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Back to School Software

It's back to school time and whether students are back in-person or learning at home, many parents and student are thinking about assistive technology software that can help their writing needs. Here is a recap of a few of our favorite options:


Google Docs Voice Typing - Completely free, this is a must-have for many students with dysgraphia. Go to docs.google.com, open a new document and choose "Voice Typing" off the Tools menu or hit Control-Shift-S. Using voice-to-text allows students to get their thoughts out 'on paper' without the stress of writing them down and then they can edit from there. (Make sure to get some earbuds with a microphone to use with it.)


Grammarly - A great add-on to Google Docs, Grammarly has a free plan that works well for many students but that can also be upgraded to a paid plan with more features. Once the thoughts are on the document, Grammarly will help students identify not only spelling mistakes, but also grammar and punctuation errors. You can install it as a plug in to your Google Chrome browser. Grammarly can also be indispensable for adults in the workplace and if you upgrade it also helps with word choice, tone, and clarity of writing.


Touch-type Read and Spell (TTRS) - For assistive technology, typing is important! There are a lot of typing programs out there (Note: typingclub.com is a popular free one) but our current favorite is TTRS. TTRS teaches typing using an Orton-Gillingham based phonics approach that will also strengthen spelling skills at the same time. Even better, the lessons are extremely short (think 2 minutes) so even those with attention deficit issues can handle a lesson or two a day. (Note: you can use our link and coupon code 10PC for 20% off)


Co:Writer - This is a program that can often be offered by a school system after assistive technology evaluation, but you can also buy an individual or parent/student account. Co:Writer writes alongside of you and suggests words you might be looking for, even when the original spelling is not correct.



What about math? Some choices depend on the student's level.


Times Tales - Struggling with multiplication tables? Times Tales is for you. It uses stories to teach the more difficult times tables. Admittedly, they are a little silly and hokey. However, we tested it with a 10 year old, 5th grade boy who had been working on times tables for two years and in a half hour saw marked improvement. His report, "This is dumb and I hate it... but it is helping."


Mod Math - ModMath is a free app that allows you to line up and solve math problems on graph paper right on your device. It was designed specifically for people with learning disabilities and can help lessen the amount of writing and keep math problems organized. It now also supports Algebra!


We have also heard good things about Efofex from parents who have students in more advanced math, but haven't tested that one ourselves yet. It may be an option to check out.


Remember that many of these resources can be added as accommodations to 504 and IEP/ARD plans.


Along with all of these software suggestions, also check out our regular resources on our Resources page for more back to school ideas. Have a great school year!


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Please note that Dysgraphia Life is an affiliate and earns percentages of qualifying purchases from partners including Amazon, TTRS, Grammarly, and Times Tales. However, we only recommend products that we feel could truly help members of our community.

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