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M is an earlier developing sound. Typically, children master M by 3 years of age.
Below is a brief explanation on what all the articulators (tongue, lips, teeth, jaw, breath, voice) must do to say /m/correctly.
Lips: The lips must be slightly pressed together (enough not to let air escape but not too much where it feels unnatural)
Tongue: It is relaxed in a neutral position
Teeth: They are relaxed in a resting position
Jaw: The jaw must be up, centered, and stable (to make sure the lips are closed)
Breath: /M/ is a nasal sound which means the air escapes through the nose. Say /m/ while touching the sides of your nose. You should feel a vibration.
Voice: /M/ is a voiced sound so the voice box is turned on. Say "mmmm" and touch your throat. If you feel a buzz, you are doing it right.
Please say M in front of a mirror and look and feel what all your muscles are doing. Once you have a good handle on how to say M, you can now better teach your child.
How to use this section:
I will introduce all cues that I find helpful. Please read and become familiar with each one. You will not use all of them. Instead, when you are ready to start practicing, you will try a few and figure out which ones are most helpful for your child. Most likely, you will use a combination of a few. Please refer back to this section as needed!
Speech therapists use a variety of cues during therapy including tactile (touch), verbal (words), and visual (visual models/mirrors) to elicit a correct sound production. Below are the most useful cues for M.
For visual cues to work, make sure your child is looking at you. Bring objects near to or point to your mouth if needed.
Now that your know how to say M and what cues are helpful, head over to Teach M to start teaching and practicing!
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