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E-ssential tips: A parent's guide to assistive technology

An overview of current technologies to help parents select the right tools for their children with learning problems.

By GreatSchools Staff

From audio books to classroom sound systems, many families have found that assistive technology (AT) can provide a crucial boost — to struggling students' academic performance and self-esteem. Need some guidance when it comes to choosing the best tools for your child with a learning disability? Learn more about AT and how to find the right fit for your child's needs and strengths with this collection of articles developed in collaboration with Marshall Raskind, Ph.D., an expert on assistive technology.

What's inside:

  • An overview of assistive technology — what it is and how it can help kids with learning disabilities bypass areas of difficulty.
  • A summary of how AT tools address various types of learning disabilities: listening, math, memory, organization, reading, and writing.
  • An article describing a research-based method for finding the right tools based on a child's needs, the tasks she struggles with, and the settings where she will use the technology.
  • A practical worksheet to guide you through the steps of matching AT tools to your child's learning issues.
  • Consumer tips for evaluating assistive technology products.
  • Recommended resources: Books, articles, and websites.

Download your E-ssential Guide to Assistive Technology  (21 pages), print, and go! (Note: You'll need the Adobe Reader/Acrobat Reader to download the files.)

Comments from readers

"I enjoyed the article and learned a lot. I would have liked for you to have links, however, for more information. For example, you talked about electronic worksheets for math, but did not link to a site for more info. That would have been helpful. "
"What good is all of the above if, the school districts do not receive additional funding for 'SECTION 504' you know the 'House bill 157' passed in 1985 and 'Rehabilitation Act of 1973' so ultimately its the school that decides which student need to be tested for LDP and whos child gets their '504'- how many parents know about-THE DYSLEXIA HANDBOOK aka,'BLUE BOOK',contact-Texas Ed. Agency Austin,Texas--'if the earlier the better, so why are students being tested at 3-4 grade level and in my district theres 1 therapist per 5 schools K-12 five days a week, nearly 13,000 students--how can he/she address those LDP student effectly? maybe theres where ADHD and ADD meds. comes in...P.S. A conventional teacher does not have the skills to teach LDP students so legally he or she can't diagnose or recommend LDP testing .. PSS.. 'UMBRELLA CLAUSE'... have you heard that phrase?..... "
"Most universities offer AT programs that are very supportive of a students disability. One great website is They have been very helpful in Georgia and have been one of key reasons my child will graduate from college. Good Luck. College has been so much better than public high school."
"My child has LD. We live in a Central American country, and he has had a lot of trouble in school because our schools are not aware of these problems, or the teachers do not know how to teach thsese children. Right now he is 17 years old and in 11th grade, he still has trouble learning, and I am afraid he could not make it for the US Universities. I would like your advise and recommendations. "