Monday, March 16, 2015

6 Apps that help with Dysgraphia

Has anyone told you that you or your child has bad handwriting? You may have Dysgraphia. When he was younger,my son , would scream and cry when asked to hold any type of writing utensil. It didn't matter what it was, he could not hold it. We tried rubber grips to give it a different texture, we tried fat crayons and pencils,  we tried gloves on his hands. You name it we tried it. Nothing worked. It took two long years of trying before he would finally pick up a pencil or a crayon and draw something. 

Students with Dysgraphia

Once he started writing , I was beyond excited for him. He had trouble with some letters but he could write them and as legibly as you can for a first grader. He could write sentences that I could read. Granted sometimes his words ran together and he would forget a space but it was legible and readable. 
Fast forward 3 years, he is now in the 4th grade and can not get what he wants to say on paper. It all comes out in squiggles. He even slows down and does one word at a time it still is just squiggles. You can not distinguish what letters he was even writing to even decipher what he just wrote. 

Apps for Dysgraphia

  What is Dysgraphia?

 Dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects a person's writing skills. It can show itself as problems with spelling, poor handwriting and trouble putting thoughts on paper. These students need specific accommodations in the classroom and extra practice at home to master writing assignments in school. Just having bad handwriting doesn't mean a person has Dysgraphia. Since Dysgraphia is a processing disorder, problems can change over time. 

Signs and Symptoms

  • Tight, awkward pencil grip and body position
  • Messy and indecipherable handwriting
  • Avoiding writing or drawing activities
  • Tires quickly while writing
  • Saying each word out loud while writing
  • unfinished or omitted words in their sentences
  • Difficulty with sentence structure and grammar
  • Large gap between written ideas and understanding what was written through speech

Because of his disability we fought long and hard to get him some help in school. The first step was requesting assistive technology for him in writing. Once the school and the county agreed that he needed help they sent someone to show him how to use the programs they use. And evaluate which tech would be a good fit for him. 

There's an App for that!!

Using that same technology at home can be very expensive and since we don't qualify for assistive technology at home yet we had to figure out other ways to help him with his homework, writing assignments, and projects. I thought I'd share a few here for you. 

SnapType for OT -  works with  iPhone and iPad it allows the student to take a picture of their homework sheet, save it, tap where the answers need to go and type out the answers and finally email it to the teacher or have mom and dad print it out. The Pro Upgrade is $2.99

Dragon - is a talk to text program for your computer (there is also an app for both the iPhone and Android). It's surprisingly accurate and easy to use. I personally have used the app for my phone. We are working on ordering the program for him to use on his computer.  This is perfect for writing assignments, book reports, projects and much more. And it happens to be on sale for $74.99 on their site. 

PaperDesk - Works on the iPad and requires IOS 8.0 or higher. This app allows you to write or type notes. They also have a record feature. And you can also take a picture of diagrams or notes. This probably would be more for older kids (middle school and up).   This one costs $3.99.  

Echo- is compatible with Windows and Mac. It can record everything you write, hear, or say and save it to your computer. This pen runs about $119.00 for 2GB. 

Notability - is like Paper Desk and allows you to record, take pictures and type your notes. Again this one is for older kids (middle school and up). This one is $2.99 and works only with the iPhone and iPad and requires an IOS of 7.0 or later. 

EverNote - Can also allow older students to type their notes from class rather than writing them. It is compatible with both the iPhone,iPad, and Android. And can be used online for just $5.00/month.  This one is free for your phones but has in app purchases ranging from $4.99-$44.99. 

If you have not yet qualified for assistive technology for your child ask for a note taker or scribe to make sure your child gets the notes and homework written down every day so they can read them. It will make for a less frustrating year for all of you! 

Do you know of any apps that can help students with Dysgraphia? I would love to hear from you! 


  1. We are actually having my little man evaluated for this later this week. I will definitely check out some of these apps!

    1. Hope one of these will help. Another really cool one is Mod Math. You might want to check that out!

  2. I had no idea this even existed! Wow! I'm so glad there are apps that can help though.

  3. These are great resources for parents and kids affected by dysgraphia. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I've never heard of Dysgraphia but I love that there are apps to help! This is great info.

  5. Some of these apps will come in handy when my daughter gets a little older. She is non-verbal and has motor control issues. We are working on her learning to type right now.

    1. we are looking for online typing class for our kids. If you have any suggestions I'd love to hear them!

  6. There really is an app for everything! That's great that there are apps that can help, though. My oldest son hates writing. I don't think he has dysgraphia, he just wishes he could type everything instead.

  7. I've never heard of this before, but what a blessing that there's help out there for it. I'm going to remember this!

  8. Oh wow, I'm glad there is an app to help. I'm going to share this info

  9. Thank you for this post it was very informative. My daughter has bad handwriting I would be curious to have her try out the Apps.

    1. I'd love to hear how it goes Avry!

  10. My son striggles with writing. I'm going to have him check these apps out.

  11. Anonymous10:31 PM

    Snap type is awesome- I have used it with my son who has dysgraphia and plan on using it with my first and second grade students next year.


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