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What is Assistive Technology (AT)?
The mission of The HSC Pediatric Center's AT team is to maximize the functional independence of children with disabilities through the use of technology. AT enables children with disabilities to communicate, learn, play, interact, access, and control their environment.
Who is on the AT Team at The HSC Pediatric Center?
The AT team works with children and their families to identify technologies that best suit their way of living; including home, school and community needs. Depending on these needs, the team may consist of two or more of the following professionals: Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, Speech-Language Pathologist, Education and Recreational Therapist. Many of our team members are certified as Assistive Technology Professionals.
What services does the AT Team provide?
- Evaluations (may include any or all of the follow)
- Seating and Positioning – We evaluate your child and improve seating and positioning for greater comfort and functional access.
- Power Mobility – We match your child with the most functional power mobility for his/her needs.
- Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) – We match your child’s skills with the best communication device to maximize his/her functional communication.
- Switch Access Assessment – We determine the optimal site(s) and type of switch that will permit your child’s access to a range of devices.
- Electronic Aids to Daily Living – We assess and determine the best-suited EADL to enable your child to have more independent access in his/her environment.
- Computer Access – We determine appropriate devices and software for access to communication, learning and fun.
- Recreation – We find alternative ways for children to play using low-tech and high-tech means.
- Communication Training – In order to identify the most appropriate communication system, our team offers training sessions with clinicians who specialize in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and AT. Clients are referred for training sessions after potential for using a communication is identified in a team evaluation and occur once a week for up to 8 weeks. During the training sessions clients are provided with the opportunity to experiment with various access methods and communications systems (low and high tech devices). At the conclusion of the training the team, client, and family determine what communication system or recommendations are appropriate for the client. If it is determined that the client is ready for a communication device, the team initiates the ordering process.
- Power Mobility Training – If a client exhibits potential for learning to use power mobility as the result of a team evaluation, he/she will be referred for Power Mobility Training. These training sessions are designed to allow the client the opportunity to experiment with various access methods while seated in his/her personal seating system through the assistance of a power wheelchair simulator. Through the training sessions the team is able to determine if the client has the skills to safely and independently utilize power mobility. The sessions occur once a week for up to 8 weeks. At the conclusion of the training sessions the team, client, and family determine what power mobility device or recommendations are appropriate for the client. If it is determined that the client is ready for power mobility, then the child is referred to HSC’s Orthotics, Prosthetics, and Equipment Department (OPED) with the recommendations.
- Client and Family Training – We train your child and family to use, program and maintain devices.
- Follow-up Services – We provide follow-up support services and guidance in obtaining recommended technology.
- Collaboration – In order to ensure that continuity of care and successful implementation, our team is happy to collaborate with your child’s treatment and/or school team.
How are our children served?
The AT team in several ways can serve children. They may be seen during their inpatient stay or return for a full team assessment through our outpatient assessment center.
Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA)
For more information, please call Assistive Technology at 202-635-4489
To schedule an appointment for Assistive Technology, simply call The HSC Pediatric Center AT Scheduler at 202-635-6167. You should have your insurance information available as the Scheduler will do a short intake interview.
The scheduling department will assist in obtaining insurance authorization for the appointment. Once the order and the authorization are received, you will be provided with an appointment.