Top Four School Supplies for Students with Special Needs

Hello everyone, my name is Shelley Mathews and I am the Director of Education Sales at Dixon Ticonderoga Company.  The start of the new school year is an exciting and nervous time for all students. This is especially true for Students with Special Needs and their search for quality school supplies.

Shelley Mathews

Here at Dixon, we make it easy for students with special needs to use basic writing tools that are designed to help learn important skills and express creativity.  I’ve compiled a list of the Top Four School Supplies for Special Needs Students. While all of these supplies are perfect for anyone to use (teachers love our triangular shape pencils since they do not roll off the desk), each has characteristics that are ideal for those with special education needs.

  1. Tri-Write My First Ticonderoga or Tri-Write Laddie Pencils—these pencils are perfect for learning to write. Larger than traditional pencils, the Tri-Writes prevent grip slipping; the pencils’ triangular shape allows for a more natural grip. These characteristics create less frustration for students, parents and teachers! Best of all, as students progress, they can transition from the larger-sized My First Ticonderoga, to the intermediate-sized Laddie Tri-Write, and finally to the Tri-Conderoga when they feel ready for a standard-sized pencil that maintains the familiar and comfortable triangular shape.
  2. Prang Triangular Shaped Colored Pencils—like the Tri-Write pencils, these triangular-shaped colored pencils make learning and creative expression more enjoyable by promoting a more natural grip. The larger size (5.5mm compared to 3.3 mm) also allows for less grip slip as students exercise their imaginations.
  3. Prang Washable Markers—these markers have many qualities that are perfect for students with special needs. They have an extended cap-off life so when students (or adults) forget to put the cap back on, the markers don’t dry out immediately. The caps are white, and the barrels of the marker indicate the color, which may prevent meltdowns due to the wrong cap having been put on earlier. Lastly, the tips (or nibs) are made of finely woven fibers, which retain its shape when a student presses down really hard. You can actually see the tip regain its shape!
  4. Prang Color Wands– we have been told by Special Need teachers that our Color Wands are perfect for students with tactile challenges.  The Prang Color Wands have a richly vibrant color and smooth-as-silk applicability.  They are water-soluble so stains wash off easily.  The crayons are also encased in a plastic holder that allow for no messy hands. Students can apply a damp paint brush to the Color Wand drawing and create a great watercolor effect.

2 thoughts on “Top Four School Supplies for Students with Special Needs

  1. Rose-Stella Ahmed, OTR/L

    Thank you for these products!! I’m a pediatric occupational therapist that works in schools. I (and EVERY OT) always recommend using golf pencils or breaking your pencils in half (sorry!). The length of a regular pencil adds strain to little hands that are learning to grasp and write. As a result, we (OTs and teachers) are finding more and more kids establishing poor pencil grasps, and by 2nd grade struggling to keep up with handwriting assignments. In turn, they start to hate writing, lose their confidence, and their grades suffer :/

    All of this to ask, is there anyway you can produce short pencils for kids? And could you also produce short #1 pencils? A common trend is seeing little ones not having enough strength to apply enough pressure on the pencil, so I’ll use your #1 pencils. #1 pencils would also be huge for a lot of our kiddos in special ed.


    1. Rachel Fox

      Thanks for reaching out! We have pencils called Beginner pencils and My 1st pencils. Both are larger in diameter for children to practice their motor skills in the early stages of development. The pencils are 13/32 in diameter, and have latex free erasers. I hope this helps!


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