Resources for Parents
This content is provided so that those with writing difficulties and their loved ones find products that may help them. Please note that Dysgraphia Life is an Amazon Associate and earns from qualifying purchases.
One of our favorite resources for kids with dysgraphia is spacing paper:
RediSpace paper is very close to regular notebook paper but has small marks for letter placement to help keep letters, punctuation, and spaces even and organized. (One parent reports sending some of this paper to her child's teacher and the teacher photocopying it for use all year because it helped the child's writing so much!)
Abilations HiWrite paper has a highlighted lower line to help with proper letter positioning. This paper is available for different levels of learners, including Beginner 1 (grade 1), Beginner 2 (grades 1-2), Intermediate 1 (grade 2), and Intermediate 2 (grades 2-3).
Channie's Quick and Neat Writing Pad is another popular option with grid boxes to help guide letter formation and spacing lines for legibility.
Simple graph paper (here with a larger 1/2 inch rule) can also be an excellent tool. One example is math problems where the boxes can help keep all the numbers lined up when regrouping.
For some kids with handwriting issues, it can help to build up hand strength.
Therapy putty can be an excellent resource for building hand and fine motor strength. (Have kids squeeze and create, or hide little toys in it and have them dig the toys out.) Theraputty is one brand recommended by OTs and Crazy's Aaron's Thinking Putty is always popular with kids due to it's many colors, themes, and even scents.
Depending on the age of your child, games that build hand strength and fine motor skills can also be appropriate - such as those that involve picking things up with tweezers. It's geared towards preschoolers, but one favorite is Sneaky, Snacky, Squirrel! For older kids, mazes are a great activity for fine motor skills.
For some kids, pencil grips or slant boards can make writing easier.
Learning how to properly form letters is important for writing success.
There are curricula designed to teach handwriting using recommended multi-sensory approaches. One excellent one is the Handwriting Without Tears program, which has different books for different grade levels and resources for both print and cursive. With a little effort, your child will learn how to form their "magic C" letters properly and that can set them on a good path forward.
Also see our blog about the importance of learning cursive for kids with writing difficulties!
Multi-sensory approaches incorporating touch and movement are highly recommended for teaching writing and reading to kids with dysgraphia.
Try putting regular paper on top of sandpaper while writing with crayons or colored pencils for a more tactile feel. For younger kids, you can also buy sandpaper letters to help teach proper letter formation with a sensory element.
You can also have kids write letters or words with their fingers in course sand. Our very favorite two-color sand comes from the Institute for Multi-Sensory Education but you can also easily purchase regular or colored sand other places.
Kids with dysgraphia often benefit from early technology interventions. Typing can ease the difficulties of handwriting. Spelling, grammar, and talk-to-text programs can help with word-formation and composition. Consider getting a technology assessment as part of school-based accomodations.
Teach typing skills early using one of many free typing programs found online. A large lettered, easy-to-read color coded keyboard can help make learning to type a little easier.
Many older kids benefit from talk-to-text assistance. You can buy kid-friendly headsets for laptops, iPads, or Android tablets that can help with talk-to-text.