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.