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Helping Children Improve Speech With Mouth Game

Posted by Brian Spence on Dec 13, 2019 11:03:20 AM

Speech Therapy, SLP, Allied HealthWhen a child has to go for speech therapy, they can find it very boring. Sometimes, they may be asked to click their tongues a hundred times a day. As adults, we might bite the bullet and do it, but for kids, it takes a lot of motivating on the parts of their parents and speech therapists to make them improve their speech habits.

Imagine if speech therapy was made into a game? This is exactly what Melissa Verdel, a student at Fontys Paramedical School, did. Her aim was basically to help people but to do it in a way that was fun.

Speech Therapy Made into a Game.

Melissa Verdel's game consists of a mouth bit with a sensor at the bottom. This sensor is connected to an app with the help of Bluetooth technology. When a child hits that sensor with their tongue, they can see a puppet jumping on the app. What they do with their tongue is reflected in the app, thus making speech therapy exercises more fun to do. You can imagine, even as an adult, that seeing this kind of visual representation of what you are doing in your mouth can make mouth and tongue movements a lot more fun.

Why Keep Your Tongue High in Your Mouth?

The basic idea is that you have to keep your tongue high in your mouth. If you keep your tongue low, your teeth may develop gaps because your tongue is coming in-between them. This eventually leads to lisping. Your jaw also remains narrow when your tongue is low in your mouth. And when your tongue is high in your mouth, you breathe through your nose which heats the air and is better for your throat and lungs. Verdel's game is such that playing it can benefit a child in all these ways.

Helping People to Communicate Better

As Verdel herself puts it, "Communicating is something you do everyday and if you can't do it well enough, your life is going to be incredibly difficult." As of now, the mouth game and app are still in development, but hopefully they will soon be available for children and speech therapists to use.

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