Prior to COVID-19, Sean came to campus three days a week, couldn’t get enough of his music classes, and participated in two hours of speech therapy a week. While Sean was staying safe at home waiting for a vaccine, he visited campus once a week for one hour of speech therapy. We recently welcomed Sean back to campus for the on-site education program for the first time in over a year.
As Sean returns to in-person classes, he’s carrying something new. He recently received a new communication device to assist him when communicating. It helps others understand him when he talks about what is important to him, asks and answers questions, and engages in conversation. This device is a game-changer for Sean. His dad, Marc, is pleasantly surprised, and shared after only a few days of having the device at home, Sean began attempting to communicate with it independently – he has a lot to say! Given time, Sean will become more independent with his device, and as he does, his potential to engage in the community will skyrocket.
Unfortunately, each year, despite countless hours spent completing and submitting paperwork, Sean’s therapy funding gets suspended. 2021 is no different. Marc must jump through hoops for weeks to get funding reinstated. He spends his time contacting doctors and case managers, communicating with therapists, and waiting. During those few weeks, all of Sean’s therapies are put on pause – speech, music, recreational, and aquatic. His typical full, engaging week comes to a screeching halt. Fortunately, his dad is able to pay privately for speech therapy, one of Sean’s four needed therapy services. Sean’s funding being suspended hits a little harder this year, because right now is a critical time with this new device.
Sean’s story is not unique. Funding gets suspended for HIPsters all the time – an unfortunate reality in the disabilities’ community. You can help bridge the gap in funding by supporting our Clinical Services Department with a monetary donation.