Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Mouth With a Mind of Its Own- New Therapy Book

One of the biggest challenges I have is when a new student starts speech therapy.  Depending on their age, it can be a little tricky explaining why they need to come for  therapy.  Even the most self-aware child can feel sensitive about the way they talk, and the last thing I ever want to do is to make them feel negatively about themselves.  Pat Mervine at Speaking of Speech has written a great new book:  The Mouth With a Mind of Its Own.  I was able to preview a copy of the book, and I am sharing my thoughts of this book with you!
The basic premise of the book is as follows:  Matthew has trouble getting his mouth to say what he is thinking.  He just can't seem to tame his mouth.  Thanks to his new SLP, Mrs. Hicks, Matthew learns how to take control and effectively communicate with others around him. 
I liked this book for many reasons, and the main reason is that Matthew reminds me of students I have worked with- especially when others, including me, can not understand the child when they say their own name.  Another positive is that the book gives readers a look inside the world of speech therapy by illustrating the various tasks one would do to be a better commnicator including auditory bombardment, learning about speech helpers, and the work/steps involved in articulation therapy.  I like that it accurately captures the speech therapist role and speech therapy process from rubber mouth puppets, tongue depressors, and mirrors to the need for daily practice and the amount of time required to learn so many different sounds. The metaphor of "taming my mouth" is a great idea (it  even shows Matthew's idea of what he thinks it means and then what it really means where you start with the lips and move on to the teeth, jaw, and then the tongue).
A huge bonus point goes to the inclusion of the following fact-  speech therapy is a work in progress-  it takes time and practice both inside the speech room and out!  And kudoos to the author for making Mrs. Hicks an encouraging therapist always ready to support Matthew throughout the whole process.

The illustrations are colorful and I like how the sounds Matthew needs to work on and what he says is in a bright yellow to emphasize the book is about his speech sound improvement.  Overall, the book uses light humor well to reassure children with speech sound issues that they will improve with therapy while also providing validation of their feelings that it is frustrating and difficult to tame one's mouth.  I think this book would be a welcome addition to any therapist's shelf. 

Check it out at Pat's site, or by cliking the book title link above!

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