I recently discovered the most amazing new product that allows you to help your child –at home!
It’s a genius innovation that inserts in a child’s mouth to correctly show him or her how to make the sound correctly. Thocks to socks, wabbit to rabbit, or wessons to lessons.
Speech Buddies for Home
Speech sound disorders affect 7.5% of the primary school-age population in the United States alone. (That’s nearly 3 million children!)
Now, in addition to seeking help from a speech therapist, you have a new option with Speech Buddies.
Speech Buddies can help Apraxia-related speech problems, articulation disorders and are proven to help children pronounce words correctly. (I know – proven is a big claim but see the research for yourself. It’s pretty impressive!) They were designed by speech-language pathologists and engineers from MIT & Columbia Universities.
Basically, Speech Buddies are a set of stick-like tools that a child uses in his or her mouth to train his tongue and mouth to pronounce the sounds. There are 5 tools for the five most difficult sounds – R, S, L, CH, and SH. Take a look:
How to Use Speech Buddies
Pick the right Buddy for your child. (Or get all 5.) My daughter is learning the R sound with the Rabbit Buddy.
Get (free) practice exercises online at Speech Buddies University. You will get customized word games and exercises that will help your child use the Buddy and practice the sound. Here’s a sample practice schedule for a six-year old boy using the Rabbit Tool:
Insert the Speech Buddy in the mouth, positioning right behind the front teeth so the child can feel the correct tongue position using the soft (BPA free) rubber. Small guide bumps to show the tongue where to start. With repetition and practice, children feel (and learn) how to correct a problem sound. (Watch a video of how to use Speech Buddies.)
With JJ, I have her say the word with the Tool in her mouth, then have her remove it and say the word again. She only has a slight R sound issue but I’m pretty darn thrilled that this is helping her so much in just a few days. I predict she’ll be done in only a few more days!
Watch this video that shows you a Speech Therapist using Speech Buddies. (Yes, these are used by Speech Language Pathologists, too!)
I had a few questions for Gordy Rogers, M.S. CCC-SLP, Speech Buddies co-founder and Speech Language Pathologist . . .
Q: What about kids who with sensory issues?
A: With my students who are sensory defensive, I typically let students hold the Speech Buddy. But it’s important to closely monitor how the Speech Buddy is placed and adjust it accordingly. But if students are allowed to hold the Speech Buddy and really feel in control, my minor adjustments don’t bother them. Also, in this case, I make sure I’m using a small make-up mirror that you can buy in any drugstore, so students can see what they’re doing.
Q: Do you recommend rewards for children after a successful therapy session?
A: I think for all but the older kids (e.g. kids older than 12 or so), rewards are very helpful. I ask parents whether they think their child responds to smaller, frequent rewards (e.g. stickers, little plastic toys/figures) or star charts where they earn a big prize over time. It’s really up to the therapist or parent, with a little trial-and-error often, to figure out what’s really going to keep the student motivated. But, in general, rewards can never really hurt and are often absolutely essential!
Q: These are expensive (but worth it.) Do you have any discounts for Imagination Soup readers?
A: Yes, free shipping on Speech Buddies now through October 31. Just use code SBSHIP at checkout.
Do you want a Speech Buddy?
I think these are totally worth the price — especially compared to how much speech therapy costs. Why not try this first? Or in addition? Shop for your Speech Buddy here. Use the code SB20 at checkout from now until October 31 to receive 20% off your order.
Also, I want to giveaway our set of 5 Speech Buddies valued at $299. We’ve only used the R Tool which I promise I’ll wash very well. 🙂 I’ll do a random drawing, and if you want my set, you can enter below. It’s a QUICK sweepstakes so enter today!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I received compensation for this post, however all thoughts and opinions are mine. Please see my disclosure policy here.