Special Education/Technology for speech


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.
The idea in assistive tech seems vague & broad
No indication how to find an evaluator
Seems they all work in places for kids with severe disabilities
I don't know how to advocate.
I want so much to help my son and he does love computers!


You have asked a number of questions which I will answer:

Assistive Technology (AT) is for all students needing it, not just those who are non-verbal.

Your son needs to be evaluated by a speech and language pathologist (SLP) that has worked with students having communication challenges like your son's, and not an AT person. You should contact your school and explain what you need and ask them to find someone qualified to make the assessment. You can also contact local SLP's to see if you can find one that can help your son.

School districts have been burned by students with district iPads: used to search the wrong kinds of sites; used for personal things; stolen; broken, used for sexting. As a result they are very controlling over the use of their iPads. Some districts require parents to sign an agreement taking full responsibility for the iPad that their child brings home. If the parent does not sign, the iPad does not leave the school.

The software the schools buy and install on iPads comes with binding agreements in which the school district agrees to not allow copies of the software to be made unless they are paid for. Districts therefore do not allow copies to be made of the software. And backups are usually not allowed as well. (They may have a way to backup the data to a school district site.)

Districts don't want to allow the use of personal iPads at school for fear of misuse and liability.

I suggest you contact the person in charge of special education in your district and seek their help. Explain your situation (maybe show them this correspondence). What needs to be done is to have your son assessed by an SLP that has the knowledge and experiences to determine what he really needs.  

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Tim Runner


Questions concerning special education: IEP, assessments, Due Process, mediation, resolution conference, federal law, state law, qualifying for services, residential treatment, special day classes, resource specialists, procedures, having your child assessed, adaptive PE, speech & language, non-public school, FAPE, and tuition reimbursement.


I have been an education advocate representing students and parents for six years. My experience includes: representing my clients in IEPs, SSTs, Due Process, review assessment results for my clients, and mediations. I have represented clients with learning disabilities, autism, Downs Syndrome, cognitively challenged, emotional problems, learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, and physical disabilities. I have also represented clients to County Mental Health Departments and Regional Centers. My clients range from pre-school to college students in many states.

I have a degree in Mathematics from the University of California with minors in Psychology and Physics. I also studied applied statistics in psychology at the graduate level. I have taught college classes, conducted seminars, written articles for various publications, and testified as an expert witness.

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