It's that time of year! You may have bought all of the required school supplies on your school's list, but what else might be helpful to support your dysgraphic student? Check out some of our favorite back to school resources for dysgraphia for the upcoming school year.
Note: Dysgraphia Life is an affiliate of Amazon, TTRS, and Grammarly and may earn a small percentage on purchases made through our site, at no cost to you. We still only recommend products that we feel will be helpful to our community.
For Writing Learning Goals
Released in 2023, Dysgraphia Life's own Dysgraphia IEPs book helps you understand the process of writing learning goals in written expression. It provides many examples of goals and accommodations by age and type of writing challenge. Available in paperback or on Kindle.
Spacing paper has been our top-ordered resource for many years in a row. For later elementary and up, we love the Redispace filler paper that looks similar to regular loose leaf paper. Channie's handwriting paper is popular for younger elementary students working on capitalization and lowercase spacing.
You can couple the paper with pencil grips! While everyone has a different personal preference, these grips from Mr. Pen are popular (and they also make cute owl grips) as well as these from The Pencil Grip Store.
For Handwritten Notes for Older Students (High School/College age)
It may be unusual for us to recommend a notebook but in this case, that notebook is electronically connected. It can help you keep organized when integrating any required handwritten notes with all of your pictures, talk-to-text, and other digital files. Rocketbook notebooks allow your calendar or notes to sync electronically into organized folders with your other relevant files. Plus, reusable pages allow for as much or as little writing per page as you prefer and they work with FriXion pens - the erasable version is popular with many dysgraphic writers.
Creating a Homework Space
Think about your specific student - what helps them function best? Do they need support for motor skills or sensory issues while they work? Create a homework space with tools that will help them succeed. Here are some ideas:
Slant Board - can help ease pain and discomfort while writing
Wobble Stool - for students with ADHD who may need to move while focusing
Headphones with a Microphone - to support talk-to-text applications
Checklist and/or Reward Chart - help them stay on task and track success!
There are a number of popular software packages and apps that can help make your student's life easier. Here are a few to consider:
Assistive Technology - Talk to text is now being added for free into many programs (look for the Voice Typing function on Google Docs and Dictate in Microsoft Word). Additional word prediction software such as Co:Writer can also be helpful.
SnapType app - useful for completing worksheets on an iPad or other device
Spell check and Grammarly provide guidance for misspelled words, capitalization, and grammar errors, while showing students where they could improve their writing.
Typing - Learning to type is a critical skill. We love Touch-Type Read and Spell (TTRS) because it has short lessons and reinforces Orton-Gillingham based spelling at the same time.
AI Tools - Many students with dysgraphia are aided by a scribe. Now Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered transcription of recorded audio files can be a huge help. Check out transcription tools such as Otter.ai Wondering about ChatGPT? It may not be allowed in your school, but check out our blog piece on the pros and cons of using it and other AI-writing assistants here.
And Don't Forget
And, finally, a tween with dysgraphia helped us with this piece and he pointed out that another school essential is "a bunch of good erasers!"
We hope all the students, parents, and teachers in our community have a great 2023-24 school year! Email us at email@example.com if you have recommendations that are not on the list that we should share in the future or have any questions.