Non-Verbal Boy Uses Tablet App to Speak to Mom

viral app mikey featured

Can you imagine living in a world where your brain wants to communicate but your body won’t cooperate? When all you want to do is say out loud to your mother “I love you” but your lips can’t form the words? Can you imagine being the parent of a child like this—when you try so hard to interpret your nonverbal child’s needs but can’t understand 100% of the time?

An amazing video has recently surfaced of a nonverbal teenager using his tablet to communicate with his mother, and it’s the sweetest thing to watch!

viral Mikey app

Mike Lee, the 14-year-old son of Katrena Lee, is a typical teenage boy—he loves to horseback ride and snowboard and is quite fashion savvy, with his love of fancy clothes, shoes, and fedoras. But one way Mike is unique is through his Autism, and a slew of other conditions, that affect his young body. One of these conditions is Apraxia, which is a motor disorder in the brain that causes a problem with his speech tone and motor planning when forming words. Because of this, he is mainly non-verbal. But this doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a lot to say. And thanks to TalkTablet by Gus Communication Devices Inc., he can now speak with ease.

In the video below, you’ll see Mike use his tablet and this incredible TalkTablet app to communicate seamlessly with his mother.

Just look at the smile on Mike’s face when he answer’s his mother’s question, “What is your service dog’s name?” There’s no mistaking his communication there—his device pronounces the dog’s name while Mike’s face glows with love and pride for his furry companion.

One reason why 53,000+ viewers are drawn to this video is because it shows Mikey’s intelligence, despite his autistic diagnosis and verbal limitations. Too often, men, women and children with certain disabilities are assumed to have a lower intelligence just because we don’t fully understand them. But with apps such as this one, we can clearly learn the aptitude each non-verbal individual has. There is less frustration and confusion and more relief provided to families as they begin to communicate more efficiently.

According to his mom, Mike has been using this TalkTablet app on his Samsung Galaxy E for only a month, but at the making of the video, he had only used it TWICE. That’s how easy this app’s interface is to navigate! Katrena and Mike have tried using more expensive, dedicated communication devices, like the Springboard Lite device from PRC (Prentke Romich Company) and the app Proloquo2Go, but they didn’t like them. In fact, Mike wouldn’t even use these options after Katrena showed them to him. But when he was shown TalkTablet, Katrena thinks Mike’s interest this time was because of the ease of use and the options that were better suited for him:

“He doesn’t like devices and apps that mainly present simple ideas like, ‘I want a cookie’ or ‘I want to play.’ He prefers much more age appropriate and open type communication [which this app provides].”

In a statement given by Gordon Harris, President of Gus Communication Devices Inc, Mr. Harris explains that since TalkTablet’s release in 2012, it is now “the largest selling speech app for people with autism with over 175,000 people using it on a daily basis. It is sold…in 15 languages in over 75 countries.” And according to their Facebook page, “TalkTablet is the ONLY fully-featured AAC speech app that runs on Apple, Android, Windows, Kindle and Chromebook devices with file sharing between all.”

Parents of verbally limited children—you no longer have to guess or rely solely on other communication cues in order to understand each other. You have the opportunity to try this app and become closer to your amazing child, just as Katrena has done with Mike!

viral app comparisonofFeaturesAndCost2

TalkTablet costs $79.99 (for the app alone), compared to other speech apps that cost $250+. You have the option to buy a “bundle” through their website that includes a device with the app already installed, or you can buy the app separately if you already own one of the compatible devices.

If you’d like more information and to see more incredible videos of children like Mike using their tablets to communicate, go to the company’s Facebook page HERE or to their website at

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Heather lives with her husband, daughter and son and has learned to accept that Utah is now her permanent home. Before becoming a stay at home mom, she taught elementary school and loves to use that background to create fun activities to entertain her children. Though staying home with the kids is great, Heather has always enjoyed finding more ways she can keep herself sane, including elaborate cross stitch designs and playing with any puppy she can find. She particularly loves to read and write and prides herself in always remaining honest in her posts about life as a wife and mother, even when the truth is sometimes embarrassing.


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