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Monday, March 17, 2014

Apps to Help Students With Dysgraphia and Writing Difficulties

From NCLD.org
The National Center for Learning Disabilities

By Darla Hatton and Kaila Hatton
March 16, 2014

Technology can be a great tool for students (and adults!) who have learning disabilities like dysgraphia or dyslexia that affect their written expression. We’ve personally reviewed these mobile apps and we know they’re LD-friendly. They can make the writing process a bit easier and even fun!

Not every app will be a “perfect fit” for everyone who has LD, but with a little testing, you can figure out which one works best for your child or teen’s individual needs. 
This speech-to-text app has been praised for its top-notch, accurate voice recognition that makes everything from texting a friend to transcriptions easier. 

From the same makers of Dragon Dictation, Dragon Go! simplifies the process of communicating with a device through voice recognition. 

An award-winning app, Evernote helps you stay organized through, among other features, voice-recorded notes. 
Pages is a word processor for Apple mobile devices. It syncs with iCloud, comes with a choice of 16 templates, and allows for color, font and texture customization. 
This high-quality recording app is helpful for teens, college students, and adults when taking notes at meetings, lectures or interviews. It allows for simultaneous recording and typing or handwritten notes. 
Create customized abbreviation shortcuts with TextExpander to help write faster without worrying about spelling errors. 
Typ-O HD does more than just predict words. This intuitive technology understands how you misspell words and can work through even the most challenging typos. 
Brevity remembers the frequency of the words you use, so that you can abbreviate them and compose text in record time. 

WritePad allows you to compose a document with your own handwriting—using shorthand that works best for you. Side beneift: It may help students improve their handwriting out of the sheer desire to have the computer recognize the letters. 
Is the backpack getting too heavy? Students can upload digital notes they’ve taken in class directly to their iPhone or iPad with the Pencast Player. Livescribe technology and notebook is required for this app to work. 
Get details on how to make the most of this respected dictionary’s mobile app here: How to Make the Most of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary App
Dexteria offers therapeutic hand exercises (not games) that improve fine motor skills and handwriting readiness in children.

Save friends from the castle of the “grammar dragon” by correctly answering grammar questions in this kinesthetic learning game.

Young children can play with language in the colorful world of the handwriting app iWriteWords. 
This app introduces prepositions to elementary school-aged children. It helps students learn the correct usage of prepositions and how they can change the meaning of a sentence. 
Sentence Builder helps elementary school-aged children learn how to build sentences with proper grammar. 

StoryBuilder helps to accomplish three key educational goals, including improving higher level abstractions. Audio clips are used extensively throughout the app. 
This award-winning app provides an entire year of spelling curriculum, including phonics lessons and lists divided by spelling patterns. 
Conveniently, this basic spell-check app doesn’t require WiFi to function for you or your child. 
If typing on a mobile device is difficult for you or your child, TapTyping can help through, among other features, its unique heat map that shows where the majority of errors are occuring. 

You and/or your child can create eye-popping, professional iBooks with the help of Book Creator. 
You don’t need reading skills to create talking photo albums and books with Pictello's easy-to-use, visual story-building features. 
StoryKit offers a number of interactive tools to create a personalized, electronic storybook. 
This app is great for self-expression. Use photos and videos to create your own story, and then import it into iPhoto.

Does it get more fun than creating your own cartoons? Simply press “record,” move the characters onscreen, and tell the story. It helps students learn to write by breaking the writing process into manageable pieces.

Note: All of these mobile apps were researched and/or tested by our mother-daughter team in December, 2012 on Apple products like the iPhone and iPad. New editions may change the nature of an app, making it less LD-friendly. “New” may not mean “better” for you. Also, our recommendations don’t include complimentary apps that require you to buy a full version of a program.

1 comment:

  1. I think you can also add Ghotit, Co:Writer and iWordq to this great list