24 | Common Questions about Assistive Technology Devices and Services

24 | Common Questions about Assistive Technology Devices and Services

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  1. Should AT be CONSIDERED for all infants and toddlers with disabilities?

Yes, AT can promote a child’s participation in family activities and routines. Professionals should work with the child and his/her family to identify the activities and routines the child does or would like to do. Discuss how the child participates in activities and routines and what families feel children are learning. Often, AT can help children participate more fully in the activity/routine, or the activity itself may provide a context for learning. If an IFSP team considers the need for AT and determines that more information is needed, then an AT Assessment may need to be completed.

  1. Is AT required for all infants and toddlers who have an IFSP?

No, the decision regarding the need for AT must be made on an individual basis by the IFSP team.

  1. Who makes the decision if an infant or toddler needs assistive technology devices or services?

The IFSP team makes the decision based on assessment results. Decision-making is a team process that should reflect multidisciplinary involvement. The IFSP team should include the parent and persons with experience in providing AT devices and services. The team must include the resource coordinator and other team members as appropriate.

  1. What are critical components of an AT assessment?

An assistive technology assessment should be a systematic process to ensure that decisions regarding the selection of AT devices are based on information regarding the child’s abilities, needs, environments, activities, and routines. The AT assessment process includes a team approach, assessment of daily activities and routines, and is ongoing in nature. Although most AT assessments are not standardized, the assessment process should be replicable and use a framework for effective decision-making.

  1. What is the role of parents in the assessment process?

Parents provide information about the child’s developmental need, as well as their goals and outcomes. If parents believe their child would benefit from AT they should discuss this with other members of the IFSP team. Parents should request an assessment if they are unsure whether their child could benefit from AT, or to determine what type of AT would be most helpful.