June 9th, 2020
Special Services at Home (SSAH)
There have been so many changes over the past few months due to COVID-19, and families receiving Special Services at Home (SSAH) have felt this impact. Families who previously used their funds for swimming lessons, YMCA memberships and one-on-one time with Direct Support People found themselves at a loss for how to use their SSAH funds.
Editor’s note: In mid-April, these struggles were acknowledged and temporary changes were made to how families could access and use their funds to help alleviate the stress. The impact has been profoundly positive.
A young boy with Autism has discovered a love of fishing and was able to purchase a fishing rod and equipment with his SSAH. He and his dad now spend afternoons at the creek. Swings have always been calming for a teenage girl with Down Syndrome, however she was not able to access them due to park closures. With the new SSAH guideline changes, her family was able to purchase a swing set for their backyard. She spends many happy hours swinging.
Our DSP work still continues and our support people have become creative! Virtual time is spent over Zoom and Facetime. Kids are cooking, reading and playing games with their DSP and caregivers are getting a break. The most important thing is that relationships are being maintained, even at a distance. Some of our DSPs are continuing face to face support and thanks to our PPE kits, this can be done safely.
These are unprecedented times and families have no “rule book” on how to navigate their new normal. As we slip into new routines and habits, we are thankful for how SSAH has adapted to support families and their children within the safety of their own homes.