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Pediatric Assistive Technology

The Rehab Technology Center provides assistive technology services to children, which includes augmentative communications, computer access, electronic aids to daily living, and independent living services.

Evaluations are focused on the patient, the family, and the caregivers. Specially trained therapists and technicians consider all of the patient’s medical and functional needs. We use trial situations along with demonstration equipment to ensure recommendations meet the unique needs of each patient.

Pediatric Augmentative Communication

Pediatric and adolescent patients who have a limited ability to communicate or interact may benefit from an augmentative communication device. Augmentative communication is a system, other than writing, that allows an individual to make thoughts and needs known. These systems range from low technology, such as custom-made picture boards, to high technology, such as computer-based systems. Speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists help the patient, family, school staff, and others determine how to best meet each individual’s communication needs.

Augmentative communication services include: evaluations and documentation of need; equipment trials; insurance prior authorization and funding source assistance; and equipment setup, training, and customization.

Computer Access for Children with Physical Disabilities

Computer access may help those with physical disabilities who use, or could benefit from, computers or technology devices for completing personal or educational tasks. Computer access can help with memory and planning skills, improve personal efficiency, enhance writing skills, compensate for vision limitations, and enable persons using wheelchairs to access computer work stations.

To begin, a computer evaluation is completed to identify specific technology solutions or modifications that will enhance lost or limited physical, cognitive, or visual skills. A computer or computer-related device (palm devices, digital recorders, screen readers, among others) can offer significant functional gains for many patients. Staff will also handle insurance authorization or help with identifying funding sources then coordinate the equipment purchase. Knowledgeable engineering and therapy staff will customize the equipment, as needed, deliver and set up the equipment, and train the patient in its use.

Electronic Aids to Daily Living (EADL) for Kids

Children or teens with mobility impairments, limited hand function or fine motor skills, and teens concerned with safety when left alone and requiring a reliable means to call for assistance may find EADLs helpful to everyday living. EADLs are devices that allow pediatric patients enhanced personal independence in their home, school, and work environments. Devices include emergency call devices, door opening systems, sip/puff or switch-operated telephones, remote-control lights or fans, and remote-control audio systems. These devices may operate by infrared signals, radio frequency, Wi-Fi, or voice control.

Rehab Technology staff will complete an evaluation, assist with equipment trials at Mary Free Bed or in the child's home; handle insurance authorization or identify funding sources; coordinate the equipment purchase; customize and set up the equipment; and train the patient in its use.

Contact the Rehab Technology Center at Mary Free Bed

For more information about assistive technology for kids, or to make a referral for pediatric assistive technology, please contact the Rehab Technology Center:

616.242.0342 or 800.211.4813


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