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Parents discuss CoughDrop, an app that allows people who are nonverbal to build sentences and easily express their needs


My son, Adam, is nonverbal. We have spent our entire life trying to figure out ways to communicate with him. It’s really frustrating, to have no idea what he’s thinking, what he wants, and we just kind of tried everything. We looked at every app, we did PECS, we tried sign language, and just nothing really kinda clicked with him or us. We started researching other options- that’s when my husband found CoughDrop. It’s just given him such a level of independence, it’s been kind of a life changing thing for us around here. In every way.

This app lets people who are nonverbal build sentences and easily express their needs.

The reason I started CoughDrop, so I’m a dad, my daughter has Rett syndrome. She can’t use her hands, she can actually only communicate really using her eyes. As I looked at the apps for communication that already existed, I wanted something that my daughter could use to be able to express herself, to be able to talk about the things that she not just needed, but that she was excited about it, that she was interested about. She has learned to read, she has learned to do math, she tells jokes, she teases people- all this communication has opened up.

The app is compatible with tablets, smartphones and computers, non-touch systems such as eye-trackers, and physical versions you can print out.

One of the hardest things I think, about disabilities is that individuals with disabilities feel separated from everyone around them. If we can find ways to help them connect and feel part of the world around them, we will be able to relate to them more and feel more connection and appreciation.

To learn more and try it for yourself, visit

Originally published: April 9, 2018
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