Mirror work to improve articulation
Using a mirror to practice articulation is a great way to give students visual feedback. Model the target sound and then have the student imitate you while looking in the mirror. Have the student identify tongue placement and lip movements. If you don’t know where to start, click here to purchase a wonderful resource for using mirrors to practice sounds.
The tongue depressor is a great tool when working with /k/ and /g/ sounds. Ask the student to hold the tip of the tongue with a tongue depressor and try to articulate the /k/ or hard /g/ sound. The back of the tongue rises to create the exact position of the tongue to produce the sound. It can also be used to touch parts of the mouth to show students where to place their tongue for different sounds. For example, touch the alveolar process with the tongue depressor to indicate where the tip should go for the “L”.
Bracco to improve airflow for articulation
A simple straw is a tool that can be used to target airflow when a student has a lateral lisp. Lateral flutter is when air flows around the sides of the mouth instead of across the front of the mouth when making hissing sounds. The brcko is a useful tool to identify where the air is coming from. If the SLP holds the straw to the side of the child’s mouth and hears airflow through the straw, the student is misdirecting the airflow and sibilant sounds like /s/ will sound “sludgy.” Have the student practice redirecting airflow through the front teeth by holding a straw to the front of the mouth and listening for air to flow through it. If you haven’t used this technique before, watch this video.
The whispering phone is a really neat tool to help the student improve their articulation. The student silently utters a word into the mouthpiece and hears their voice amplified in their own ear 10 times clearer than they would normally hear. This auditory feedback will help the child improve their articulation by deciphering whether they are making the sound accurately or not. It’s also a great tool to let the student practice on their own when it’s not their turn during group therapy.
Another fantastic articulation tool is the Jumbo Mighty Mouth. I use this tool to show students the anatomy of the mouth so they can better understand where their articulators need to go to make certain sounds. It can be difficult to show students their alveolar ridge or how to move the tongue for targeted sound production. The massive mouth provides a wonderful visual aid to bring it all together in the child’s mind.
Click here to read another blog about more fun speech therapy ideas using a beach ball!