The Mirror Neuron’s Critical Role in Speech Therapy

As SLPs it seems that one of our most-used phrases during articulation therapy is “watch my mouth.” We know it’s a helpful speech therapy tool… but have you ever wondered, “Why?”

Enter the SLP’s best friend: mirror neurons.

There are these little neurons in our brains that “light up” our motor cortex when we watch another person perform an action. For example, if you were to watch someone sweep their floor your mirror neurons would start firing as though you were sweeping the floor too. It seems to be a way for us to practice a motor plan in our mind before performing it physically. If you want to read a fancy sciencey explanation of mirror neurons you can do so here.

These little neurons are the “why” behind “watch my mouth.” Your articulation students’ brains “light up” as they watch you practice their sound, as though they are practicing the sound themselves. Incidentally, the mirror neurons are also the “why” behind a lot of my digital resources.




Pre-recorded videos are especially helpful for independent practice and any other time students may have difficulty seeing our mouths clearly. I had trouble with visibility during some teletherapy articulation sessions, for example. If you’re interested in giving videos during speech therapy a try, I have an R sound freebie for you in my VIP Freebie Library.



You can sign up to get access to this R video model playlist freebie here.

And there you have it! The mirror neuron is the best friend that’s always in your head. Isn’t science cool?

Have fun, speech therapy people!

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Hi! I'm Lindsey!

I’m a pediatric SLP who specializes in the R sound. Fun fact- I actually used to dread the R but after dedicating a lot (like… a lot a lot) of time to researching and troubleshooting… I now love it! So much, in fact, that I currently spend my days treating “R kids” via my private practice and creating R resources and continuing education for SLPs via Speechy Things. I’m so glad you found me! Let’s “Rock the R” together!

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