How I Use It
My nonverbal students use this app all the time. Sometimes I know what they are trying to communicate through their gestures and facial expressions, but other times it is not so easy. When students want a snack or a drink of water, all they have to do is tap on the picture of pretzels or a water bottle. I also have fewer "accidents" using this app than when I worked at schools that did not use similar apps. All students have to do is tap the picture of a toilet and we're off. When students tap a picture, there is a voice that says "I want to play with blocks" for example, and I can hear it from across the room if I'm not near the student. The regular classroom students hear it, too, and they often help the special needs students with what they need, which is great for socialization.
TapToTalk is a pretty effective way for my non-verbal students to communicate. It takes some time to set up different albums, but it's worth it. There is a free version with a few features, and the paid version has a lot of really awesome features, such as creating different albums and customizing the pictures and sounds. The website claims that the app is affordable, but it's actually pretty pricey in my opinion. At least $100 for a year. My school already had the app, but I probably would have done some research to find a similar but cheaper app. TapToTalk does, however, have more features and advantages than other similar programs that I have used in the past. If your school will pay for it, this app is very useful.