Alyssa Draffin, LCSW, recently went to extraordinary lengths to ensure that a nine-year-old boy with undiagnosed autism received an evaluation that would qualify him for therapy and special services. His appointment was delayed for over a year due to the pandemic and long waiting lists. When the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities was able to schedule a telehealth appointment, the family still faced the obstacle of a poor internet connection.
After seeking out special approvals from several people, Alyssa was able to work out a plan for the patient to come to the UNC children’s clinic for a video visit after a camera was installed in one of the examination rooms. The family’s backup plan was to use the internet service at their local McDonald’s restaurant for the evaluation.
Alyssa was also responsible for writing and receiving a $1500 Carolina Cares grant to purchase six Embrace2 seizure detection devices for patients in need. Distribution of the device will help relieve low-income families of some of the anxieties posed by children who have seizures.