Every sound of speech has a place of production, manner of production and can either be voiced or voiceless sounds. Place of production is the accurate placement of articulators. Manner of production is the restriction of airflow in the oral cavity. A voiced sound has the voice box on versus a voiceless sound when the voice box is off. The phoneme /m/ placement of articulators is lips together, the manner is airflow through the nose or a nose sound and your voice box is on. When working with your child on how to produce the /m/ sound, you can refer to it as the humming sound.
Ways to Elicit /m/
Place of Production:
- Draw attention to pressing the lips together. This can be accomplished by using your child’s fingers and thumb to hold their lips together.
- Use a touch cue by lightly touching the child’s upper lip with the back side of your pointer finger. You should notice the upper lip curl down slightly. You may also use a little hint of flavor as a touch cue by placing frosting or peanut butter on the upper and lower lip and ask the child to bring the lips together to touch the spot that the flavor was placed on.
Manner of Production:
- A mirror is a great tool to use to help demonstrate airflow through the nose. Have the child first fog up the mirror with his or her mouth. Then, ask the child to fog up the mirror by blowing air out of his or her nose.
- Have the child take a deep breath and hold it. Then, ask the child to say “ah” while keeping their mouth closed so air passes through the nose.