What are speech therapy touch cues?

Ever since we started speech therapy with Julian the therapists and our family have been using touch cues to help Julian learn to make sounds with his mouth.

Touch cues are physical prompts that are done while making a sound to help Julian identify how to form his mouth and the sound correctly.

Here is a video I made with Julian’s speech therapist to show Julian’s daycare teachers some of his touch cues.

Do touch cues really work?

Absolutely.  They are a very effective way to help a child who has a hard time making sounds with their mouth to learn how to initiate that sound. For example, one of Julian’s first sounds he learned with a speech touch cue was the letter M. The letter M requires your lips to be together and is a long sound so the speech touch cue is  putting your finger across your mouth and putting your lips together. Mmmmmm.

Do kids like using touch cues?

All I can say is that in Julian’s case he has loved it because he is a very visual guy and great with using his hands because of all of the sign language he knows. Touch cues are a very good way to actually show someone how to make a sound which is a pretty abstract thing to try to teach.

Do I have to use touch cues all of the time?

No. We don’t use them all of the time. It just isn’t realistic to think you are going to do this. but we use touch cues incorporated into our daily lives at least a handful of times a day when emphasizing a word or getting Julian to try and say something.

How do I teach other caregivers in my child’s life about touch cues? 

I decided to record one of Julian’s speech therapists using the touch cues and send them an email. I have included a copy of the email I sent to Ashley the lead teacher at Julian’s daycare as an example. Feel free to copy and paste and use it as a template.

Hi Ashley, 

Margeaux Julian’s private speech therapist and I met today and we thought it would be useful to do an email introduction (Margeaux is copied on this email) and also send you a video we made of the touch cues we are using in speech therapy to get the sounds “out” for Julian. Here is a link to the video Margeaux made. Please take a moment to watch and share with Mae and Kim. Thank you! If the above hyperlink doesn’t work, here is the direct URL to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RkeDdWBCLE
In working so closely with LINC and you and the other amazing teachers in the Blue Room, we also look forward to the feedback on anything in the classroom that you think will help Julian grow in his communication based on Margeaux’s initial recommendations (attached, see page 2 from her observation of the class this past Monday) since you spend a lot of time with him and are getting to know him very well 
Justine - Is it possible to have a parent teacher conference sometime in mid November perhaps when Julian will have been in the blue room a couple of months? As many of his therapists as possible would attend. We can cover his goals and progress, etc.
Becca - can you please forward this email on to Jenny – I don’t yet have her email address. For those who don’t know, she is Julian’s speech therapist through Early Intervention and she sees Julian at home once per week on Tuesdays. She has been getting some great words and sounds out of Julian!
Thanks all for taking such great care of our baby (not so much a baby anymore I guess!)
Gretchen & Tom
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One Response to What are speech therapy touch cues?

  1. Anna Theurer says:

    Thank you thank you thank you for posting this! We have been trying to use prompts to help Ellie speak. Most of ours are the same as those used by Julian’s SLP, but of course I am not organized enough to ever form a video. I will be sharing this video with all of Bear’s care providers.

    btw, gonna need some pics of Julian. Feeling deprived!

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