Getting a laptop

OK just got back from my 11 yr old's triennial IEP review. He's in middle school now, they redid all the assessments. his IQ is sky high lol, he's got the mental capacity to do anything. the big problems are spelling, organization, innattention, and his dysgraphia. the way they have it now, he has an alphasmart, but his work keeps getting deleted, and they only have 1 cable he can download his stuff from it on, in the library across campus from his classes. and the only time he can download and print is during instructional time. the sped teacher and the counselor have both been trying to get the district to give him a laptop to use because that's the only way he can really do what he needs to without messing anything else up, and trying to go to the library during the most chaotic library time would cause even more chaos and disorganization to a kid who's already struggling to manage. but the district keeps saying no. so they told ME to call the Sped Director and advocate for a laptop. do i go about twisting arms to get him one? he's only in 6th grade and it's going to get a whole lot worse for him if he doesn't have one. any ideas? :blush:


This is my personal opinion rather than based on specific law--which requires "aids and accommodations"--but is not very helpful in situations such as this one.

I do not know what age/academic level an "alphasmart" is target toward. However, it seems obvious that by middle school, children use word processing programs. My kids' school used some "junior" program that was on the middle school intranet that was really a pain. So I just had them start using "WORD" at home because that is the program on the h.s. intranet. The reason I mention this is because it is important to start with the expectation for "general ed" students when making a case for accommodations for academically able students.

Of course my kids did not have any need for an Alphasmart because their handwriting was fine; your child needed an alphasmart and sometime, he is going to need a word processor. ALL kids need to keyboard--it's just a question of when. That is the expectation for gen. ed.

Therefore, the line of argument I would use is that your middle schooler has "outgrown" his alphasmart (if this is true) and that he definitely needs a laptop to do work that is commensurate with his ability levels.

IF you get this accommodation, the lap top also can come home but you may not need this if your son can use a jump drive on their lap top. The school would probably be more willing if the lap top stayed at school.

It is weird to me to place all this emphasis on kids making academic progress and then not supply the tools they need.



New Member
I just want to insert a strnge observation e had here with alphasmar and middle school.
My son had an alphasmart thru elem school, and when he began middle school this yar, hey were reluctant o give him one. hen the finally did, it was a MUCH older model than a elem school and did not work near as well, and yes, there was nowhere for him to print out his work
I found it a lil strange that while our elem and mid school are same district, the elem school seemd more able to provide such aids?