Visual Cues

Speech Therapy

Cueing is arguably one of the most important parts of speech therapy, especially articulation therapy! 

The top speech therapy cues are:

  • visual cues
  • verbal cues
  • tactile cues
  • semantic cues
  • phonological cues

This page will dive into the importance and options for visual cues for speech therapy.

To sum it up, visual cues for speech therapy are cues that the child can see. Easy! 

However, there are a few options for visuals cues and finding the right cues for each child is imperative. I'm going to review my favorite visual cues and provide information on how I use them.

I want to note that I use a lot of cues together at the same time to see which ones are effective for the child. More often than not, a combination is necessary at the beginning of treatment. See the video below!

My Favorite Visual Cues For Speech Therapy

#1 My Face! (most support)

Your face is one of the best visual cues. It is very explicit and necessary!

For almost all types of articulation therapy, getting the child to look and pay attention to your face while you show them HOW to make the sound (what your tongue, lips, jaw, teeth, voice etc....does) is a MUST during the teaching phrase. Once you move on to generalization, you can start to fade it out.

You may have to have a cue to signal the child to look at your face.

I keep it simple and say "eyes" while pointing to my face before showing them how to say a certain sound. 

#2 A Mirror (high support)

During the teaching phase, I have the child look at my face as I say a sound. I then have them give it a try. 

If needed, I pull out my hand mirror and we say the sound in the mirror. I have them look at my face and then look at theirs to make sure we are doing the same thing. 

#3 Pictured Mouth (medium to high support)

A picture of a mouth saying a sound is a visual cue card that has a lot of support. It is less than the #1, but it still gives A LOT of information that the child can just "copy." 

I use this cue card frequently at the beginning when I want to fade myself as the only model and start to build some independence.

#4 Animated Sound Cards (Medium to High Support)

This is something new I added to Speech Therapy Talk's Membership website and the kids love it!

Sound cards are visual cues for speech therapy that cue the child for the sound as a whole and link it to a common sound that the child already knows. It is a bit indirect but can be helpful for some children. 

For example, I may show "the yummy sound" to cue for /m/.

#5  Grapheme/Letter

I always introduce an articulation target with sound and letter and keep that visual cue card visible the entire time!

Many times, speech therapists skip over the letter during articulation (I've been guilty of this). We may call the /s/ the "hissing sound," but we don't call it /s/. 

However, MANY children benefit from tying phonetic and phonological skills together EARLY ON. We all know that there is no such thing as just an /r/ kid. Children with articulation disorders have a breakdown in speech and language learning, organization, and/or production. They are at risk for language and reading disorders. We can make faster progress and help support all needed areas.

Another bonus - Once the child leaves the therapy room, they will see the letter on signs and when reading and start to connect the dots! Points for generalization!  

Visual Cues Cards (Materials)

Of course, having the right visual cue cards are a must! You can't just grab anything. 

As ALWAYS, I couldn't find what I needed so I just made my own. They are done and ready to share!

At Speech Therapy Talk's Membership site, I have printable and no-print cue cards for EVERY SOUND and BLENDS. The blends are seriously good! 

 I am VERY partial to my no-print ones since they have animation and you don't have to print anything (yeah for saving the trees). 

I like the option to pick whichever card works best for my client. This is crucial when trying fade cues, increase independence, and master the ever-so-tricky generalization phase!

Access Materials

Members, please click below to access your materials.

If you are interested in joining and grabbing all cue cards, please click below:

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