Assistive Technology

child in an assistive chair device

Assistive technology is any type of device that makes it easier for a child with a disability to perform a physiological function that might otherwise be difficult or impossible. Our Assistive Technology Program supports children with a variety of communication, learning, and mobility needs.

Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington


1600 Rockland Road
Wilmington, DE 19803
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Phone: (302) 651-5850

 
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What to Bring
  • photo ID
  • medical and pharmacy insurance cards
  • preferred pharmacy name and phone number
  • names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
  • guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
New Patients

Bring these forms for your first appointment:

Returning Patients
 
Forms & Resources
New Patient Forms
Returning Patient Forms
Resources for Patients & Families

Our Assistive Technology team at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children is made up of experts from several fields, including:
  • speech and language pathology
  • physical therapy
  • occupational therapy
  • rehabilitation engineering services (specialists who use the principles of engineering to design or adapt assistive devices)

Teamwork is essential in this process, and we actively seek to build a strong collaboration among children, parents and family members, community-based therapists and teachers, and our clinic staff. Together, we can facilitate your child’s most effective use of his or her skills and technologies in every setting.

When Your Child Needs an Assistive Device

We provide evaluations and recommendations for children with a variety of communication, learning, and mobility needs.

 
Communication, Learning, and Mobility Assistive Devices

We offer complete specialized assessments, as well as individual therapy and training, consultation with your child’s other therapists and educators, and assistance with the set-up and customization of any assistive technology aids.

Although the majority of services are conducted on an outpatient basis at duPont Hospital for Children, we also provide on-site services in schools and other facilities when needed. Our goal is to supplement, not replace, your child’s natural speech and writing to the greatest extent possible.

 
Computer-Assisted Writing & Learning

Children who have cerebral palsy, fine motor and visual-motor impairments, learning disabilities, auditory processing disorders, Asperger syndrome, and other disorders may all benefit from computer-assisted writing and learning.

A computer access evaluation examines your child's language, reading, spelling, and communication skills along with his or her visual, motor positioning, and mobility functions.

Evaluations include vital hands-on trials of equipment. Our goal is to determine if assistive technology is required, and if so, which specific products may help to functionally improve your child’s literacy skills and support his or her learning.

 
Augmentative Communication for Communication Challenges

Augmentative communication evaluation can help children with profound communication challenges. Skilled examiners observe your child's speech, language, and communication skills as well as any visual, motor, positioning, and mobility difficulties that may influence his or her ability to communicate.

There are also many different types of communication systems:

  • unaided systems (word approximations, gestures, and sign language)
  • low-tech devices (picture communication books and displays, picture schedules, and manual language signs)
  • high-tech devices (speech-generating devices)

Our evaluation includes considering and trying out a range of assistive devices that aid communication. Commercially available augmentative communication devices and supplementary assistive technology can be found for children of all ages, disabilities, and cognitive levels.

 
Follow-Up Services

Nemours offers a variety of services to complete evaluations in order to help children, parents, and community-based therapists and educators implement recommendations from our evaluations.

Follow-up services include:
  • assistance with procuring funding for speech-generating devices (this includes providing additional documentation if families wish to appeal initial denials of coverage through health insurance plans)
  • outpatient therapy in our clinic with individualized treatment plans and family education
  • assistance and instruction with set-up and customization of a child’s assistive device or specialized computer software
  • consultation and in-service training programs for school and family teams in which we provide proven techniques for integrating augmentative communication and assistive technology into your child’s curriculum and learning experiences, functional activities, and day-to-day family life

Our Wheelchair Clinic

The Wheelchair Clinic offers a team approach to the evaluation and recommendation of seating and mobility equipment for children from birth to age 18. Our professionals are experts in helping find the solution that best fits your child’s needs. One of our main goals is to promote independence and better functioning within the home, school, and community environments.

Our team includes:
  • a rehabilitation engineer
  • a physical therapist
  • an occupational therapist
  • a rehab technician
  • the wheelchair vendor

Families are invited to bring along anyone involved in the care of their child, especially their child’s physical and occupational therapists.

What you can expect at an appointment with us:
  • a thorough evaluation of your child’s mobility and positioning needs
  • recommendations for the most appropriate equipment to meet those needs
  • collaboration with your orthopedic surgeon or pediatric psychiatrist
  • documentation that will be provided to the vendor and submitted to your insurance company for the authorization of the recommended equipment
  • assistance with insurance appeals, if necessary
  • the fitting of your child’s wheelchair and seating system upon delivery to assure that the recommended equipment is providing the expected outcome

Additional services include pressure mapping, custom molded seating, trials of various power seating systems, and trials of alternative drive controls. Supplemental assistive technologies may also be recommended.