FAQs

What is Talk With Me?

Talk With Me is an educational resource for educators, parents and caregivers, to help children with autism learn how to have social communication. They can control and customise the content that allows children to learn how to have a social conversation with other people.

How is Talk With Me different?

  • Talk With Me doesn't force children to do anything. There is no negative feedback. Instead, it simply provides an environment that encourages the child to learn all the right things in a natural setting.

  • It requires children with autism to sit next to the person they're playing with, and engage with them. This setting gives them a natural opportunity to engage in more eye contact, cooperation and joint attention on a collaborative goal oriented task.

  • It is a two-player app that fosters two-way conversations between a child with autism and the people in their life, encouraging them to express themselves and connect with others.

  • We provide continuous learning content so that you never run out of options as your child progresses through the material. All learning content is crafted with care by our expert speech and language therapists.

  • It is designed such that therapists, parents, teachers, and caregivers work WITH the kids. They control, customize, and create all app content that children interact with.

Does Talk With Me work with verbal or non-verbal children?

  • We have trialed Talk With Me with children with all types of verbal abilities; whether or not it works with a child, really depends on the individual needs of that child.

  • Children who have good verbal ability may find it helpful because even though they are able to speak all the relevant words, they don't quite use them to have such back and forth social conversations. This could be because they don't have a good understanding of the structure and rules of conversation, like turn taking, staying on topic, beginning and ending, and sentence formation. Talk With Me allows them to learn all that in a natural way that doesn't feel forced.

  • Children who have limited verbal ability may find it helpful because, in addition to all the above, it allows them to express things they are otherwise not able to say.

How can I best utilise Talk With Me with my child?

  • When first using Talk With Me let your child take the lead in choosing a conversation OR choose a conversation topic that you know they are most interested in. There will be some conversations that you as a parent or professional may find useful for explaining things to your child - but to get them interested, start Talk With Me as a fun experience.

  • Engage in more ‘fun’ conversations (conversations your child wants to have) than useful conversations (conversations you may want to have about routines etc) to keep the app a fun and motivating experience. Don’t make the app all about explaining things to your child - we want a love of social interaction to be encouraged here as a well as it being a useful tool. 

  • Say aloud which pictures you are choosing as you choose them.

  • Model use of the app by talking aloud about what you are doing when you use the app. e.g. ‘Okay now I am going to ask you a question’ or ‘Hmm I eat toast in the morning, so I am going to choose this one that is toast’.

  • Praise your child when they use the app to ask questions. For example, you could say ‘I love it when you ask me a question’ or ‘Thank you for asking’, put emphasis on how great asking questions is.

  • Praise your child when they select relevant answers. For example, say ‘great choice!’ ‘you are right that is x’, or ‘I love hearing your opinion’. 

  • Take breaks to face your child to show how you feel about a selection, e.g., in the conversation about what they don’t like, make a frowning face to show negative emotion, or in a conversation about what you want to do today, take a second look at them with excitement after they make a selection. 

  • Encourage your child to use the app with other people. It can be a great way to talk to others and the introduction conversation could be a great way to get to know someone that comes to your house, to meet a new professional, or to talk about all kinds of stuff with their friends and peers.

  • Have fun! Talk With Me is designed to foster a love and joy of social interaction.

What to do if my child loses interest in Talk With Me?

  • Go to our downloads section and look for conversations the child would enjoy having.

  • Talk With Me is fully customisable. Use the editor to edit existing conversations to make them more suitable to the needs of the child.

  • Use our editor to create new conversations the child would enjoy.

  • Encourage the child to use Talk With Me with people whose company they enjoy.

  • Follow suggestions in the previous question about “How can I best utilize Talk With Me with my child.”

  • Reward the child for initiating and/or finishing a conversation well.

  • The key is to keep the conversations meaningful and keep the child motivated.

I want to use Talk With Me to help my child talk more in real life, can it help with this?

Every child is different, so Talk With Me should be adapted to the needs of the child. We can’t promise that Talk With Me will lead to your child talking to others outside of the app more, but all our efforts are towards that goal. Here are some things you can do to encourage social engagement through the app: 

  • Reward your child when they use the app to ask a question or to choose a relevant response, you can do this through praise, stickers, or whatever your reward system you use with your child.

  • Respond accurately to conversations you have in Talk With Me. For example, if you say in a conversation that you can go to the park after going to the doctor, make sure you follow through on this so your child knows that.

  • Pick up some of the things you talked to the child about using Talk With Me, and use that outside the app, and model that behaviour for the child.

  • Follow suggestions in the previous questions about “How can I best utilize Talk With Me with my child” and “What to do if the child loses interest in Talk With Me”.

How do you design the visual symbols used on Talk With Me?

Majority of our visual support symbols belong to the Smarty Symbols image library, with all rights reserved to Smarty Symbols, LLC. Go to smartysymbols.com to check out their amazing work.

More questions?

Please write to us if you have any more questions, or if you'd like to share any feedback.

+64 (0) 278079003 / +91 9953127988

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