Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Assistive Technology for Early Intervention (age zero through two)
- What is assistive technology(AT) for early intervention (age zero through two)?
- If I have questions, need help, or I know a child and family who I think could benefit from AT, what do I do?
- How do I find an AT early intervention consultant near me?
- What can I expect from an AT early intervention consultant?
- What is the AT loan bank?
- How can I access items from the AT loan bank?
- How do I know what items are available in the loan bank?
- How do I document AT services on an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP)?
- Who pays for the services of the early intervention consultant?
- If a child is waiting for Medicaid approval, do we need to wait to purchase AT that they may need?
- I’ve also heard of AT SWAAAC teams. What are those?
If I have questions, need help, or I know a child and family who I think could benefit from AT, what do I do?
Assistive Technology, or AT, refers to adapting a child’s environment in order to support his/her ability to participate actively in the home, childcare program, or other community settings. This may include the ability to play successfully with toys and other children, communicate needs and ideas, make choices, and move independently.
For young children, this often involves low tech adaptations such as helping a child to sit by building support into their highchair with towels, modifying their spoon by increasing the size of the handle, making a book easier to look at by putting spacers between the pages, or helping a child feel an object they cannot see by adding texture to the object. It can also include more sophisticated technology such as communication or mobility devices.
How do I find an early intervention AT consultant near me?
If your child is currently receiving early intervention services, your first step should be to discuss this with your service coordinator. You can also contact Assistive Technology Partners (303-315-1280) or Early Intervention Colorado (1-888-777-4041). There are early intervention consultants in communities throughout the state who have had specialized training in the use of AT for children under the age of three.
There are over fifty early intervention AT consultants in Colorado. If you don’t know who the early intervention AT consultant in your community is, visit the link to providers in your area. If you are unable to find someone in your area, please contact Brian Burne.
What is the AT loan bank?
The early intervention consultant has been trained in the use of AT for children age zero through two. Although they may not have expertise in all areas of AT, they can assist in brainstorming possible solutions and together together with the family and other early intervention team members explore modifications and accommodations to help a child, their family, and/or early intervention providers. They can also connect you with other resources for AT.
How can I access items from the AT loan bank?
AT consultants have the ability to borrow equipment from a statewide loan bank. The loan bank items can be borrowed for up to four weeks for trial with a child or for a provider to learn more about the equipment. Only AT consultants can borrow directly from the loan bank.
How do I know what items are available in the loan bank?
You should contact an AT consultant in your area and work with them to borrow equipment.
How do I document AT services on an IFSP?
Who pays for the services of the early intervention AT consultant?
The Assistive Technology services should be documented on the IFSP anytime the service is necessary to meet an outcome on an IFSP. The use of AT would be detailed in the strategies on the IFSP and the details of the service would be documented on the IFSP Agreement page. For detailed information on documenting AT on the IFSP, please refer to Documenting AT on the IFSP: A Quick Guide.
If a child is waiting for Medicaid approval, do we need to wait to purchase AT that they may need?
All available sources of funding for the service are considered, following the early intervention funding hierarchy as for any other early intervention service.
No, when families are applying for Medicaid, services cannot wait while you await approval. Once a service is documented as necessary on an IFSP, it must be provided within 28 days. If Medicaid is subsequently approved, the funding source used initially should be reimbursed if possible. It may be possible to obtain a loaned device for use while funding approval is in process.
The term SWAAAC stands for State Wide Assistive Technology Augmentative and Alternative Communication. The SWAAAC teams are assistive technology specialists in the public schools predominantly serving children from 3-21 years old. If you are working with a child in this age range who might benefit from assistive technology, contact the SWAAAC office at 303-315-1276 (1-800-255-3477) to be connected with someone in your area who can help. You can also learn more about SWAAAC at http://www.swaaac.com
If you think of a needed question or would like to contribute more questions and answers to this page, please contact coordinator Brian Burne with your suggestions.