It all started with our talk on the way to the dentist for Elizabeth. We go to this wonderful dentist who has an equally wonderful staff.  So we are on our way there as she and I were discussing the things we are planning on restarting once she starts her new semester in college, which will be on January 14th.  Elizabeth has been off of school for break since December the 1st and it has been wonderful having her around.  She has relaxed and enjoyed the time.  During this time, we did not do a great deal of mouth-work or singing which we usually do a few times a week.  So one of the things we are planning on restarting is the mouth-work.  For those who do not know, Elizabeth has special needs.  Specifically, Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and Global Dyspraxia. She did not talk until she was five years old.  So the gift of clear language is something we appreciate greatly and work on consistently.

She and I were talking about how great it is to do this mouth-work  because of the importance of being understood, of being able to speak up for yourself and to be heard well.  We enter the dentist’s office and are greeted by the staff who start talking to Elizabeth, asking her questions about her break, plans for the winter etc.  And when they could not understand some key words, they looked at me and I then turned to Elizabeth and asked her to say it again to them.  She concentrated, self-corrected and spoke the words clearly.

Feedback.

On the way home she and I talked about what occurred and again, the importance of speaking clearly and being aware of how you sound, so that others can understand you.

Feedback is huge.

In a previous blog, I wrote about a device that helps the talker hear how they sound as they read or talk, thus giving good feedback to the individual. With that in mind, I have come across another device that I wanted to share with you.  It is called Element.

Element is a hand held “telephone” that allows you to hear your own voice as you speak.

Feedback.

It lets you hear if you speak too loudly, as can happen with those who have Dyspraxia

Feedback.

It lets you hear if you are not speaking in a manner that can be understood.

Feedback. 

The Element device can be used when the child is reading or in a therapy setting as well as when a child is talking with you. It gives the individual an idea of how they sound and helps them moderate how loud they are or how fast they are talking.  Elizabeth uses one of the auditory feedback devices as she reads.

If possible, you can share them with school therapists to have everyone working with the same goals in mind.  In any event, they are quite easy to carry, store and use, so if they sound interesting to you, please go to our site to see the Element device as well as the Solo which includes a headset.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti author of “I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey” and “Emily’s Sister”

 

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