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Dysgraphia and Writing

My son has been diagnosed with dyslexia, dysgraphia, and ADD. He cannot write a story because his printing cannot be understood. What do I do about his printing? How do I get him interested in the writing process?

Students with dysgraphia often experience significant success using assistive technology. There are some great tools to help these children express their ideas without getting blocked by their writing difficulties. Please visit our sister site LDOnline.org for material on adaptive technology.

Speech-to-Text Software

What’s your perspective on speech-to-text software?

For some students with writing challenges, the thought is, “Oh my goodness, if you’re having difficulties with spelling, why not just talk to your computer?” The challenge with talking to your computer is the computer literally writes down word for word, and sound for sound on what you say. Now, six years ago, to be able to train a voice recognition program, it took about six hours to train at around an 80% accuracy rate. So if I dictated 100 words, 80% or 80 of those 100 words would be recognized properly.

Typing Skills for Students Who Struggle with Writing

What would you do with a child who really struggles to get words down on a page?

Unfortunately, we still need to teach them how to type. Typing is still an essential component of that student’s life, and spending 15 minutes a day, five days a week for about four to six months is a really, really important skill for them to learn. Once they can type at about 35 words per minute, that’s enough speed so that they don’t have to look for the keys on the board anymore; they’re touch typing. And that allows them to take advantage of word prediction, and to use their word processor as their main form of getting their ideas down in writing.