I posted here recently about how our son, Bubby, age 9, who has Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified, ADHD, and apraxia of speech, is struggling significantly with handwriting. We had the annual IEP meeting in December, and we requested that he be permitted to use a keyboard or portable word processing device for assignments where handwriting is not being assessed and for longer written work. We would like him to continue to practice handwriting, but right now, every homework assignment requires writing, and it's a major point of resistance for us and for Bubby's autism behavioral aides who work with him in our home. Gosh, is this so unreasonable? I'm a college educator, and I can tell you that I only collect a tiny few assignments that are handwritten. The rest are submitted electronically. It would be so freeing for us to get through homework assignments without tears, frustration, and anxiety. Handwriting is a major issue. When Bubby was in kindergarten, he had not developed hand dominance. Fine motor skills have been behind all along. To make a long story a little shorter, only the Special Education teacher, the speech therapist, and the classroom teacher attended the IEP meeting in December. At the time, they agreed that Bubby struggles with handwriting. On Bubby's report card, he received an "N" for "Needs Improvement" in his handwriting, and below it stated "lack of effort". Whatever! Of course, he hates it because it is overwhelmingly difficult for him, and then he refuses to cooperate. The Special Education teacher wrote "check on word processor" in the assistive technology area of the IEP. We never received a copy of the IEP after the meeting, and we didn't actually see what was written in the IEP until we requested a copy recently. The school never had checked on a word processor as promised, until we followed up about it recently. We were told that the Special Education teacher, classroom teacher, Occupational Therapist (OT), and autism therapist decided amongst themselves that Bubby does not need to use a word processor and that he is writing beautifully now. We have not seen any such thing from his assignments. It is also infuriating to me that the Occupational Therapist (OT) and autism specialist couldn't be bothered to attend the annual IEP meeting this past December, but now have such strong opinions as to what Bubby does/does not need. Never mind the fact that the autism specialist hasn't visited the classroom, classroom teacher, or observed Noah in 1 1/2 years. Of course, now that we requested another meeting about this, the autism specialist is busy gathering evidence that Bubby does not need a word processor or keyboard. She spent a short time observing Bubby with his behavioral aide after school, took a few notes, and disappeared, at which point Bubby had a meltdown and refused to do any more writing. The autism specialist did not see that part. The Occupational Therapist (OT) doesn't want Bubby to receive any Occupational Therapist (OT) any more. He is only getting 30 minutes per week. We think he should be getting Occupational Therapist (OT) for his sensory and fine motor skill issues. The people who are supposed to be our support in the school system are doing the exact opposite. I'm dreading the meeting this week. We are bringing our in-home counselor/autism specialist to the meeting with us. She says that Bubby has a lot of anxiety about doing handwriting and that he is easily overwhelmed with is sensitivities. This all causes him to go into vapor lock, during which time he is unable to learn or respond appropriately. I hope that she will benefit our position. Bottom line - we just can't keep going through the homework drama. Handwriting is a big part of it. Unfortunately, the school is apathetic about doing anything to help the situation. Our life is exhausting already, and the nightly battles are too much. It's detrimental for our family life, for sure. We would like to ask that Bubby be allowed to use a word processor for his spelling sentences and at home to reduce the frustration and effort required to get through these types of assignments. We support that he continues to work on penmanship for penmanship assessments. Do you have any thoughts about how we should approach this upcoming meeting? With four school personnel, and just my hubby and me, with our family counselor, we're outnumbered from the start. How is it possible to "prove" that Bubby needs this - that we need it too? Why is it so hard to get even a minor accommodation? I don't understand. The school's position will certainly be that Bubby doesn't need the assistive technology. I sense that they don't want to bother with the extra effort to provide him with it.