Tap To Talk Communication for Autistic Children

Tap To Talk Communication for Autistic Children

Remember the post I did about Tap To Talk? Well, they sent me a free Starter Kit and set me up with a free three month subscription to their website. I was really excited to have the opportunity to review this product. This review came at just the right time.

I have been waiting on approval for an augmentative communication device for several months. It should have been approved in July, but because of the budget changes, it has been on hold. I don’t know if we will get it. The device that we are trying to get approval on is the Say-It! SAM. It is an advanced communication device that is perfect for my son’s intellectual level. However, it costs over $7,000.

The Tap To Talk is priced reasonably, for parents to be able to afford. It runs on either a Nintendo DS Lite or DSi. I purchased the DS Lite for $129 at Wal-Mart. I also purchased the car adapter and the protector case for the DS Lite. In all, I spent about $154. The TapToTalk Starter Kit with a 1 year subscription is $99.95. The smile on my son’s face the first time he used it, priceless.

Tap To Talk Starter Kit and Subscription

When you order the Starter Kit, you get the following:

1 – 1 TapToTalk Game Cartridge
2 – 1 microSD Memory Card (in the game cartridge)
3 – 1 USB adapter for the microSD Card
4 – 1 SD adapter for the microSD Card

Subscriptions are available for one year for $99.95, or three years for $239.95 (a 20% discount). There are also special plans for professionals that work with multiple children with communication limitations.

You receive the password to use for the Designer Login via email and the Starter Kit will arrive in the mail. When I received my password, I immediately started working on setting up an album to use for my son. By the time I received the Starter Kit in the mail, I was ready to download the album to my memory card and my son was able to use his DS Lite to communicate immediately.

My Tap To Talk Review

When I first logged in and was ready to begin setting up the album or pictures with sound, I was faced with figuring out how to start from scratch. I quick email to my contact, Lenny Greenburg, and I found out that there is a starter album that you can use to customize to meet your child’s needs.

I was happy about this. It is a lot easier to start off with an existing album then to start from scratch. It allows you to learn about how to set up jumps from one screen to another. It also helps you get a quick start on your child’s communication needs.

I recommend watching the tutorials in the Help section before you do anything. They explain a lot of the finer points of designing your albums and they are easy for moms like me to understand. I am good at figuring out tech applications, but I have had no professional training or classes.

For your next step, Lenny told me I should set up a picture library. At first, I thought “why”? I figured that I would just use the ones they have. As I got into the customization of the starter album, I noticed that there were pictures and sounds that I felt were important to have for my son, but were not in the starter album. Thus begun my development of my picture library. I started copying pictures from their library into mine. I changed the sounds to what I felt were more appropriate for my son. Then I began replacing some of the pictures in my copy of the starter album and adding new pictures, too.

I discovered a problem with the replacement function of the design program. Sometimes, I would replace a picture with sound, and when I copied the album over to my memory card, the sound would not copy over. I contacted Tap To Talk and they fixed my picture, and I was able to copy without a problem. I still come across a picture here and there from their library that I have a problem with, but I have found that it only takes them a day to fix it once I have notified them of the problem. I haven’t had any problems with the pictures that I upload.

I have a lot more to say about Tap To Talk and will do so over the next few days. I really want to get into my son’s reaction to it and how it has helped us a lot as a family to be able to use this to communicate. I also have plans to use this when we get into home schooling next month. I think it will be great to use to get him to answer multiple choice questions. Make sure you check back Thursday to read more.

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