Handwriting Problem Solutions
Solutions for Kids with Written Output Disorders
Pin it

About Us
We began as Special Educators consulting and teaching in multiple Michigan school districts. We specialize in Assistive Technology assessment and classroom implementation of appropriate "handwriting solutions" for students, K-12, who have educationally significant difficulty completing their written schoolwork with paper and pencil. For 18+ years we have been highly successful in increasing students' academic independence and self-esteem by teaching them both “Low-Tech” and “High-Tech” solutions which allow students to complete finished written products as similar to those of their classmates as possible. Many students complete all of their written schoolwork without the use of paper and pencil - even advanced math and science! Students who previously relied on others to write for them often no longer need this type of assistance! The students we work with have low-average to above-average intelligence with a variety of disabilities such as:

Physical Impairments
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy
  • Missing, shortened, malformed limbs and/or digits
  • Paralysis
  • Hemiplegia
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Non-specified Hand Tremors
  • Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Tourette's Syndrome
  • Arthrogryposis
  • Friedrich's Ataxia
  • Spina Bifida
  • Dyspraxia/Developmental Coordination Disorder
Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Asperger's Syndrome
  • High-Functioning Autism
  • Autism
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder Otherwise Non-Specified
Learning Disabilities
  • Dysgraphia (difficulty with the motoric act of handwriting)
  • Dyslexia
  • Dysgraphia
Dysgraphia of Unknown Cause

We have become increasingly aware that many school districts are not knowledgeable in the area of assistive technology for students with written output disorders. Yet students with educationally significant handwriting problems are everywhere! Although these problems are easily identified, the area of handwriting problems and their effective solutions is often not appropriately addressed for special needs kids in both inclusive and self-contained classrooms. Many teachers and other professionals feel that kids who exhibit signs and symptoms of Dysgraphia, or those that have been officially diagnosed, just need to continue to practice handwriting skills and re-do their written assignments to eventually improve their handwriting. This rarely, if ever, is successful – and these kids often lose precious academic time and are put at great risk for future academic/emotional/behavioral failure due to the fact that they cannot complete finished written products independently similar to those of their peers. While Occupational Therapy and Vision Therapy can sometimes help to improve the written letters and words of these students in isolation and for very short sentences/assignments, their handwriting often continues to "fall apart" when they are asked to complete actual class assignments and homework. Some kids can become clinically depressed and develop very low self-esteem. Many times, these kids are allowed to do reduced assignments, use a scribe to write for them and/or give oral answers. We always say that these things should only, in most cases, be used as a "bridge" to appropriate technological "handwriting solutions." Without the use of technology for completing written assignments, students with Section 504 Plans and IEPs cannot access their Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) – with "Appropriate" being the key word. Kids with educationally significant handwriting challenges have the right to complete their written schoolwork as independently as possible - just like most other students.

This is how Handwriting Problem Solutions was born – in order to bring the "GOOD NEWS" to those who may have need of it, that 99% of all written schoolwork can now be easily completed using "Low-Tech" and "High-Tech" equipment and software/apps!

Our Philosophy
Our philosophy is simple. We believe it is very important to “level the playing field” in the classroom as quickly as possible for students, K-12, with educationally significant handwriting challenges/Dysgraphia through teaching them our easy, quick method of typing and how to use the latest “best practice” assistive technology (AT) for written assignment completion. It is now possible for these students to easily complete ALL the same assignments as their peers without the use of paper and pencil – including things such as worksheets, math and advanced math and science! There is also now AT that can give amazing immediate “spelling relief” to students who are poor spellers. The latest research shows that this AT helps to make students better spellers over time as well! Based on our 18+ years “hands on” experience working with over 1,000 students with signs and symptoms, or a diagnosis of Dysgraphia, these students are at great risk for future academic, emotional and/or behavioral failure if they are not taught to use “best practice” AT as early as possible in their school careers...

Many of these students have serious handwriting challenges/Dysgraphia related to Physical Impairments, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), ADD/ADHD and Learning Disabilities and the latest research shows that these challenges often cannot be significantly improved through practice – no matter what handwriting therapies are tried. We are aware that there are many different programs that you can find online and elsewhere that claim to help to improve the typing, spelling and/or handwriting skills of these students over time. While these programs may work for some students, they are often quite expensive, take months or years to complete, and the ultimate results for students with the abovementioned types of disabilities are unknown, at best. Many parents have contacted us over the years with their stories of having spent hundreds/thousands of dollars over many years on programs that have not worked well to help significantly improve their child’s typing, spelling and handwriting. They often come to us when their children are in middle or high school when they are already experiencing poor grades and emotional and/or behavioral problems. It is our mission to prevent this from happening to any more students. Assistive technology software, apps and extensions for schoolwork completion are now, in most cases, very cost effective. In many cases in the US, school districts are obligated to provide the AT a child needs, if the handwriting challenges are considered to be educationally significant by the child’s educational team through a Section 504 Plan (General Education), an Individualized Education Plan (Special Education) or an Individualized Service Plan (Private School - with exception of a parochial school not receiving any type of public funding).

The 3 things that we believe should be considered in deciding if a student should be using AT for schoolwork completion are LEGIBILITY, TIMELINESS and STRESS. If one of these is a significant issue, the use of AT should be taught. It is important to know that the use of AT for schoolwork completion is often not about abandoning handwriting skills altogether. Some students can do things like fill-in-the-blank worksheets or very short written compositions or math assignments with a pencil and then do the rest of their work using AT.

So, our “bottom line” is that you PLEASE do not let precious academic time be lost ONLY pursuing programs that take many months/years to yield any possible results. Our method of quick and easy typing and the use of AT can be learned very quickly by most students and they can be “up and running” in the classroom using AT to complete the same assignments as their peers, in the same timeframe, often in 8 weeks or less! You can certainly pursue other programs if you wish but, in the meantime, we highly recommend that you give the student a way to do their work using AT. Once again, this is so precious academic time is not lost and emotional and behavioral problems related to these students watching their peers in the classroom easily do what they struggle to do on a daily basis do not arise.

Our methods of typing, the devices, software, apps and extensions that we recommend students use for assignment completion - as well as implementation ideas for the classroom - are included in both editions of our Resource Guides, available on this website. Please click on the “Resource Guide” tab for information about our general Resource Guide and click on the “Resource Guide for Kids with ASD” tab for information about our Resource Guide specifically designed for kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Please contact us with any questions you may have by clicking on our “Contact Us” tab and we will be happy to respond. Thanks!