Speech Therapy Materials & Tools

Instructor: Jennifer Moon
Speech therapists provide intervention to people with communication disabilities. It takes training, planning, and the proper tools to complete clinical exercises. This article discusses some commonly used speech therapy tools and materials.

Example of a Speech Problem

Jaila is six years old and uses the /t/ sound for /k/, and the /d/ sound for /g/. So when she shares her plans for the day with a family friend, her speech ends up sounding something like this: 'I tan doe to the part with Telly today.'

This leaves her listener confused. The family friend looks at Jaila's mom in confusion, apologizing because she doesn't know what Jaila said. Jaila repeats herself but the friend is still confused, and now Jaila is frustrated because she doesn't see why people don't understand her when she talks! It sounded right to Jaila! What she actually said was, 'I can go to the park with Kelly Today.'

Jaila has an articulation disorder, and it can be frustrating for her, her family members, and other listeners who often have trouble interpret her message. When a child like Jaila comes to speech therapy, her speech therapist has a plethora of materials and tools to help Jaila begin to use the correct /k/ and /g/ sounds when she speaks.

The process can take days, weeks, or months, depending on how each client reacts and responds to therapy. First, the therapist must create an awareness in the client that her speech does not sound like others'. The terapist must then teach her to produce the /k/ and /g/ sound correctly all by itself, or in 'isolation,' not yet in words. Last, she must help Jaila learn to use the /k/ and /g/ in words, phrases, sentences, and conversation.

Speech Therapy Materials and Tools

Below is an example of some of the tools a speech therapist would use for a student like Jaila. Continue reading to see how the tools listed below are used.

  • Audio recorder
  • Video recorder
  • Models
  • Mirror
  • Tongue depressor
  • Reinforcers
  • Reference materials

Recognizing Speech Errors

First, to teach /k/ and /g/ in isolation, the speech-language pathologist can use an audio or video recorder to record her correct production of /k/ and /g/ words, then record Jaila's production of /k/ and /g/ words. Jaila will then listen to the recordings so she can realize that her speech truly does sound different from her therapist's.

Fixing the Problem

Once Jaila becomes aware that her speech is off, it's time for her to try to produce the /k/ and /g/ sound correctly. Tools that may help in this include the recordings of the proper pronunciation, a mirror, a tongue depressor, and gloves. Jaila and the therapist sit in front of the mirror together and Jaila watches the therapist say 'guh, guh, guh.' Now it is Jaila's turn.

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