Cooper's Talking Device

Hi all,

I wanted to share a video of Cooper’s talking device.

Cooper has been using it at school for a little over 3 months and we are just starting to use it at home. Much like everything else I find it to be a little overwhelming. Sometimes I feel like it’s just ‘another’ thing we are trying. But in saying that his speech therapists are RAVING about his successes with it. He can say up to 6 word sentences. An example would be: ‘I want to eat yogurt please.’

It’s amazing to watch him talk with it. Now in saying that at home we are not as successful. He is silly and pretends like he doesn’t know what he is doing. He will press a dozen buttons and listen to it talk. And then throw it.And I usually get smacked in the face a few times. But we are going to keep at it because I can really see the benefits. This iPad is giving him a voice that is more than screaming and grunting.

He is so silly….



Here is an email I received from Cooper’s AMAZING speech therapist. This mama was thrilled.

I just had to let you know how great Cooper is! He is just one of the lights of my life!

Here is the story: we were in speech working on our sounds. We finished a set of 7 sounds, so I it was Cooper’s choice, and he used his device to tell “I want to watch movies.” Perfect! I gave him the iPad with the videos pre-loaded in Safari and I leant over to write down how he did on his sounds. He turned on the Animal video (link below) and started using his device to sing along with the songs completely spontaneously!!!  The lyrics include the names of several animals, and he started labeling all the animals with the song and giggling his head off! It was amazing! The puppets would say “I hear a duck” and he would navigate to “duck” like lightening!

We also played this game with the Bath Song, with him labeling all the body parts they name.  Here are the songs we watched:

 Kate, he is so great and so eager to use his words when he is in speech! He is totally using his feelings words to talk about emotions and he greets me with “Hi Laura” when he sees me! I’ve also noticed an increase in his frequency of vocalizations in the last few weeks.

 I know you’re still (completely understandably!) hesitant about using his iPad for speech, but here are a couple of ideas on how you can play with it for a few minutes per day:

  • Snacks/Meals: Add buttons for all his choices, and let him pick what he wants to eat. You can start by just prompting him to use 1 button to request (e.g. “crackers”), then move on to “I want” + [item], and, eventually, “I want” “to” “eat” [item]
  • Reading: Add buttons for his favorite books and prompt him to request specific books.
  • Labeling: Cooper is labeling animals, vehicles, and body parts like a boss! You can prompt him to label any of these things when he sees them on puzzles, in books, etc. You can even just play short 3 minute games, where you ask him to find certain words like specific colors or body parts (e.g. “Cooper, tell me ‘red!’) to help him practice finding his words.
Avatar photo

Kate Swenson

Kate Swenson lives in Minnesota with her husband Jamie, and four children, Cooper, Sawyer, Harbor and Wynnie. Kate launched Finding Cooper's Voice from her couch while her now 11-year-old son Cooper was being diagnosed with autism. Back then it was a place to write. Today it is a living, thriving community of people who want to not only advocate for autism, but also make the world a better place for individuals with disabilities and their families. Her first book, Forever Boy, will be released, April 5, 2022.

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  1. Meg C. DeBoe on May 27, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    He’s a stinker! Teasing his Momma and loving it 😉

  2. rgemom on May 27, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    Way to go Cooper!!!!!!

  3. Friday Favorites 5.27.16 | Three's a Herd on May 27, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    […] for kids with autism make my day. Over at findingcoopersvoice, there’s good stuff going on. Go cheer him, and his momma, […]

    • Avatar photo findingcoopersvoice on May 27, 2016 at 10:34 pm

      Aw!!! Thanks friend. ?

  4. swampyankeestyle on May 28, 2016 at 1:04 am

    This is so cool for him and you to be able to communicate in this way. I am a teacher of non verbal autism kiddos. Some have “talkers” like this. some don’t, either way I love seeing them learn to communicate in their own ways.

  5. NickyB. on May 28, 2016 at 3:14 am

    Video made me laugh. He was really be silly and having fun! Awesome to hear that there is progress!!

  6. picklehead1wigglebum1mum on May 29, 2016 at 11:09 am

    This is amazing!! I actually went and found my password so I could log in and tell you! Just amazing xx

  7. Jill Potter on May 29, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    hha that is great he was totally being silly!!!

  8. Tiffany Anderson on June 3, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    Thanks for sharing. I’m a speech therapist and love hearing success stories like this!! Keep up that great work. Your an awesome mom and Cooper love all you do for him even though he can’t tell you