Nicole's Nook Occupational Therapy

Nicole’s Nook: Handwriting Made Easier

Handwriting can be difficult, fatiguing, and frustrating for many children, especially in children with NF1. Often times it adversely affects their schoolwork and overall academic performance. While handwriting is a very functional skill, minimizing such fine motor demands can be a reasonable accommodation to increase productivity and success. The iPad features several options to ease handwriting struggles, many of which are even built into iOS8 and can be found in SETTINGS, GENERAL, KEYBOARDS.

  • Dictation:  As long as you are able to connect to Wi-Fi, you can dictate any time your keyboard comes up. Just hit the microphone key on the bottom left and start talking!
  • Predictive Text:  This is a word prediction feature that will minimize typing.
  • Auto Capitalization, Auto Correction and Enabling Caps Lock will also make for quicker typing and fewer keystrokes.
  • Shortcuts:  Create custom phrases by using abbreviations or acronyms to type the full phrase or sentence.

There are also a variety of apps out there that can benefit children who have a hard time with handwriting by encouraging them to work on skills such as directionality, letter formation and overall accuracy:

  • Handwriting Without Tears
  • Dexteria
  • iWrite Words
  • LetterSchool
    Dexteria iPad App

    Dexteria iPad App

  • abc PocketPhonics

Other apps can convert handwriting to more legible text:

  • MyScript Memo
  • MyScript Calculator
  • MyScript Smart Note
  • MyScript Stylus
  • MyScript MathPad
  • MyScript Stack
  • WritePad

So, while handwriting is a very important skill, it does not have to be a source of frustration, nor become a penalty in the classroom. Utilizing these features and apps can contribute to more efficient and productive students.
– Nicole Weckherlin, OTR/L