Headphones Are An Important Tool in the Arsenal When it Comes to Speech Therapy

An SLP writes us that they feel that the students she works with have difficulty focusing on auditory information and that headphones really help.

During my experience working with students within the schools, I began using headphones for my students with a variety of speech impairments including phonological, oral motor and articulation…

Auditory bombardment is not a new concept, as it was something that I used as a student in my college clinic. Once I began using the headsets with my “speech” students, I did find improvements in their ability to discriminate and process sounds more rapidly. This was particularly true with my students who had difficulty attending/processing during traditional methods of service delivery. Every student I worked with preferred and often requested using the headset as they could not only hear me, themselves, and the other students in the group, but they would often self-correct their own errors, as well as the errors of their peers.

I did use the headset with some of my students who had autism, for articulation errors, as well as during story comprehension activities, and role playing during social stories, as well as for any student who was struggling with auditory processing. It did not take much time for them to overcome the sensitivity of using the headsets and they would often request using the headphones so that they could self-monitor their own utterances (some of them just enjoyed hearing the sound of their own voice). This was particularly useful for providing immediate verbal feedback when targeting goals such as varying their vocal intonation, stress, loudness and phrasing, which is also often a difficulty for students with autism. …

I found that the use of a headset often enhanced the signal to noise ratio, which often assists in service delivery, as you always want your student to focus and attend to the goals, not the distractions. For those SLPs who have worked in the schools, they can relate to how noisy and distracting the environment can be at times, even within what is supposed to be a “quiet environment” of their speech room.

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