TouchChat HD

LQ: 8.9

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Brain grade: 9.3
Fun score: 8.4

Platform/Console: LWK Recommended Age: 5+ Thinking Skills Used: , ,

TouchChat HD is an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) assistive technology tool that can be used by individuals who struggle to communicate verbally. This app provides images and symbols that depict common emotions, requests, and responses. These cues can be arranged in different ways for easier access, and users can also type in custom text, all which are read aloud by one of the pre-programmed voices. This app also includes a unique feature, where users can type and then tilt the screen to enlarge the letters, so that communication is possible silently or in a noisy environment. This application is excellent for users who struggle to communicate verbally and is easy to use for anyone ages 5 and up.


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THIS APP IS GOOD FOR KIDS WHO NEED HELP WITH:

Flexibility

Adapting and adjusting to changing conditions and expectations.

TouchChat HD gives non-verbal children the ability to communicate their needs to others. The applications vocabulary is extensive and can be expanded through downloadable libraries; however, despite the intuitive design, users will still need to be able to be flexible in their use of language. Occasionally, the exact phrase, word, or action is not immediately available to the user. To communicate their thoughts, feelings, and needs users will need to be able to conceive alternate ways of constructing their sentences using the most readily available tools. In instances where users are unable to create an equivalent sentence using the vocabulary available to them, they can also manually type individual words, sentences, or numbers.

Working Memory

Recalling and retaining information in our mind while working.

TouchChat HD uses different libraries for different vocabulary sets. Communicating with this app becomes easier as users become more familiar with the location of the different vocabularies. Each time a user selects a specific word, the app automatically presents a new set of words which might logically come next. The suggested words and phrases can be drastically different depending on which library is being used. The TouchChat HD experience will greatly improve over time as users work to recall the most effective vocabulary for different situations, as well as becoming familiarized with the location of different symbols, words, and phrases within each library.

Self-Awareness

Understanding our own actions, thoughts and feelings.

Users of TouchChat HD will likely have great difficulty communicating verbally. This app gives these users a mode of communication in which to express their needs, thoughts, and feelings. An essential part of communication and Self-Awareness, is the ability of individuals to convey their state of mind. TouchChat HD enables users who would have previously struggled immensely with communicating ideas, needs, and emotions physically or verbally. Communicating needs and receiving appropriate responses from others makes TouchChat HD an excellent vehicle for facilitating Self-Awareness.

TouchChat HD is a great tool for communication needs and for practicing Flexibility, Working Memory, and Self-Awareness. Try some of the suggestions below, or submit your own in the comment field at the bottom of the page.

Flexibility Activity

Practice using TouchChat HD with your child for a variety of situations. When communicating, be sure to indicate to your child when they have been unclear or confusing. While communicating feelings on a particular subject, encourage your child to explain the same feeling or idea in multiple ways. Communicating the same message in multiple ways will help familiarize your child with the app as well as teach Flexibility in communication. Your child may find that the exact word or phrase they wish to use is not always available. Understanding how to communicate with the available tools will increase the applications effectiveness and expand your child’s vocabulary and ability to communicate.

Working Memory Activity

TouchChat HD is an extremely versatile communication tool and contains a large number of vocabulary sets. You and your child will need to spend ample time practicing communication with this app in a comfortable environment. The more familiar your child becomes with the layout and different libraries, the easier it will become to communicate needs and desires quickly and effectively. While at home, encourage your child to use TouchChat HD to communicate basic needs. For example, when your child is hungry or tired, they should try to communicate their feelings using the app. Ask your child questions about their day, a television show they have been watching, or a sports team they follow and let them respond to you using TouchChat HD. The more practice your child has with the application in a private and unintimidating setting, the more comfortable it will be to use the app when communicating to friends, teachers, or other members of your community.

Self-Awareness Activity

You can help your child practice Self-Awareness with TouchChat HD by asking them to communicate thoughts and feelings through the app rather than with non-verbal or other communicatory methods. With practice, your child should begin to feel comfortable indicating feelings and needs verbally with this app’s help. Additionally, try to indicate the effect of your child’s actions, words, and communications on yourself. Communicate your own feelings to your child verbally, or practice using TouchChat HD with your child by verbalizing your own feelings and needs. Your examples can both help to familiarize your child with the application as well as exercise Self-Awareness by demonstrating the effect of your child’s communications on another person. By using TouchChat HD, your child can gain a more firm understanding of their own feelings and desires as well as those of the individuals around them.

TouchChat HD & Autism

TC Edit ButtonFor kids with ASD, communicating with others can feel like a burden. It can be equally difficult to watch a child try to express her feelings with others in a way that they are unable to understand. Using speech assistive apps and programs provides a way for your child to express herself in the classroom, with friends, or at home. If you have a child with ASD, considering using TouchChat HD as an aid for her to communicate and connect with others, particularly in stressful situations where she may become overwhelmed otherwise.

How to use TouchChat HD for Children with Autism:

  • Practice makes perfect. It may seem difficult for your child to pick up and use TouchChat HD as intended, especially when she is frustrated or upset. Start by using the app in less stressful situations and everyday interactions, such as requesting a snack, or explaining how she enjoys something. As everyday communications become easier with TouchChat HD, show her how it can be an alternative to breaking down when she's upset.
  • TouchChat HD provides a good opportunity to practice base motor skills. She'll need to navigate menus, select items on the touch screen, and manually put her sentences in the best order before instructing the program to dictate them. Have her practice going through the menus and construct complex sentences that require her to navigate through the app. This will test out her motor skills as well as her flexibility and creativity to create sentences.
  • You may find your child only using TouchChat HD to talk about certain topics, or things she finds important, rather then using it to communicate her needs. Have her try out one new sentence or discuss a new topic using TouchChat HD each day. She'll become more comfortable discussing different topics and will be able to expand her vocabulary and understanding of each word.

 

 

TouchChat HD is a great AAC app for improving communication, and there are many alternative solutions. Tell us what works for your family in the comment field at the bottom of the page.

avazAvaz

Avaz is another AAC app designed to help children who struggle with verbal communication. This app is very similar to TouchChat HD, and even allows users to create their own vocabularies for ease of use. Learn more in our Avaz review.

Proloquo2Go

Proloquo2Go is very similar to TouchChat HD, and offers even more extensive features that can be helpful for children who struggle with communication. Find out more here.

 

Words On WheelsWords On Wheels

Words On Wheels is an app designed to help children who are not proficient in communication skills. The app lets users combine pictures to create words and sentences. Learn more in our Words On Wheels review.

PicTalkPicTalk Toddler

Another capable AAC app for iPad. Read details in our PicTalk Toddler review.

 

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