Start this imitation task by moving all of the structures of your mouth, tongue,
lips, or head in one specific movement. Let the PCD know that you want him or
her to be a mirror image of you, to move exactly as you do and at the same time.
!at is how dancers do it. !ey dance in synchrony, “as one.” You also want a
setting where the PCD mirrors your face, mouth, lip, and tongue movements
when the two of you are working in unison. For instance, when you are sitting
across from each other, pucker your lips, smile, open your mouth, and close it.
Stick out your tongue, move it to the right and left, elevate the tongue tip and
try to touch it to your nose; then move the tongue tip and point it down towards
the ground. Curl the tongue back towards your throat so that the tongue tip is
pointing towards the uvula. Nod your head for “yes” and shake your head for
“no.” !is is a critical step because it establishes whether or not the PCD can
move in unison with you. Once it can be established that the individual you
are working with can mirror basic nonspeaking movements, you can then move
on to say individual vowels, sounds, and words with the same speed, melody,
tone, and manner. In articulation therapy, there is a fundamental principle called
placement and production. Before an individual can model what is being said,
they must be able to place their mouth, tongue, and lips in the same position
as the SM, and they must be able to clearly imitate the movement and sound
that is being presented. !e single vowel, consonant-vowel cluster, or word must
be imitated by the PCD. !is will give you, as the SM, an idea of how well the
individual can imitate.