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Marvellous Mouth and RTI

Marvellous Mouth Children's Speech and Oral Language Therapy

UNITED STATES

RESPONSE TO INTERVENTION and MOUTHERCISE

The Marvellous Mouth curriculum for early educators empowers both early educators and speech-language pathologists through providing a bridge between the two disciplines. Marvellous Mouth provides a shared resource that is also accessible to parents, thereby allowing children (especially those who need speech and language intervention but do not test low enough to qualify for it) access to help.

 

Response to Intervention, or RtI is a powerful way to resolve many speech and language difficulties before they become disorders. Mouthercise is a wonderful, teacher-friendly way to integrate the RtI strategies into the existing routine in your classroom. The programme begins with a teacher training manual that explains in detail the "why" and the "how" of the classroom activities that will promote clear speech development and correct typical speech errors common in up to 15% of children under 5. It uses video and audio clips to reinforce the text. These clips include documentary footage of children in Ireland and California participating in the programme in their classrooms. It also includes mini webinars on topics such as choosing materials for your classroom or using what is already available in a slightly different way to increase speech, understanding and behaviour.

The resource continues with a step by step manual for the classroom with reflections at the end of each sequence to allow the readers to test their understanding of the content and to apply the knowledge directly to their own classrooms and students. The entire sequence has been rigourously tested in both the United States and Ireland. It has evolved to become a robust child-centred series of activities that seamlessly merge into one programme, but can be separated into stand-alone segments to target specific speech, language or behaviour issues. Unlike traditional hierarchical oral motor programmes that use horns and whistles, the oral motor activities in Mouthercise improve coordination and execution of speech and eating tasks through entertaining language-based or imaginative activities.

A valuable reproducibles and resources section includes posters, worksheets and parent information handouts that can be printed out on the school printer. It also includes additional information about outside resources such as Carol Gray Social Stories for behaviour challenges.

Early Childhood educators, elementary or primary school teachers, resource teachers, speech and language pathology assistants, school-based speech-language pathologists and special educators would all benefit from this comprehensive resource. Though speech is not specifically targeted in RTI (response to intervention) speech development is a vital prerequisite to meeting preliteracy targets. In Ireland, the programme is a wonderful support for the ECCE free preschool year and links to the standards set out in Aístear and Síolta. In the UK, Marvellous Mouth addresses the language components of the Nutgrove Review (2.7 - 2.9).

 

For more information about RTI go to http://www.rti4success.org/whatisrti