My Buddy and Me: A Review of Speech Buddies

I have to admit I was pretty skeptical from the get go about Speech Buddies, but I like to welcome new technologies to the field so I was eager to see what they had to offer.  Speech Buddies are a series of  speech therapy tools, by Articulate Technologies,to help children learn correct  tongue positioning for five speech sounds. These are sounds that typically are the most difficult for some children to produce. These sounds are  – R, S, L, CH, and SH.

Speech Buddies were designed by a team of speech-language pathologists and engineers who understand the challenges associated with speech therapy and treating speech disorders.

It’s very important to note that Speech Buddies are not oral motor therapy. What they do is essentially help the child increase the kinesthetic  awareness or sensory biofeedback of  their articulators.  Here is a diagram of how they work.

 I used the Speech Buddies for about a month with clients that ranged from minor articulation errors on /l/ and /r/ to apraxia. I was pleasantly surprised by the results that I was seeing after using the Buddies for one or two sessions. I found that they worked best for clients who did not have any cognitive deficits as they were somewhat resistant to utilizing the Buddies in their mouths and for those that did tolerate it they often wanted to take the Speech Buddy from their mouth and then play therapist on me. ( Rubbing alcohol is used to sanitize between uses). Another issue I had was with missing dentition which didn’t offer the speech buddy support to cue the sound. For some of my clients who were working on one or two of these sounds they enjoyed using the Buddies on themselves and were able to instantly hear and feel the difference between their incorrect production and the production with  the Speech Buddy. Overall I would recommend using the Speech Buddies, especially if you are a therapist that treats a caseload filled with clients with poor speech intelligibility.



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10 thoughts on “My Buddy and Me: A Review of Speech Buddies

  1. Great review! The charts and pics are very helpful also. I was considering this for a kiddo who tongue thrusts for /s/ …. But she just lost her 2 bottom teeth.

  2. I would love these more if they didn’t cost so darn much. It would be great to have parents buy the one that their child needs for home practice but at $149. each that’s really asking too much.

    1. So as a speech path., do you use one set with multiple clients? The web site states that the tools should have one user only, but the cost is prohibitive, especially for school-based therapy. Is disinfecting between users adequate?

      1. Nice, clever, cheufrel story, Womag, I wish I could write light-hearted relationship stories. Perhaps my problem is that my relationships were all full of problems and angst when I was young! Dream Writer, you sound a bit like me. Have you done other kinds of writing before?

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