Thursday, June 21, 2012

Speech Buddies

- Does your child have difficulty saying specific sounds or letters?
- Does he lisp when saying the letter S? (thilly instead of silly)
- Does her R sound like a W? (wabbit instead of rabbit)
- Does his SH, CH or S sound "slushy?"
- Does her L sound like a W? (wesson instead of lesson)
- Does your child feel embarrassed by or less confident in his speech?
- Has your child’s teacher, pediatrician, or another parent mentioned that your child produces some  words differently than other children?

If you answered "Yes" to any of the questions above, and your child is four or older, your child may have a speech or articulation disorder.*

"Speech Buddies are a series of revolutionary speech therapy tools to help children learn correct and consistent tongue positioning for five of the most difficult-to-learn problem sounds – R, S, L, CH, and SH. Speech Buddies were designed by a team of speech-language pathologists and engineers who understand the challenges associated with speech therapy and treating speech disorders. Speech Buddies train correct tongue placement so children learn and feel how to produce the right sound. Having customized tools for articulation disorders is a breakthrough technology for the speech therapy industry.
Speech Buddies have been shown to help children learn to correct problem sounds twice as fast.1 They help address mild or severe speech challenges by making it easy to pronounce the correct sound, every time."*

I was fortunate to get a set of these to try with my own children.
And, of course, I tried them on myself first to see how easy they were to use.

And they are easy.

My daughter was able to follow my instructions and place the appropriate sound buddy in her mouth as I instructed.
My son, on the other hand, may be either too young or too intolerant of my experiments, so it took a little longer for him to get the hang of each tool.

This /r/ sound is a tough one. 
Neither of my children have mastered it yet.
Well, first of all, as you are teaching them the sound, they simply can't see your tongue placement!
And secondly, it is very hard to explain how to position the tongue.

The /s/ sound is a little easier to produce, but it still has it's issues. We like to use a mirror with our Speech Buddy so that both of my kids can do a "before-and-after" example of the /s/ sound with and without their Seal buddy!  Then we place our buddy on the side and practice words with beginning, medial, and ending /s/ sounds!

The /l/ sound hasn't been much of an issue for us, but it is always nice to be able to go back and polish it up when it decides to get lazy.  Plus, the /l/ sound can be made with the use of food!  Try placing peanut butter or a Cherrio or Fruit Loop on the tip of your tongue and placing it behind your two front teeth all while making that /l/ sound!

The /sh/ sound is easy for my daughter but harder for my son.  I can't explain what the sound is that comes from him, but it isn't remotely close to the /sh/ sound.  Somehow, he gets his point across.

The dreaded /ch/ sound.  This one is going to give me gray hair!  Again, my daughter can perform this sound with one or two demos and a gentle reminder from the Speech Buddy.  But my son?  Oy!  His /ch/ sound for "lunch" or "orange" comes out as "lun-shhh" and "oran-shhh".  I love this Speech Buddy the best!

If you go to the Speech Buddy website, you can also track your child's progress FREE at their Speech Buddies University.  This is only my opinion, but I think they need an app for this!

Below is a great video which explains the Speech Buddies and how to use them at home with your own child!
Do I think these tools are worth the investment?

Do I think these tools will help your child with the above mentioned letter sound issues in addition to your speech therapy?
So far, yes!

For more information or to purchase your own set of Speech Buddies, click here!

Speech Buddies can also be found on Facebook and Twitter!

Thanks, Speech Buddies, for yet another way to help both of my children overcome their speech and language obstacles!

*Taken direct from the Speech Buddies website.
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