Assistive Technology for Students with Dysgraphia

Instructor: Elizabeth Diehl

Elizabeth studied to be a special education teacher at Regis University, and received her masters in 2014.

There are all kinds of strategies to help students with dysgraphia. Let's explore dysgraphia, and learn some assistive technology options available to help students with this learning disability succeed in the classroom.

Students with Dysgraphia

For a student with dysgraphia, translating the ideas in their mind into written language is difficult. Dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects how the student forms letters, plans his writing and even affects spelling skills. Teachers of students with dysgraphia need to be mindful of how writing can be difficult for the student physically. Students are slowed down by the time it takes to individually form letters, and might easily get their thoughts jumbled. There are some very helpful assistive technologies available that can help a student with dysgraphia access information and show what he knows. Assistive technology can be anything that a student uses to help the student access education. Let's investigate some strategies for helping a student with dysgraphia access learning with assistive technology, as there are several high-tech and low-tech options.

Consult First

An excellent first step would be to review the student's IEP for detailed information on his diagnosis and learning goals. A student with dysgraphia has specialists in the school who can help guide his access to education, such as the special education teacher and the occupational therapist. This team of specialists determine what kind of assistive technology would benefit the student and then list it on the IEP. The specialists can help you understand the student's unique experiences with dysgraphia.

High Tech Options

Let's now look at some of the higher technology options for assistive technology out there.

For many students with dysgraphia, using computers helps them access education.
student using a laptop

Word Processing

For many students, having regular access to word processing systems during writing times can be very helpful. Encourage students to learn keyboarding skills, as this will improve their speed when typing and makes this tool even easier to use. There are many options available for keyboarding, so check with the school technologist for what is available for your classroom.

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