Thursday, July 23, 2009

Out of the Ordinary Places to Get Needed Equipment for Children with Autism

(or any other disability for that matter!)

At some point in time most parents of children with autism will realize that they need different pieces of equipment or tools to work with their child. This article explores some of the ways parents have found to meet those needs.

After working with therapists many parents choose to buy specific pieces of equipment. Of course this is the easiest and probably the quickest solution. The only suggestion is not to forget to use the good shopping techniques you have learned in other areas of your life. Just because some of the equipment you need might be considered medical equipment does not mean you can not shop around for the best price.

Call several places or look up several prices online. Do not forget to ask for a discount. If buying online and you are buying several items will the company give you free shipping. Also check if there is a just as good piece of this equipment that is not considered medical or therapy. A ball pool can be expensive if bought through a company that supplies medical equipment and quite a bit less expensive when bought as a toy.

Another suggestion is to use skills you already possess. Can you barter those skills for needed supplies? Of course this might only work with a physical company but may be well worth your time. Small medical supply companies might be more than willing to barter typing, accounting, or even cleaning skills for equipment.

Do you know other parents who have children with autism? Can you trade items which your child no longer uses? If you know parent of older children would they be willing to ‘hand me down’ old equipment. Of course you need to make sure the equipment is appropriate and in working order. Bring it to your therapy provider and ask them to check the item out.

Another possibility is to look for local organizations which operate a loan closet. Many disability organizations operate a loan closet. Those closets can have pieces of equipment that are reusable as well as one time use equipment. One of our local loan closets at times has special formulae and the larger than baby size diapers. Of course you can find equipment that you can try out or keep indefinitely as well.

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