Assistive Technologies and Augmentative Devices

therapist assisting patient with a computerized system

Sometimes kids with a disability or disorder need extra assistance to achieve greater independence. This help can come through assistive, adaptive or rehabilitative devices.

At The Children’s Institute, we are experts at finding the right device for each child or even, at times, inventing our own.

The right device, the right people, the right place

At The Children’s Institute, our therapists know how to help a child reach his or her full potential through the use of assistive technology, whether it’s a wheelchair, walker, or a computerized system.

Our team of physical, occupational and speech/language therapists, rehabilitation engineers and adaptive equipment specialists work together to identify, find and then train each child and family on the device that best matches their abilities and needs. By collaborating with the family and local vendor, we find the best, most cost effective solution for everyone.

Assistive technology can:

  • Prevent or decrease the onset of chronic pain
  • Assist in the prevention of orthopedic deformity, respiratory compromise and decubitus ulcers
  • Decrease need for attendant care and hospitalization
  • Enhance self-esteem and self-initiative
  • Enhance cognition, visual perception and motor skills

Our assistive technology includes but is not limited to:

  • Mobility and assistive devices
  • Power and manual wheelchairs
  • Augmentative communication devices
  • Strollers 
  • Car seats
  • Standers

Finding the right solution for your home

Through our Environmental Assessment and Control service, an occupational therapist and a rehabilitation engineer will come to your home to discuss assistive devices and how they can enhance your child’s independence and safety. They’ll make high and low tech recommendations, and they’ll help you determine the equipment and modifications that will help you best care for your child.

Helping you get the equipment you need

Working with vendors, our clinicians can help you find the equipment that will meet both the child’s and the family’s needs. Should you need it, customized adaptive equipment and seating may also be made specifically for the patient by a fabrication specialist.

Augmentative Communication: Helping children express themselves

For children who are functionally non-verbal, our speech and language pathologists offer innovative, practical solutions. Working with the family and the child, we offer evaluations that discuss:

  • Available communication technology 
  • Non-technological forms of communication 
  • Environmental control technology 
  • Seating and positioning related to communication abilities 
  • Strategies and tools to use for improved communication in daily activities

Augmentative Communication treatment may include:
  • Discussion and hands-on experience 
  • Activities designed for practicing various communication methods 
  • Sessions held on site for outpatients and their families 
  • Sign language

For more information about the Assistive Technology Program, please call 412-420-2363

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