How to teach your child to say ME

 

 

Eric Carle’s Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See? is great to work on your little one’s ability to say and understand the word ME.  If you are not familiar with the story……below you will find the words to the Brown Bear story:

BROWN BEAR BROWN BEAR WHAT DO YOU SEE?

Brown bear, brown bear
What do you see?
I see a red bird
Looking at me

Red bird, red bird
What do you see?
I see a yellow duck
Looking at me

Yellow duck, yellow duck
What do you see?
I see a blue horse
Looking at me

Blue horse, blue horse
What do you see
I see a green frog
Looking at me

Green frog, green frog
What do you see?
I see a purple cat
Looking at me

Purple cat, purple cat
What do you see?
I see a white dog
Looking at me

White dog, white dog
What do you see?
I see a black sheep
Looking at me

Black sheep, black sheep
What do you see?
I see a gold fish
Looking at me

Gold fish, gold fish
What do you see?
I see a teacher
Looking at me

Teacher, teacher
What do you see?
I see beautiful children
Looking at me

Children, children
What do you see?
We see a brown bear
A red bird
A yellow duck
A blue horse
A green frog
A purple cat
A white dog
A black sheep
A gold fish
And a teacher looking at us
That’s what we see

 

When I read the story with a little one….whenever the word ME is read in the story….hand over hand I take her hand and tap on her shirt and I say the word “ME“.  Depending on the skill level of the child….this will determine how many times….how many sessions…..are needed using hand over hand showing the little one ME

The pronoun ME is difficult for some children to understand.  WHY???  Because we all refer to ourselves as ME.  Mommy is ME….Daddy can say: Give to ME….a sibling can use the word ME….and your little one is ME.  So it can be a challenge for a little one to understand the word ME and that she verbally express it to refer to herself as ME.  

I like to target the word ME with the little ones that are very limited in their verbal language.  WHY? Parents are often frustrated because their little one can not indicate that she wants something…..whether it is something to eat or drink…a specific toy she may want to play with….whatever the desire is……I like to target her use and understanding of: Give ME.  However…..the only demand I place upon her…..is her ability to say the word ME…..or tapping on her shirt to indicate ME (non-verbally).  

If your little one is struggling to independently tap on her shirt to non-verbally say ME….put a fuzzy sticker on her shirt….this tactile cue is usually enough to develop her understanding of the non-verbal expression of ME.

When she is ready……read the Brown Bear Story again…..and now pause when the word ME is to be read…..see if she is able to tap on her shirt to indicate ME….and if so PRAISE her!….and be sure to give her the verbal cue by saying the word ME. 

I also like to incorporate a small family photo album…..each picture should contain only one person in it…..and the pictures should be in a small photo album….one that has only one picture per page.  After your little one has begun to understand the word ME and she is non-verbally expressing ME by tapping on her shirt……go through the photo album and verbally label the pictures of: Mommy, Daddy…and any siblings…when you get to the picture of the little one….hand over hand help her to tap on her shirt to indicate ME. 

After she has non-verbally indicated ME when reading the Brown Bear Book…..encourage her to verbally say the word ME…..use the M strategy below to encourage the  M sound:

 

 

HOW TO TEACH THE M SOUND: 

 

M is a bilabial sound-which means that your two lips come together.  M also is one of the three nasal sounds (which means that the air escapes out of your nose not out of your mouth).  M is one of the earliest sounds that children will acquire…..I guess that’s why we are called “mommy or mom or mama”-it’s easy to say! 

 

Tactile Cue:

To help elicit this sound you can have your child feel the vibration M makes on your lips.  Have your child place her hands on your lips….and ask her if she feels the vibration M makes.  Next you can help her obtain lip closure (two lips together) by using your thumb and pointer finger to close her upper and lower lip.  Once she has her lips in the right placement,  take her hand again and place it on your lips,  you make the M sound…..and stretch the sound out….meaning make it continue…..next see if she can make it also.  Giving her the tactile cue (feeling the sound), helping her with placement of her lips by using your thumb and pointer and modeling (saying) the sound for her will help her to say the M sound. 

Next be sure to try in syllables such as:  mama, mimi, meme, momo, mumu.  Then try in easy words such as: me, my, moo (cow sound).  Next in short phrases: Mom is nice.  Moo says a cow.  Remember to try and put the target word first….this makes it less challenging while your little one is mastering the sound.  Finally, into longer sentences. 

Visual Cue/Physical Cue:

One last tip……to show her that M is a sound that continues like S….show her this: with your hands palm down on your lap…..move your hands down your thighs until you reach your knees.  As you are doing this….produce the M sound.  This visual cue shows her that M is a sound that continues.

 

Click on this link for M worksheet…these are M words in the initial position. INITIALMWORDS

 

Remember to follow the articulation process as indicated below:

1. Start off with the word in isolation-that means all by itself

2. Next word in short phrases.

3. Word in sentences.

4. Word in longer sentences.

5. Now try in conversation.

 

 

I hope this post was helpful….

The Brown Bear Book is good for so many things….labeling the animals, locating the animals when you say: Where is the horse (this can be done on the last page of the book when all of the animals are pictured together)…..identify simple body parts when you get to the picture of the teacher (eyes, nose, mouth, ears, hair), work on animal sounds to encourage verbal production, and attention to a short story. 

Have fun with your little one or big one!

Kim

About Kim

My name is Kim Marino and I have been practicing as a licensed speech and language pathologist since 1993. I work on Long Island providing diagnostic evaluations and services to children from birth to age 21. My experience is vast and am proud to say that I work with children that may present with articulation and phonological concerns, oral motor feeding concerns, Down Syndrome feeding, cognitive rehabilitation, auditory processing delays, receptive language delays, cleft palate feeding and sound development and expressive language delays. Most importantly, I am the mother of four amazing children and am happily married to my childhood sweetheart. I feel blessed to have my four children and so lucky to share this journey in life with my husband. I always had it somewhere in my head that I wanted to develop a blog or a website of some sort so that I could provide families with an additional resource....so that parents could help their little ones become a better communicator. And as I was developing this blog....I realized that I also needed to share the stories about my life and my children....and the funny things along the way that help to keep me smiling. Whether you are a working mother or not...finding balance between home, children and life can be a challenge....I hope that my blog helps to bring a smile to your face..and also some tools to help you help your little or big one. I hope you enjoy! Kim
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