Undivided Resources
Parent Question
How will I know what kind of assistive technology my child needs?

How will I know what kind of assistive technology my child needs?

Published: Sep. 15, 2022Updated: Jan. 4, 2024

The IEP team will request an AT assessment if it decides one is necessary. This can be conducted by the school, an independent agency, or an individual consultant. The evaluation will help figure out which type of technology is best for your child. Dr. Elizabeth Pearly recommends that families start by getting their child assessed for services such as OT, PT, and speech-language pathology to identify areas of need and then requesting an assistive technology assessment to help fill in the gaps.

You should:

  • Involve your child in the process and see if they can “test drive” the technology first. Dr. Pearly recommends taking advantage of “any opportunity to trial things. A lot of software companies will let you do a 30-day trial, which can be helpful in making sure it’s a right fit in everyday life.”
  • Do your own research. If you feel the school isn’t up to date on what’s available, share what you know. Open Access, an open-source project created by a California SELPA, offers a fantastic (and frequently updated) database of resources for teachers and is intended to help IEP teams provide the assistive tech supports that students need.
  • Ask:
    • Does this tool address my child’s specific needs and challenges?
    • Is my child able and willing to use it?
    • How easy is it to use? Is there a simpler option?
    • Does it play to my child’s strengths?
    • Is it reliable?

For more information, check out our article Assistive Technology (AT) 101.

Join the Undivided Community to get more resources like this in your inbox


Promise Image
Each piece of content has been rigorously researched, edited, and vetted to bring you the latest and most up-to-date information. Learn more about our content and research process here.
A Navigator is your Partner at each turn
Every Undivided Navigator has years of experience supporting families raising kids with disabilities or parenting their own. Partner with an Undivided Navigator for a free Kickstart to learn first hand what support feels like!
Expert-driven content, guidance, and solutions.
Member events and office hours with real answers, plus access to our private parents' group.
Priority to begin a free Kickstart of the Undivided Support System with a dedicated Navigator.
“It’s so helpful to have one place that you can go to get many answers.”–Leeza Woodbury, with Navigator Kelly since 2020
*Currently offering Navigator Kickstarts to residents of California