24 Strategies to Help Learners Who Talk in an Unnatural Voice

Are you looking for strategies to help students who talk in an unnatural voice? If so, keep reading.

1. Refrain from topics, situations, etc. (e.g., death, divorce, unemployment, alcoholism, etc.) that cause the student to speak in an unnatural voice.

2. Select a peer to model using a natural voice when speaking.

3. Draft an agreement with the student stipulating what behavior is required (e.g., using a natural voice) and which reinforcement will be implemented when the agreement has been met.

4. Connect with parents, agencies, or appropriate parties to tell them about the problem, identify the cause of the problem, and discuss potential solutions to the problem.

5. Do not force the student to interact with others.

6. Praise those students in the classroom who use a natural voice when speaking.

7. Assess the appropriateness of the task to ascertain (a) if the task is too easy, (b) if the task is too complicated, and (c) if the duration of time scheduled to finish the task is sufficient.

8. Provide the student a predetermined signal when they begin to use an unnatural voice.

9. Ignore the student’s unnatural voice if it occurs infrequently or only in stimulating situations.

10. Make sure that all adults (e.g., school and home) require the student to speak in a natural voice.

11. Praise the student for speaking in a natural voice based on the duration of time they can be successful. As the student shows success, slowly increase the duration of time required for reinforcement.

12. Do not reinforce unacceptable behavior by laughing when the student talks in an unnatural voice.

13. Make sure that the student’s unnatural voice is not inadvertently reinforced by paying too much attention to it (i.e., the student may speak in an unnatural voice because of the constant attention given to him/her).

14. Convey your feelings in a socially acceptable way.

15. Put the student in situations in which they are comfortable and most likely to use a natural voice.

16. Praise the student for speaking in a natural voice: (a) give the student a concrete reward (e.g., privileges such as leading the line, handing out learning materials, 10 minutes of free time, etc.) or (b) give the student an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

17. Converse with the student to explain (a) what they are doing wrong (e.g., using an unnatural voice) and (b) what they must be doing (e.g., using a natural voice).

18. Teach the student appropriate ways to express displeasure, anger, frustration, etc.

19. Connect with parents to disseminate information about the student’s progress. The parents may reinforce the student at home for using a natural voice at school.

20. Make the student use a natural voice at all times in the classroom.

21. Consider using a classroom management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

22. Consider using an adaptive behavior management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

23. Consider using Alexa to help the student learn to behave appropriately. Click here to read an article that we wrote on the subject.

24. Click here to learn about six bonus strategies for challenging problem behaviors and mastering classroom management.

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