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Thread: Speech Buddies

  1. #1
    Administrator Colleen's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
    Boston, MA
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    Speech Buddies

    Product/Program /Strategy Speech Buddies
    Intended Population Children and adults with speech production disorder, who cannot produce the R, L, S, SH, CH sounds. (
    Description Speech Buddies are speech therapy tools designed to help children and adults learn correct and consistent tongue positioning for five of the most difficult-to-learn problem sounds – R, S, L, CH, and SH.

    Speech Buddies also offers Speech Buddies University where you set up carryover activities for your students and parents to work on at home. Create word games that progress in difficulty, track progress, and see results on a simple dashboard. It's FREE, fun and easy to use!
    (may vary depending on site and sale date)
    $124 for one Speech Buddy
    $299 for the Professional Set
    Where to buy: Speech Buddies Purchase Page
    Related Research and Readings Speech Buddies Official Website

    The Speech Buddies Research Page contains links to all research articles on Speech Buddies and Intra-Oral Tactile Biofeedback in Speech Therapy.

    Check out Speech Room New's review.
    Super Powers Speech had this to say:
    The Speech Guy also shared his thoughts on Speech Buddies.
    Video Examples and Presentations Check out the Playlist for SLPs which includes specific videos and training. SLP's take advantage of this resource!

    Last edited by Joy; 04-15-2014 at 04:28 PM.
    Speech-Language Pathologist and Co-Founder of

  2. #2
    ASE All-STAR jfrancese's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    Dracut, MA
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    Speech Buddy Review

    Speech Buddies Review
    by Jennifer L. Francese, M.S., CCC-SLP

    I learned about Speech Buddies while attending the ASHA convention in Atlanta a few years ago. I instantly liked them, and that they have been tested in numerous clinical studies. To see a list of all studies please visit the company's website by clicking (Proven in Clinical Trials)

    The problem was their price, and that they were listed for single use. For a clinician on a budget it didn’t seem practical for me at that time to purchase them. Recently I was given the opportunity to review them, and I jumped at the chance.

    Speech Buddies produced by Articulate Technologies INC are a set of simple tools that work by using tactile feedback in order to teach the correct tongue placement and coordination to help remediate five of the most difficult speech sounds
    R, L, CH, S, SH.

    According to claims made by the company, tactile feedback has shown to be effective because it works to integrate the sense of feeling within the mouth to expedite learning; helps to enhance muscle motor memory; emphasizes coordination and placement NOT strength; and is researched based.

    I decided that I would first start using Speech Buddies on the daughter of one of the occupational therapists at the clinic in which I work. Let’s call her Jane. She is typical five-year-old who has a frontal lisp. Her S, CH and SH are distorted. Due to her age her parents were not too concerned initially; however, after receiving speech therapy using a traditional articulation treatment from another clinician, limited progress was seen. Over the last few months her mother had started to ask me more questions in regards to when sounds develop, and whether or not she should be concerned. Once I heard I would be able to try Speech Buddies I asked if she wouldn’t mind if I tried them with Jane. She was more than happy to have Jane try them.

    During Jane’s first session I introduced her to the Speech Buddies. She instantly liked them and the animals they represented. Jane was so excited and wanted to try all of them. I indulged her curiosity, but focused on the three sounds that were the most difficult for her (S, CH, SH). She did a great job tolerating the tools, and did not show any oral defensiveness (e.g. gagging). Jane was able to locate all targets, and produce each sound properly. For her first session we focused on saying each sound in isolation, CV combinations as well as simple CVC and CCVC words (e.g. chat, sun). Jane’s enthusiasm for using the Speech Buddies continued throughout the session, and when time was up she claimed, “I like the CH because I like cheetahs.” A few days after her session her mother reported that she heard a difference the next day. I was happy to hear that she felt there was a difference, but cautioned her as well. I have seen Jane three times since our initial visit and her production of S, CH, and SH continues to improve. We are still focusing on these sounds in the initial position of words. Jane’s self-awareness has also improved, and when a buddy is not being used, she has shown the ability to self-correct on several occasions. Her parents are excited with her progress thus far. In a few weeks/months I plan to do a follow up on Jane’s progress once I take more data.

    I have learned since taking the Speech Buddy training course that even though they are FDA approved for a single user, if sterilized properly they can be used with multiple people. It is recommended that in order to clean them you can use either: mild soap; bleach wipes; submerge them in 70% isopropyl alcohol or in a 5% bleach solution. They are NOT dishwasher safe.

    Once I saw success with Jane I decided to use them on another client. Let’s call him Joe. He is a 9-year-old boy who has been diagnosed with autism. Joe currently uses a Nova Chat 7 to talk; however, over the last year he has made small progress using his voice to make verbal requests and comments. Joe is able to produce all plosives, vowels and some fricatives; however, his ability to produce S and Z is very challenging for him. He has been working on this sound at school for over a year, and has made little progress. During our first session two weeks ago, I tried the S speech buddy with him. Joe is very tactilely defensive so I was not optimistic, but thought I would try anyway. Surprisingly he tolerated the speech buddy, but only for a few seconds at a time, gagging if it touched the bottom of his tongue. After a few attempts he successfully touched the target with his tongue, and was able to produce the S correctly. We tried the speech buddy during his session this week, and again he was successful making the S sound. I even got him to produce CV combinations (e.g. SE, SO, etc.). I will also provide you with an update on Joe’s progress in a few weeks/months once I have more data.

    So far I have seen positive results with the children in which I have used Speech Buddies. At this time now that I know they can be used for multiple users if cleaned properly I would highly recommend them. Like other treatments I know that they will not work for all users, but based on the research and my own personal experience thus far, I feel that they are worth the money.

    • There are videos online that you can access that provide information on correct tool placement. How to Use Speech Buddies R, S, L, CH, and SH Tools - YouTube
    • Speech Buddies also come with a professional instruction guide that provides pictures for correct tool placement, practice tips, word guides and other helpful information. The guide can also be
    found online at:
    • They can be used with multiple users if cleaned properly.
    • Clinician’s as well as parents can use them once trained. This help with carryover and generalization.
    • Access to Speech Buddies University. It is the first ever online, social speech therapy network. It can be used with or without a Speech Buddy and provides multi-level practice guidance. The
    speech pathologist can connect with their clients via Speech Buddies University and customize recommendations and homework for your each client. Currently only online games and exercises
    are offered, but the company is working on adding worksheets. Patient | Logon
    • The company responds quickly with any questions you may have through e-mail, and they offer a way to chat with a representative when someone is available online.

    • The price tag is still too high for many clinicians. A single Speech Buddy costs $124 and an entire set will run $299. The company does offer sales and I have seen them on discounted sights
    such as Groupon.

    Speech Buddies can help benefit individuals who have the following:
    • Speech and articulation disorders of all severities
    • Hearing impairment
    • Autism spectrum disorder or other cognitive disorder
    • Apraxia of speech (developmental or acquired)
    • Accent modification / English language learning
    • Post surgery cleft palate

    The company recommends that they can also benefit others who have initial been evaluated including people with:
    • Speech and articulation disorders tied to neuromuscular weakness
    • Cerebral palsy
    • Paralysis
    • Down Syndrome

    They are not recommended for individuals who have:
    • Language disorders
    • A stutter
    • Voice disorders
    • By individuals who are nonverbal.

    Articulate Technologies INC provided me with a free set of Speech Buddies to review. I was not compensated in any way for my write up.

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