Vocalization

EchoBucketCroppedOral motor activities are often associated only with eating and drinking, but the mouth is also used to express oneself through vocalizations and eventually language.  As the lips, tongue, and cheeks develop increased sensory and motor skills, the ability to create varying sounds increases.  As cognitive development occurs, language skills increase.  All children should be given Active Learning environments to encourage vocalizations, to allow for repetition of vocalizations, and to eventually encourage imitation of vocalizations and sounds.   

For learning to occur, a child must be aware of and interested in his or her own voice.  In Active Learning we might place a microphone in the area of a child, so that his or her voice is amplified.  Items besides microphones can amplify a child’s voice.  An Echo Bucket can be hung over a child who is lying on a Resonance Board.  Vocalizations made will echo through the bucket and reflect back to the child.  Tubing, such as vacuum cleaner hoses or tubes from paper towels, can be held up to a child’s ear and mouth, so that sounds are echoed. In this video, a gathering drum and microphone are used to amplify vocalizations. You don’t need expensive items to encourage vocalizations.  In this video, a metal bowl provides inspiration to imitate sounds.  The activity is so engaging that other children decide to join in the fun.

Simply giving a child the opportunity to use his or her voice in a meaningful way promotes increased vocalizations.  As children develop greater vocalizations, look for opportunities to demonstrate language in first simple and then more complex ways. 

Oral Motor- Vocalizing with Music Therapist

Description: In this video, a girl works with a music therapist. Her emotional level is at a three month old range and when the music therapist presents activities at a higher emotional level (such as banging, putting things together, or taking things apart) the girl ignores the therapist, and continues to mouth nearby objects. Activities that reflect the actions of a three month old, such as making scratching motions with the fingers, vocalizing, and mouthing, gain her attention.

vocalizing with the music therapist
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Oral Motor- Vocalizing with a Microphone

Description: In this video, a microphone is placed in the area of a child, so that his voice is amplified. He is set up so that his movements cause responses, and the music therapist pauses to allow him time to process and then vocalize.

Boy with microphone
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Oral Motor- Vocalizing with Echo Bucket

Description: In this video, a gathering drum and microphone are used to amplify vocalizations.

echo
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Oral Motor- Using a Metal Bowl to Imitate Sounds

Description: In this video, a metal bowl provides inspiration to imitate sounds. The activity is so engaging that other children decide to join in the fun.

metal bowl
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Oral Motor- Singing with the Guitar

Description: A young boy vocalizes as his music therapist sings and plays the guitar.

singing with guitar
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Oral Motor- Using the Word “More”

Description: The occupational therapist introduces the word “more” to an activity with a young boy. He isn’t required to say the word, but has repeated opportunities to do so.

more
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speech collage