How to get my son's High School to impliment assistive technology to support him with his homework - FamilyEducation
How to get my son's High School to impliment assistive technology to support him with his homework
03/08/2009 at 01:54 AM

Hello Everyone I am new here. I am having a big problem with getting the highschool to support my son with assistive technology at home with his homework. If anyone has an idea on what I can do to get this taken care of for him I would love it. It took me two years to get them to give him AT during school and because they said that the computers that they put some programs on at school are there for him (neither which are portable so he can't use them while the class is going on) and the grades have come up it doesn't look like he needs the Laptop that I asked for with the programs installed on it. My concern is that they dropped the ball on his decoding issues since he has had an IEP in the third grade and now he is in the 10 grade and not able to reach his potential with out AT. They have said that they will put a computer in a third location that he will have access to (still not portable) and he can always use his lunch. It is evident that he needs the AT and if they are going to be sending homework home with him that will require AT then he won't be able to do it. Does anyone have any ideas on how to get a portable laptop through the school supplied to my son?


The simplest solution would be for you to buy the program to use on your home computer. Another option would be for you to contact your school district's foundation (fundraising affiliate) and either donate it yourself (which would give you the tax write-off) or find some other entity (like your business)to buy it. The advantage if you just buy it yourself is that your son would still have access to it after he graduates from high school, whether he needs it for college or vocational training. I know it's not exactly the same, but I needed glasses as a child, and until I started driving I did not need them anywhere but school. My parents bought my glasses. It put a big dent in the family budget. We wore used clothing and ate lots of Legumes and Pasta (that's rich people talk for beans and macaroni). Another option is to hire a lawyer and bring a lawsuit against your school. Then you can pay your lawyer and they can pay their lawyer and your son won't get the help he needs, and the funds will be diverted from all the children's educations into the legal system. I don't think much of this option. I am curious, could you describe the assistave technology and how it helps your son?

I agree with you that going the lawyer route is not an option for me or my son. I have no problem with getting the programs if I have to. I was hoping to exhaust all of my efforts in getting the school to provide a laptop to use during school, classes and homework. My advocate can't really understand why this is as much of an issue for the school to supply. I work in the district that my son's attend and see a laptop being provided for kids all the time. I finally got them to implement AT in the school after a 2 year struggle. But they still expect him to do homework that requires him to decode, retain, write etc...... I was told that he will have time in every class that a paper is needing to be done to go to the areas where a computer is that has the programs on it. My concern is that it may not happen and if he starts a paper how is he going to be able to get it finished. Or even be able to utilize it during class when note taking. Obviously if I have to put princables aside to get this implemented I will do that. Just looking for different perspectives. The program he is using is SOLO. He was using CoWriter, Read and Write Gold and Inspiration. Any and all advice is great. Thanks Carmen

Maybe you could consider the notion that part of what your son is learning is to prioritize. That while he has access to the programs at school, he must use that time to work on those projects that require the AT.

I don't understand why other kids are getting laptops supplied to them by the school, but your son can't get one. Have you spoken to the parents of these other kids? Maybe they can give you some advice on how they got laptops for their children. If this doesn't work, I'd find out what your son's exact rights are based on his needs, and see why others are getting laptops and your son is not. I think pushing this argument w/ the school, and maybe just the threat of a lawyer, might get the school motivated to do something. Good luck. Last yr it was an option for us to put our son in public school. He too has an IEP, and he's presently in a spec ed school. I told the school that he needs an aide. They told me aides are only offered to kids w/ more severe disabilities. We then said no to the PS and kept him at his private school. My son's IEP is up for review again, and for this coming school yr, the PS is suddenly offering an aide for my son. Now we're gonna see. Put your foot down, and stand your ground. Be willing to negotiate as well.