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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Giving his child a voice--after 40 years!

Joe Wiley is 82 years old. Here is his TapToTalk story:

My son, now age 50, stopped talking about age 10. Why is not known, but I can guess. He has Down Syndrome and an extra large tongue. The more speech therapy he had, the less he talked, finally stopping. My guess is that he was aware that he could not talk properly, so he quit. He can talk but just doesn't. He is smart enough that he caught on to TapToTalk on the iPad in less than a week.

I learned about using an iPad for helping mute children from the 60 Minutes TV show about Steve Jobs. The first 40 minutes was about Steve. The last 20 was about software on the iPad to help autistic people. I got excited about the possibilities. Even though he lives 1,000 miles from where I live, I took it on. A week's trip to Austin from Tennessee got things kicked off there, and he is progressing nicely.

This brilliant program is amazing in its extensiveness as to what it does to help the user create an application customized for a particular child regardless of age. The program has many hard copy tutorials in addition to several videos showing how to create and edit the albums that will eventually wind up on the child's device--iPod, iPad, and the like.

Features include an extensive icon and sound library, easy uploading of one's own photos to be used for icons, and talk from text or recording of your voice. My daughter-in-law, with my hints and suggestions, created a practice album and published it to an iPad in about two hours! All the icons were uploaded photos with her voice recordings. My son, at age 50, has not spoken for 40 years, instead communicating with body language and grunts. He began to use the album speech within a few days, having caught on quickly. The TapToTalk programs have been a marvel.

Thanks for sharing this with us, Joe. You've proven it is never too late to "give your child a voice."
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