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My 11-year-old son was recently diagnosed with dysgraphia. We were given recommended accommodations to request for his school work, but it was also recommended that we buy a “speech-to-text” program to assist him with his school work. I’m drowning in a sea of software options and don’t know what would be best for him. Any suggestions?

Choosing a software program for your child can be a challenge. There are many programs available and it can be difficult to sift through the options and make the right decision. Unfortunately, every technology tool won’t work the same way for every child, so without knowing more details about your son’s needs for schoolwork, it is difficult to make a specific product recommendation.

Depending on your son’s needs, a word prediction program(opens in a new window) with simple voice recognition, such as WordQ and SpeakQ(opens in a new window) might be appropriate. Or he might need a more robust program specifically designed for voice recognition only, such as Dragon Naturally Speaking(opens in a new window), which would allow him to use voice recognition to send email, write documents, surf the internet and complete other computer tasks.

You can also find a variety of tools on the TechMatrix(opens in a new window) and compare features to find something that might best fit your son’s needs.

One of the best options for beginning your search is to talk to other users of voice recognition tools for dysgraphia. You should start with the assistive technology coordinator for your school or district. They can discuss your son’s specific academic needs and help you find an appropriate tool. Richard Wanderman, who has several learning disabilities including dysgraphia, wrote an article, How Computers Change the Writing Process for People with Learning Disabilities(opens in a new window), for his website about how he uses technology to help him write that you may find helpful.

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