AVT 001

AVT 001

The Hand Cue



What It Is

The Hand Cue is a technique where you obstruct a child's line of vision so he is unable to watch your mouth as you speak. This allows him to focus and rely completely on what he is hearing (as opposed to "lip reading").

The same hand cue is sometimes used over the child's mouth to let him know that he is supposed to say what he heard.

How To Use It

It is important that you don't keep your hand very close to your mouth, as this will change the acoustics (sound characteristics) of speech. Instead, just hold the palm of your hand over your lips. This also serves as a cue that lets the child know they need to "Listen!"

When you hold your hand over the child's mouth in the same way, it signals that you want him to say what he heard.

When To Use It

The Hand Cue should be used when the child is looking at you and you want him to listen to what you are saying (without watching your mouth).

If you are sitting beside him, and both of you are looking at and talking about a toy together, you don't need to use the hand cue and you shouldn't. Similarly, when you are talking to your child about things around the house, you should use the hand cue only when your child is looking at you and you want him to listen to the specific language you are using. As far as possible, have your child's attention on what you are talking about rather than on your mouth and you will not need to use it often.

Please keep in mind that this doesn't mean you cover your mouth all day long or all the time. In fact, looking at a person during a conversation is natural so don't worry if your child does this. Similarly, turning to look at you when he is called is also a normal behavior. Use the hand cue when you think the child is watching your mouth in order to understand better what you are saying. Use it when you are teaching him specific language and you want him to focus on his listening skills.

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Additional Comments

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