My son is 6 years old and while he is exceedingly bright (no, really, he is) he was a late talker (like Einstein) and when he did speak, it was hard to understand him because he had issues with numerous sounds. After three years of speech therapy in the public school system, his speech is much, much more clear but…it could be better.
He’s never received one-on-one speech therapy because with one therapist and a lot of kids who need help, doing speech therapy in a group is the only way to see all of them every week. Given those circumstances, his progress has been more than satisfactory. But given his age, I really want to see quicker progress. I don’t want him to be known as the kid who talks funny—children can be cruel even in first grade.
I was recently approached by the folks at Speech Buddies to see if I would be interested in trying out their product. Since Speech Buddies is a product that helps kids with speech disorders and I have a child with more than one speech impediment, I immediately said yes.
The Speech Buddy tools are plastic instruments that are placed in the mouth and enable children to pronounce the correct sound immediately by training proper tongue placement. Correct pronunciation with Speech Buddy leads to correct pronunciation without Speech Buddy. The kit comes with five instruments that help kids with the five most common problem sounds: R. L CH, SH, S
When the Speech Buddies kit arrived in a tidy metal case, I was excited to try it out. I waited for a day when we had time and quiet and after reading the instructions, I started working with my son using the S tool.
After going over the process with him and explaining that he needed to lightly touch the target point on the instrument with his tongue while saying the words I asked him to say, we got started. I put the instrument in it’s proper position (this was easy thanks to little guides that help it rest in the center of his two front teeth).
He was fidgety and at first it was hard to keep the instrument in place but after a minute, he settled down and lo and behold, he started correctly saying the words I asked him to say.
We did about 20 words and then I removed the instrument and asked him to try and put his tongue where he had it with the S instrument in his mouth. With gentle reminding, he was able to say almost all the S words correctly.
We then moved on to the R instrument and had the same success.
I’ve continued working with him using Speech Buddies and reminding him when we’re not using Speech Buddies to put his tongue in the proper spot and I’m really impressed at his progress. At this point, he knows where to put his tongue to say his problem sounds of S and R correctly and we’re working on breaking a lifelong habit of incorrect positioning.
I can honestly say that using Speech Buddies has sped up this process enormously and has truly helped him to understand where his tongue needs to go. When I hear him saying his R’s and S’s correctly, which he does much of the time, I know we are almost there and feel confident that this will be his last year in speech therapy.
Save $15 on Speech Buddies
You can order Speech Buddies directly from their web site and you don’t have to buy the whole kit. You can just order the instruments for the sounds you want to work on with your child.
Speech Buddies has kindly provided me with a discount code for IzzyMom readers—to receive a $15 discount off any order, please use code “sb70285“