Software Programs for Kids Who Struggle With Writing
The Understood Team
writing challenges often struggle to express their thoughts in written form. The physical act of writing can be difficult for them, too.
There’s a range of
assistive technology software that can help, however. These software programs help kids to create legible text, organize their thoughts, make word choices, spell words correctly, and catch some of the errors they make while writing. Most of them offer several tools that help with writing, such as:
Dictation (voice-to-text) to type out what a child says
(This set of tools can be used with Microsoft OneNote, Word, Outlook, and the Edge browser.)
With the TTS:
With the Immersive Reader, one of the learning tools, kids can listen to text read aloud in several Microsoft applications. Words are highlighted as they are read aloud, making it easier for kids to proofread and edit.
Microsoft Word also has a basic “Read Aloud” feature that highlights and speaks text.
With the dictation:
There’s a helpful dictation tool in Microsoft OneNote, Word, and Outlook. Kids with writing issues can use this tool to speak words, instead of typing them.
With the spellcheck and grammar checker:
Microsoft applications have a spelling and grammar editor with built-in read-aloud technology.
With the picture dictionary:
When kids click on a word within the Immersive Reader, they can hear the word read aloud and see a picture of what it means. This is in addition to the standard dictionary and thesaurus tools already in Microsoft Word.
Read&Write (formerly called Read&Write Gold): $145/year (Mac or Windows)
Talking and picture dictionary
With the verb checker:
Kids can use the program’s verb checker to figure out the right tense of a verb.
With the talking and picture dictionary:
Kids can hear definitions of words read aloud with TTS. They can also see images of those words to help them understand the meanings.
In addition to the spellcheck, the “Sounds Like and Confusable Words” tool lets kids check documents for mistakes involving words that sound alike but are spelled differently.
The program also has several tools to help with reading issues.