Try This Tuesday #10: Using Physical Cues

Try This Tuesday

This week, Jenny from Special Considerations shares an idea that came out of speech therapy but has turned out to be helpful in other situations as well.

by Jenny

Over the past six months, Jackson has made significant progress with speech. He can correctly pronounce several words and attempts many more. One element of speech that is still very challenging for him, though, is ending consonants. Words like “cat”, “boat”, and “pop” are all pronounced with just the first part of the word.

This summer, Jackson’s speech therapist started giving him a physical cue to remind him to say the ending consonant. She would run her finger down his forearm as she was saying the beginning sound, then stop at his wrist and tap his hand when she would say the ending consonant. For example, she would say “Ca” as she ran her finger down his arm, then tap his hand with a big gesture as she said “t”.

Recently when going through his speech drills, I said “Boat”. He replied “Bo”. I repeated “Boat”, emphasizing the “t”. He tried again, and this time I saw him move his own finger down his arm and tap his hand as he attempted to put the “t” on the end of “Boat”. It didn’t come out perfectly, more like “Boag”, but I was elated that he was attempting to pronounce an ending consonant! He remembered that physical cue, and that motion reminded him to try to complete the word with the ending consonant.

We’ve also seen physical cues work with physical therapy. When Jackson was learning to climb onto a chair or other piece of furniture, his physical therapist would tap the leg he needed to move to cue him to lift it up. The cue didn’t provide him support, it just reminded him what he needed to move. The same cue has worked for teaching him to climb stairs.

I’m sure there are countless other uses for physical cues. Anytime you’re seeing your child struggling with a motor planning issue, a physical cue may be just the gentle reminder he or she needs to complete the task.

Please join in and share the creative solutions YOU have found to your own challenges. For more details on how to participate, click here.

Trish can be found writing here at 5MFSN every Friday in addition to hosting Try This Tuesday. You can also find Trish at her blog, Another Piece of the Puzzle.

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