Friday, November 27, 2009

From Recipes to Rockets: AAC - Part 2

The process of funding a device, the SLP report, Medicaid applications, etc. can be daunting for some. Put on top of that, the time invested in the trials and matching an appropriate device, and you can be sure that when you see the device in a student's hands it is time for celebration.
I shared in Part 1, how we developed activities to get a middle-school boy using a Dynavox V.
We were discouraged after all our work, having Medicaid deny our claim. I have to say that all through this, the Dynavox team in Pittsburgh held our hand and the area consultant kept us in the loop as they did detective work to find what we needed to fix and re-submit our request for funding. Finally the word came back about August that we didn't do 2 things: the diagnosis for the student had a code number that had a .0 after it - we had not put it down. For example, 2145 would not be good enough. It HAD to be 2145.0! Then, for some reason, the screener of the claim wanted to not only see that there was an AT specilaist (me) overseeing the initial implementation and training, but they wanted the NAME of the AT specilaist in the description.
Past experience on everyone's part never showed that this had been necessary before - but - OK, we re-submitted and waited...
September came and went, October came and went, and then the first of November - at last! The device was approved and would be shipped out. We were ready to go down the next road, which is the set up and implementation piece.
I got a call this week from the family - they had the device and were SO excited. They wanted to know when I could come to help them get it set up. I drove over and met with them for a couple of hours and we built the student's user profile. I showed them how to edit buttons and some beginning strategies to get it up and going. Dad took a picture on his phone of his son with the device to send to the SLP that had done all the hard work of getting this boy this device (He had been transferred to new students in a new community in our region and would no longer be working with this student).
It was so exciting to leave the family with a device up and running so they could help their son express himself with his new voice for Thanksgiving break. I drove away with that great feeling that you get when you know you are in a career with some great rewards that are truly the non-financial and intangible kind. I was truly thankful.
I have another student waiting for his new device as well in another town. His didn't get denied, but we have been puzzle-piecing the funding from various sources and it has also come together in the past week or so - and he will be getting his for Christmas!
All the best to you!


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K said...

How simply gorgeous for these kids to have a professional who takes such an interest in them - wish we had someone like you here
What do you think about the I-Phone App

Lon said...

I love the iPhone app Proloque, I have several others that I have experimented with. I would love to get an iTouch and put it on to trial with students that need that extra support but not a full blown device.

Kathy said...

This is great news. I know exactly how this family feels. We trialed a device for 30 days and are now jumping through the MA loops. We are very anxious for our apraxic son to get his new voice(Dynavox Xpress). As a parent who looks to SLP for services and support, "thank you" for all that you do.

Lon said...

Thanks Kathy,
I hope everything comes together for your son. Thanks for the encouragement.