Writing Software and Gadgets
Portable word processors are lightweight devices that look like a computer keyboard with a screen. They can be helpful to ADHD children who have trouble with handwriting. These battery-powered machines can be brought to school for note-taking and writing assignments. At home, files can be transferred to a PC or Mac. Some portable word processors come pre-loaded with word prediction and text-to-speech software.
Products to consider: AlphaSmart Writer Learning Neo (renlearn.com), Fusion (writerlearning.com), and QuickPad (quickpad.com).
Speech-recognition programs allow a student to read aloud into a microphone and see his words appear on a computer screen. The software is especially helpful for students whose oral language skills are superior to their writing skills.
Products to consider: Dragon NaturallySpeaking (nuance.com), Simply Speaking (simplyspeakinginc.com), ViaVoice (nuance.com), and MacSpeech (macspeech.com).
Word-prediction software “predicts” the word the user intends to type, expanding his vocabulary and improving written expression. These programs can assist attention deficit students in producing grammatically correct and topic-specific sentences and paragraphs on a word processor.
Products to consider: Aurora Suite (aurora-systems.com), Co:Writer (donjohnston.com), EZ Keys (words-plus.com), and WordQ (wordq.com).
By Kristin Stanberry and Marshall H. Raskind, Ph.D., GreatSchools.net staff. This piece is reprinted with permission from greatschools.net, Copyright 2009.
NOTE: Product names, models, prices, and specifications were current as of print. Please leave a comment below if you are aware of more accurate and up-to-date information.