schools

Most of these tools are free or inexpensive, which means accessibility in schools has never been easier. The key is communication with the teacher and the student to ensure everyone is on board. Likewise, it may be necessary to have these accommodations written into your child's 504 or IEP. Advocating for your child is critical to ensure the appropriate accommodation and use of assistive technology in the classroom is happening. Inclusion is the law at public schools, and often private schools are open to providing the above tools as well. Because when a child can access their education and demonstrate their true knowledge, their academic success and confidence will SHOW!

Do you want to learn more about remediation and accommodation? Reach out to or book a free consultation to ensure that your child is getting what they need in and out of school.



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