Let’s talk about PECS baby! & Tippy Talk

I’ve had a fabulous day with Reilly today.  Reilly got up about the same time as the sun so I decided to get out and about early.  we stood at his pecs board while he tried to work out what he wanted to do (I was praying not the swimming pool for purely selfish reasons) after continuous pointing at shopping trolly’s and Toys r Us signs (not today Reilly)  I switched on my Ipad and showed Reilly photos of various places we would normally visit.  He chose the Tim Lamb Centre. A great place in The Rising Sun Country Park with tons to do for the little ones and a good chance to relax a bit knowing its none judgey and everyone get’s it.  30 minutes on the bus, 15-20 presses of the bell to get off a swift explanation to the lovely bus driver and we were there.

I met some lovely people today parents, teachers and kids.  It never fails to astound me how very different all these children are.  I had a discussion while eating my lunch with one girl around 15 about who was the best Paul McCartney (post Beatles) or David Bowie and watched 4 second clips on her phone of many songs from both artists, she had unbelievable knowledge and passion in equal amounts. ps David Bowie by the way no competition.  

I also chatted to a teacher who was there with a young man again around 15 who was completely non verbal.  I’m always fascinated watching people communicate and the methods they use to do it.  I often think about whether Reilly will always be non verbal and I prepare myself constantly looking for products that can help us.  I talked to him about a product I was trialling at the moment that may be useful to them.

I registered my interest in a product called Tippy Talk earlier on in the year.  I’d seen it on twitter and thought it looked fantastic.  Tippy Talk is an app which allows the user to translate picture messages into readable text.  What’s not to love here.

ttThe TippyTalk app allows a person with a verbal disability to communicate by translating pictures into text messages, which are then sent to a family member or care givers phone or tablet. This allows the person who is non-verbal to communicate and express a desire, want, need or feeling. This communication is not restricted by distance, the person they wish to communicate with can be anywhere in the world. TippyTalk also reinforces language development, by allowing a parent or caregiver record their voice over each picture. TippyTalk grows and evolves as the needs of your loved will also.

TippyTalk is unique in that it removes the person with the verbal disability from the isolation of same room communication. It also allows the parent or caregiver to capture images that are  uniquely familiar to the person using the communication app. No two TippyTalkers will be the same, each unit is extremely user friendly and simple to program. Putting the control back into the hands of the parent, after all no one knows their loved ones better than they do. No other product on the market today is offering the personalisation, social-communication and independence that TippyTalk is providing. TippyTalk is breaking down communication barriers by allowing the user to connect and communicate with two or more parties at the same time, while ensuring that this communication is not limited by distance or physical impairment.

Rob Laffan the creator contacted me after reading my blog and asked me if I’d like to trial it with Reilly.  He has a daughter just like Reilly so he get’s it. The verdict is I love it.  It’s so simple.  I have only just started teaching Reilly what it is all about and once he starts to really understand that his requests are instantly received regardless of whether i’m upstairs, outside or at the shopping centre I fear my phone may never recover from the constant messaging it’s going to receive.  I will video the whole process of Reilly using Tippy Talk and how the messages are displayed in real time.

Reilly can tell us he is sad, that he wants a hug etc.  I can see it being hugely helpful with simmering meltdowns when all is lost in the frustration of communication.

We need to be able to communicate.  Looking around the Tim Lamb Centre today it was a big melting pot of different methods. I NEED to be able to have a two way conversation with Reilly it’s all I think about  and I’d trade for a lottery win in an instant.  You will never know the pain of not knowing why your child is unwell or upset until you’ve walked in our shoes.  Tippy Talk will change that I’m sure.

There’s a free trial at the moment check the website for links to download.  No I’m not on commission, when I see a good product I’ll share it.

Watch this space for the video of myself and Reilly using Tippy Talk.  Previous video scrapped because it contained spontaneous nose picking followed by close up examination and tasting by Reilly. Still looked cute but not the production I was looking for.

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Christine Stephenson

Really busy mam who runs her own charity, has 3 sons and learning about autism every day. Contact me at alphaautistic@gmail.com

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