Special Education/Tech Eval


Hi. My 8 1/2 yr old boy has aspberger and sli.
His speech impairment is significant.
He understands well but talks poorly himself.
He loves software.
He had an assistive tech Eval but it was done
By people who deal with nonverbal kids
The woman said it's not her area of expertise, speech
It doesn't seem legitimate to me.
They gave me an ipad on loan
All we do is use it for notes during his day
Inside an app I can't back up
I do 90% of the notes
There's no other software for him
I want to provide my own ipad for many reasons
They said if I do it's my own risk which seems silly
I would think they could insure it same as their own
I cannot find an assistive tech evaluator.
I tried
How can I assure this was done properly
If the evaluator is unfamiliar with speech software doesn't that
Make it silly?
I don't think assistive tech means only those machines for
Kids who can't talk at all.
How can I rebut that this wasn't done properly?
How can I make an argument that if I provide my own ipad
So I can backup data that they insure it
To me it seems like a favor on my part
It's in his IEP to get an iPad loan so I'm
Freeing up an iPad for them.  
Lastly, if I find good software myself is there a way I can
Seek reimbursement if I float it by them and they say no
Previously an administrator told me to float suggestions but now
The new one takes the position like there's no speech software for
Talking kids.
I really really need help here if you are knowledgable.
My district is one of wealthiest in state but I think they are being really cheap with my son.
I don't know how to advocate.
I want so much to help my son and he does love computers!

Hello, Beth,  Thank you for writing to me.  I understand your frustration.  If a child needs devices and services to receive a free appropriate public education, the school should provide the training for you at home and can send it back and forth from home to school.  You could back it up at home if you wish.  If you know that your son needs certain applications or programs, you will need to advocate in a way that makes it clear these are needed for him to progress and access the curriculum.  Your son loving computers is a different issue than whether he NEEDS the technology to receive a free appropriate public education.  If it is in the IEP, then the goals and accommodations should list how he should use these , and why. As a side note, the longer you do the notes for your son, the more the school will not be responsible or teach him how.  Does he have goals in the IEP for this?  If not, I would suggest you work with the team to add goals for notetaking using technology.  That way, there should be a service connected with that specialized instruction.   

Here is what the federal regulations say about assistive technology:


Here is the definition:

Here is a nice article summarizing:

Also, you could request an Independent Education Evaluation at public expense in this area, if you disagree with the public evaluation.  This means that, if the district agrees, it would have to pay for the second opinion.  See the law here:

You will need to be prepared that the school may file a request for a hearing to uphold the evaluation it conducted.  If that occurs, you can either withdraw the request or you can prepare for a hearing (which I would only advise if you have an attorney).

I don't know if this group is appropriate or close to you, but there are organizations that will provide an evaluation:

Lastly, here is a nice article by a NY professor on LDonline:

I hope I have given you some resources to assist you in advocating for your exceptional child's education.  I am happy to answer a follow up!  Thank you again for writing to me!

Special Education

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Michelle R. Davis, M. Ed.


I can answer questions about disability definitions and criteria for services, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004, No Child Left Behind, 504 plans, how to craft an IEP that drives the appropriate services, school placement, dispute options, and least restrictive environment. I worked in the public school system as a special educator and am now in private consulting practice where we assist parents as they navigate the special education process. I have expertise in all educational disabilities except blind/visual impairments and deaf/hard of hearing. This includes ADHD and other health impairments, medical conditions, dyslexia and learning disabilities, Autism, emotional disabilities, language processing problems, and interfering behaviors.


10 years as special educator and administrator in public school system; Director of ABCs for Life Success since 1998; Expert services such as analysis and testimony; Author: Special Needs Advocacy Resource Book: What you can do now to advocate for your exceptional child's education; Special Needs Advocacy Training Institute; internet radio show Teach Your Children Well: Hot Topics in Education; author School Success for Kids with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders released March 2010 (Prufrock Press).

Masters in Special Education with Emphasis on Inclusive Education (Johns Hopkins University); B.S.in Special Education (James Madison University); Conduct training for Universities, public and private schools, parent groups. Adjunct professor current George Washington University and prior George Mason University.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.