Using Visual Aids in Speech Therapy

Instructor: Jennifer Moon
This lesson explains how visual aids are helpful in everyday life, as well as in a speech therapist's practice. It also provides examples of some commonly used visual aids in speech therapy.

Visual Aids in Speech Therapy

Do you have a watch or clock? Do you write reminders on paper to help you remember to get things done? Do you keep a calendar of events coming up in your life? These are all examples of visual aids we use in our everyday lives.

We use different senses to help us learn and remember different things. A stop sign is a big, red octagonal sign that is an important visual aid for drivers because it catches the eye and helps us remember to stop. Songs attached to TV and radio commercials are audio supports, designed to be heard and 'stick in our heads' so that we will think about and want to buy advertised products. Speed bumps in the road are a support that we feel, to help us remember to slow down in certain areas.

The more senses that are involved in our learning of something, the greater chance we will learn it, commit it to memory, and recall it again. This principle applies to the use of visual supports in speech therapy.

Examples of Visual Aids in Speech Therapy

Let's consider some examples of how visual aids may be used in speech therapy:

A Mirror

A client who is working to produce the /k/ sound in speech therapy would benefit from sitting beside a speech therapist and looking in a mirror with the therapist. The client can watch production of the /k/ sound, and then watch production of his or her own /k/ sound in the mirror. When this is done, a client not only listens to the production the /k/ sound but gets to see it produced correctly.

A Letter of the Alphabet

A student working on the /s/ sound, could be given a picture of a large /s/ on a piece of paper, and trace his or her finger around the /s/ as the sound is held out, as in 'sssssss'.

A Sign

Clients receiving speech therapy for reduced volume in their voice can benefit from simple visual reminders placed around the therapy room that say Loud!.

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