What Are Nonsegmental
Aspects of SpeechAuthor: Sally Lonner
The nonsegmental aspects
of speech are: voice production, duration (long and short), intensity
(loud and quiet), and pitch (high and low). Mastery of the nonsegmentals
is essential if speech is to be understood by those who are not used to
hearing deaf speech.
You can imitate the vocalization, which not only acknowledges it, but
also models basic imitation skills essential to acquiring speech and language.
You may also say , "I hear your voice." Encourage vocalizations
while playing with toys, by making car, truck, and animal sounds.
Say up, up, up while a toy airplane is raised, and a long, drawn-out down
while it comes down. More duration activities may include a long vocalization
such as mmmmmm as a toy car is moved along, and short ba ba ba ba as a
toy rabbit, or frog hops. You can also do whole body activities, making
short vocalizations as you hop or jump, and a long, continuous vocalization
as you walk or run.
Use a lion fingerpuppet, or a stuffed animal making a loud roar or a toy
mouse fingerpuppet making a quiet squeak. Blow up a balloon as the child
vocalizes.The balloon stays small with a quiet voice, and gets bigger
as the vocalizations become louder.
This is the most difficult nonsegmental for profoundly deaf children to
master. Use a toy helicopter, and model your voice with a low pitch, changing
to high as your raise the helicopter in the air. Make a Halloween ghost,
by tying a tissue around a cotton ball and putting two black dots for
eyes. Then, say ooooooo changing pitch as it flies high and low.
These are just a few example of how to incorporate the
nonsegmentals into your child's play activities. As you look around your
house and go through your daily routines you will discover more ways.
You can expand the concepts of duration, intensity and pitch through listening.
When you hear something, label it , and then talk about it. If you heard
a siren, was it loud or quiet, high or low, long or short? Not only can
these activities be fun, they will prove invaluable later, as a firm foundation
for functional, intelligible speech.
MEET YOUR PALSally Lonner received
her Bachelors Degree from the University of Washington. She holds the following
credentials: State of California Restricted Special Education Life Credential
for K-12 Speech and Hearing Therapy and the California Community College
Instructor Credential in Special Education. She has worked as a speech and
language specialist in a total communication program for deaf and hard of
hearing students for the last 22 years. Her students ranged from 18 months
to 12 years of age. She has also worked at the John Tracy clinic in their
deaf blind program and at a school for the physically handicapped. For the
last 12 years she has taught sign language at a local community college.
Sally has attended numerous workshops related to working with the deaf and
hard of hearing, including a language workshop with Daniel Ling. She has
also presented at the CALED (California Educators of the Deaf) conference.