Being diagnosed with a progressive disease such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) can be devastating to both the person with the disease and their family and friends. Once the initial shock has worn off, it is time to start making plans for living life with the disease.
First and foremost, both you and your loved ones should consider getting support to help you navigate through the disease process. The ALS Association is a good place to start. There may be support groups and resources in your area that can help you with everything from mental health and emotional support to applying for disability benefits.
Explore ALS Communication Assistive Technology Options
At some point, ALS communication assistive technology and environmental control units for disabled individuals (ECU units) will be needed to help you maintain quality of life. Exploring these options sooner than later will help you identify the type of ECU units/voice assistive technology you will need as well as find the resources to secure this technology when the time comes. Voice banking is also something you may want to consider early on as it can become an important part of ALS communication assistive technology when the ability to speak is hindered or lost. The autonoME is an integrated environmental control unit/speech generating device that is effective, user-friendly and has helped countless individuals with disabilities and progressive diseases achieve independence.
Consider Medical Trials
ALS in particular has many ongoing medical trials. Ask your doctor about what trials he or she may recommend for you to consider.
Accessibility Services, Inc. is here to help ensure you or your loved one maintains as much independence as possible. The autonoME has different input methods and accessibility options so once a diagnosis is confirmed, we can work with you and your speech therapist and physical / occupational therapy team to develop a customized solution that accommodates the different stages of your disease. Give us a call to learn more.