Sometimes kids with sensory processing disorders have trouble expressing themselves. This can be due to the emotional component of sensory processing or it can be from a co-morbid speech delay. Addressing the sensory needs of kids with speech delays can do wonders to progress them toward their speech goals. 

1. Vibratory Input

One of the issues that you might encounter is low tone in the mouth and jaw. A speech therapist might prescribe some massage in and around the mouth before mealtime to help with mouth closure. Another tool she might use is an  ARK Z-vibe. The deep pressure massage and vibratory input to the mouth will stimulate the para-oral muscles to encourage mouth closure.

2. Tug of War

There are  chewies in our collection that can be used for jaw strengthening or for a gentle tug of war. The child holds one end of the chewy in his mouth while the adult gently tugs at it as if trying to take it out, thus strengthening jaw muscles. Chewies also provide calming oral input for anxious children.

3. Technology

Some kids with auditory processing issues do not realize they speak too softly or too loudly. The Forbrain is a tool that enhances the audio-vocal loop that allows a child to hear how they sound through bone conduction. This can improve their attention, concentration, memory, and elocution by using it a few minutes a day.

4. Get Moving

When you get kids jumping on a trampoline or swinging, you’ll be amazed at how much it activates their speech. Bouncing on a therapy ball or peanut ball is a good way to get seated movement to stimulate speech. Even a walk around the school or yard can stimulate your child to speak. The vestibular system and auditory systems are both located in the inner ear, impacting each other when stimulated. 

5. Lights, Camera, Action!

Our  Sound Activated Light Up Wall Panel gives visual feedback according to sounds that are made. Combining the visual and auditory senses enhances the feedback to the sensory system. This brilliantly constructed panel has many different programs. The colors build as your voice gets louder and louder. Kids love making the panel light up, teaching cause and effect while getting kids to vocalize! 

6. Gamify It

Sometimes the low-tech option is the best. Our Social Skills Game will get kids talking about how feelings and actions affect social interactions. The Multi Matrix game is a fascinating way to enhance language skills with the use of cubes containing letters, numbers and symbols that can be arranged in many different patterns. 

7. Discovery Putty

The little pieces in our  Discovery Putty come in 13 different themes encouraging kids to label the pieces as they dig them out. You can tell a story based on the pieces that emerge. The deep pressure input they get from working the putty with their hands is calming and can lead to more verbal expression. 

Speech and language development is central to cognitive and emotional development. We hope these tools help you explore the many ways you can help your clients reach their full potential.

Share your questions and experiences with us in the comments below or reach out at customercare@funandfunction.com