Pediatric Assistive Technology Center

Helping Children with Special Needs
Through Technology and Team-Based Care

Our Assistive Technology Center has the multispecialty team and innovative technologies to help patients with special needs communicate and build independence. 

Located in the Children's Medical Office Building at Scottish Rite, the center works with patients, birth to age 21, with a variety of chronic conditions, including:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Autism and related disorders
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Speech difficulties
  • Spina bifida
  • Muscular dystrophy

Innovative Solutions for Each Child

After evaluating each patient as a team, we determine which form of technology will best meet his specific needs. As the patient grows, we stay connected with him and aid in adjusting his equipment.

We bring our expertise to the patient by teaming up with community therapists, rehab technology suppliers and various other specialties across the entire Children's system.

If the patient has a unique need that requires additional support, our team comes together to find a solution that works for both him and his family. This includes connecting patients and families with vendors and funding to help them get the resources and equipment they need.


Our team includes pediatric-trained speech-language pathologists, physical therapists and occupational therapists. Each has years of experience in helping young patients use and grow with various forms of assistive technology.


    Rehab locationsOur primary location is in the Children's Medical Office Building (at Scottish Rite hospital).


    Call 404-785-3718 for more information about our center or scheduling an appointment.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is an augmentative communication device?

      An augmentative communication device is any kind of equipment that provides a voice for patients who are either nonverbal or low verbal. They are a way to supplement or provide speech.

  • Will an augmentative communication device keep my child from talking?

      No. The use of a device only helps children to speak more who have the ability to speak. There are several reasons why:

      - Typically, the better a child becomes at communicating, the more they communicate in general.  We often hear children speak more as they learn to use an augmentative communication device.

      - The visual input of symbols helps them think of what they want to say in addition to providing them a way to say it.

      - The overexposure of targeted words may assist a child in knowing how to say it.

  • Are there prerequisites to using an augmentative communication device?

      There are no prerequisites; anyone can start learning to communicate using alternative means. However, not everyone is ready for a device. A communication device should meet a child's communication needs somewhere for the next three to five years, depending on many different factors. 

      We look at many different features of a device prior to recommending purchase. We also look at if a child has had therapy or not. If no one has taught him anything, they may first need to learn some symbols or how to communicate using a device. In this case we may provide a plan of care first. This is the plan that will assist in moving them forward in the area of communication.

  • How is a device funded?

      The following is a list of paperwork that is needed in order to obtain medical funding for a communication device:

      - Evaluation

      - Letter of medical necessity

      - Prescription for the device

      - Prescription documenting a face-to-face encounter with your child's pediatrician within the last three months

      - Price quote

      - Assignment of benefits form

      Once all the paperwork is assembled, we send it to the specific vender. They then process and submit the paperwork on behalf of your child. The entire process takes about three months. It can be longer or shorter depending on many different things. We do not sell devices to you directly

  • I have an iPad, Android or other tablet-based system. Now what?

      The use of apps to support communication can be very powerful. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of communication apps out there. In order to get the best one for your child, you need to know the features of a system that will work for your child and which apps provide them. You can make an appointment with us to evaluate which app is best for your child. Please make sure to tell us which tablet and apps you own when you are making the appointment.

  • What happens after the device arrives?

      Once you have the device, you will need to contact us for a follow-up appointment. During this first appointment, we will make sure all the equipment that we recommended arrived safely. We will also make sure that the communication device is set up with the proper vocabulary and customization.

      We will provide some initial instruction and encourage you to contact your local vender for additional support. No device is designed perfectly for your child out of the box. A child's device needs to be customized to represent them and what they want to say. Having someone work with him and you is important.

  • What happens if the device breaks?

      Call us and set up an appointment so we can see what happened. If it truly is in need of repair, there is a process to get that funded, just as there was a process to get the device initially. Many times there are additional warranties you can purchase separately to make the process go a smoother for your child.  Always make a back up. This prevents loss of language and customization.