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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Start with Food!

We hear from many users about their experience with TapToTalk and their children. They often tell us about how their child adopted TapToTalk, and one theme is clear: getting what I want to eat is the number one motivator for using AAC.

We could fill volumes with the quotes that back this up. Here are just a few examples, from Septemeber 2009, when we introduced TapToTalk, through this month:

"It's working great! We have introduced it to our child, and he can already request juice and Oreos." Tanya Sanders, Parent

"Since we started using the TapToTalk, he (autistic son) has been independent with communication. The first time he used this was to communicate what he wanted to eat and drink for supper. The smile on his face was amazing. He answered quickly and was rewarded with what he wanted. Since then, he has used it to tell us how he feels and where he wants to go." Tammy Lessick, Parent

"I've been using it with him since he's been home from school...he's used it to tell me what snack he wants to eat twice and that he wants water. He's able to click on the first screen like the "I'm hungry" picture to get to the food pictures I uploaded. I searched for pictures of Lay's, rice cakes and Eggo waffles so that (there) could be pictures for what he actually is asking for. He was able to click on the "drinks" picture to take him to where he selects water." A Wisconsin Parent

"Emel told me she wants me to make her a McDonalds album for her TapToTalk so she can order her own food. That's my job for tomorrow. She just loves her TapToTalk. Thank you." Caroline Louise Curran, Parent

"After playing with TapToTalk in the car, she (used it to) let me know she was frustrated because she was hungry and wanted steak and a smoothie. I started to cry. It was my first actual conversation with my kid in 8 years. She had a eureka moment when she hit the button and she ended up with a milkshake and a piece of steak. Yes! You best believe I went out to the grocery and bought her a steak after all of that." Amanda Perkins, Parent

"So excited. My 21-year-old was able to order her breakfast at a fast food restaurant today. She is very good with the iPod, so she has food, plus a restaurant level with separate menus for each restaurant. She asked for biscuit, then clicked egg. Went to drinks, and asked for large, then went to soda and asked for Coke." Katy Jean Fink, Parent

"I wanted to say thank you because it allows my non-verbal daughter to tell me her basic needs. Last night she wanted milk, and unbeknownst to me she turned the iPod on, went to the TapToTalk App, and got the milk request ready for when I came into her room! It was so awesome. I love that she can tell me things now, and your app is so easy to use." Becky Brown, Parent

"Loaded it in the evening, the next morning my little guy told me what he wanted for breakfast! He'd NEVER used a communication device before!" A Parent

"YOU have given our daughter a voice! Last week, my husband was offering our daughter several choices of cereal for breakfast, she kept pushing the boxes of cereal away. She got up, got her iPad and handed it to him to turn on. Once on TapToTalk, our daughter went to the "I want to eat" album and touched "I want scrambled eggs." My husband said, "Oh, you don't want cereal, you want scrambled eggs." Our daughter clapped her hands (what she does when we understand her) and sat down at the table AND patiently waited for her eggs to be cooked!" Susan Tarr, Parent

"I recently visited my godson in Texas. He has autism...I had heard about TapToTalk, but nothing had prepared me for his unprompted communication efforts! While his mom was out doing chores, he came to me and asked for specific food choices; I never thought I'd get to experience that with him. I was so excited I wanted to take him out to a restaurant right away to buy him what he asked for...wanted to say thanks from a grateful godmom." Lyn Johnson, Godmother

So, if you want to help your child get the hang of AAC, start with his or her favorite foods and beverages. And remember that you can use our extensive library of food and drink pictures, you can add pictures you find online, and you can use your own photos as well. Use this link to learn more about TapToTalk pictures.
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