Considerations for Choosing the Perfect Therapy Materials: Cues vs Stimuli

Considerations for Choosing the Perfect Therapy Materials: Cues vs Stimuli

We frequently get asked: How do I choose which Bjorem Speech products/materials to buy or use in therapy? Of course, you should first consider your clients’ needs. Check out this blog post to learn more about that! Something else that is important to consider, however, when choosing Bjorem Speech products (or any therapy material for that matter) is the function of the material you are choosing. Is the material you are choosing a cue deck? A stimuli deck? Both?

Not sure what I mean? Let me clarify...

Cues vs Stimuli

Cues are supports that help a child successfully complete a task or skill. For example, a visual or picture might help a child to produce a correct sound. Stimuli are practice items or materials that you use for intervention. For example, a list of practice words. This type of material is often thought of as your “grab and go” type of resource.


Why does this distinction matter?

  1. If you are expecting stimuli when a product contains cues (or vice versa) – you’ll likely be confused or frustrated. 
  2. To have an effective session, utilization of cues AND stimuli is recommended. 


Implications for Choosing Therapy Materials

So, what does this mean when choosing intervention materials or purchasing our products? Consider asking yourself: What am I looking for? Cues? Stimuli? Both?

Bjorem Speech offers cue-based products, stimuli-based products and many that contain both. Here are some examples of each, though these lists are not exhaustive.

Cue Decks

  • Bjorem Speech Sound Cues
  • Cluster Cues
  • Story Cue Deck
  • Contrast Cues

*many of our cue-based decks have "cue" in the title or on the box

Stimuli Decks

  • Box of Series
  • Prevocalic and Vocalic R
  • Cycles Intervention Decks

Both (Cues + Stimuli)

  • Minimal Pairs Decks
  • Lateralization Deck
  • Facilitative Contexts for R Therapy Deck
  • Teaching Idioms in Context Deck

*While our Minimal Pairs decks do come with cues and stimulus materials, you can absolutely use other cues (like the Bjorem Speech Sound Cues) with the Minimal Pairs decks too. It is totally fine, even recommended, to mix and match.

Bottom Line: Know what you are looking for what choosing therapy materials. It will help you tackle your session confidently and effectively…and it’ll save you $$ and a headache!


*Note: Though most products fall in the cue, stimuli or both category, some of our products do not fall cleanly into these categories. Some of our products can be better classified as strategy or facilitation decks. This type of deck is neither a cue-specific deck nor or a stimuli-specific deck and functions primarily to provide a strategy to facilitate accurate production of a target or skill. An example of a strategy-based deck is the R Coarticulation deck. 

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