Month: October 2010

Attaining and Maintaining Intelligibility with Dysarthria

By Shanti McGinley

Q: I have a ten-year-old client who is very hard to understand, although he has no specific phoneme errors. We’ve started doing a pacing board which is helpful. I know that oral-motor exercises are taboo these days, but I feel in some way I have to address motor weakness. The greatest and most effective technique for dysarthria is EXAGGERATION of speech. This is spoken of in virtually all books on traditional articulation therapy and more modern texts on motor speech…

Advice for Pierre-Robin Syndrome

By Shanti McGinley

Q: Can you give our family advice about stimulating speech, language, and feeding in a 14-month old girl with Pierre-Robin Syndrome? She is making some sounds and is pretty smart. We have read your book Becoming Verbal with Childhood Apraxia and it has helped us understand about stimulating sound and word productions. Although she continues to be fed through a G-tube, she now is eating many different foods orally. Let me just make some straightforward statements about how I would…

When /d/ Is the Only Consonant

By Shanti McGinley

There is a question that arose in a seminar recently that I want to share. I was teaching on apraxia, and using the 23 methods of jaw, lip, and tongue facilitation as the main focus of the class. The question was about a three-year-old boy who had no other consonants but /d/. He was speaking single words of 1-3 syllables, but his productions were limited to CV structure. Thus, telephone would be produced as “deh-duh-doh.” The question the therapist had…

Parent Seeking Advice About the Lateral Lisp

By Shanti McGinley

Q: My 5-year-old is in articulation therapy with a speech pathologist for half-hour per week to treat a lateral lisp. Is this intense enough? And what is the best thing for me to do at home to help her practice? One half-hour session per week with homework activities is intense enough for a lateral lisp. That is precisely what I give my clients. Success all depends upon whether or not the therapist knows what he or she is doing. The…

Licking Habit and Autism

By Shanti McGinley

Q: I am looking for something to assist us with a student who stimulates by licking everything in sight. Are there any strategies for decreasing this behavior? It interferes with his attending during class. I have worked so little with kids on the autism spectrum that I do not know how to answer this. I have never had to extinguish a behavior like this. I can say this however: I would not consider this an oral-motor problem. This is a…