Month: April 2011

Final “Ch” Clusters

By Shanti McGinley

Q: I finally have a boy saying his “Sh” and “Ch” sounds using your techniques. But he is having a hard time transitioning to words like “pinched” or “benched.” I would appreciate your suggestions as to how to help him. I would have him pause between the “Ch” and the “T” like this: Pinched = Pinch…(pause)…T! Benched = Bench…(pause)…T! Then shorten the pause between the Ch and the T until they sound like the cluster they are.

Reading Programs for Apraxia and Dysarthria

By Shanti McGinley

Q: What reading programs do you use with children who have apraxia or dysarthria? I do not teach reading. It is my opinion that the SLP has no business teaching kids to read. We are speech-language pathologists, not reading specialists. I’m sorry to disappoint. I do not go along with things just because they are popular points of view. In my opinion it is unethical for SLP’s to be teaching reading. Therefore I do not keep up with reading programs….

References and Advice for Apraxia and Dysarthria

By Shanti McGinley

Q: Do you have any advice on working on reading with a six-year-old child with severe apraxia and dysarthria? This child is having many difficulties with phonological and phonemic awareness and is struggling in all academic areas. Are there any reading programs that you know of that would help? I am already working on phonological awareness skills with her. First, if he is struggling in “all academic areas” there is more wrong than just apraxia and dysarthria. Apraxia and dysarthria…

The Gopher’s Whistled S

By Shanti McGinley

Q: What does an SLP call a distorted /s/ phoneme that whistles, like the gopher in Winnie-the-Pooh? Is it considered a lisp? The term “lisp” has gone through many changes throughout the centuries, and it depends upon whom you read as to what it means. In the 1800’s, some writers used the term “lisp” to refer to any problems with the sibilants. Others used the term to mean any and all speech deficits, including all problems of voice, resonance, prosody,…

Habitual Tongue-Clicking in Low-Functioning Client

By Shanti McGinley

An SLP wrote about a 12-year-old client with cerebral palsy who constantly makes sucking noises with her tongue. The therapist was seeking information about how to eliminate the habitual sucking that was distracting in the classroom. More information about this client was gained through email exchange. The additional information and my responses are offered here. The client has a cognitive age of 6 months With a cognitive level of 6 months this client is functioning just above the reflex level,…

Frontal Lisp at Conversation Level

By Shanti McGinley

Q: I have a client in grade five who has a frontal lisp. She can make a good /s/, but her jaw slides forward when we do word and sentence drills, and when we engage in conversation. The speech work, especially conversation, seems too fast to allow for her to get her jaw in the right position to keep the tongue in. Suggestions? Your client already can do a correct /s/ with a good jaw position, but she is not…

Oral-Motor is Not a Trivial Topic

By Shanti McGinley

Q: I am going to evaluate a 15-year-old male with an orofacial-myofunctional disorder. He will get braces soon. What general oromotor exercises do you recommend to get us jump-started? What materials should I order? Your question is far too general for me to answer. There are no “oral-motor exercises” I can give you to get you “jump-started.” The study of oral motor is deep and complex, and it contains many levels of understanding and direction. Your questions suggest that you…

Frontal Lisp Turns Into Lateral Lisp

By Shanti McGinley

Q: My client had a frontal lisp, but when I taught him to keep his tongue behind his teeth, he switched it to a lateral lisp. Have you seen this? What should I do? I am going to answer this question as if you already have taken my class on the lisps, or you have read my book Frontal Lisp, Lateral Lisp… I think it is somewhat common for a child with a frontal lisp to switch to a lateral lisp…

Handling Oral Hypersensitivity the Easy Way

By Shanti McGinley

Q: I have a six-year-old male client with severe apraxia who lacks many phonemes. I am trying to cue him for place and manner at the mouth, but he is very resistant to my touch. For example, I want to hold his nose to teach him how to make his sounds come out his mouth, but he won’t let me. Any suggestions? Let me answer this in terms of what is the easiest ways to handle oral-tactile hypersensitivity: The easiest…

Tongue Suctioning vs. Tongue-tip Elevation

By Shanti McGinley

Q: What is the difference between lingual-palatal suction and tongue-tip elevation? I have a student with cerebral palsy who can do suctioning but not tip elevation. Can you tell me why? There is a significant difference between lingua-palatal suctioning and tongue-tip elevation. To understand these subtle differences in tongue movement means to have studied feeding development (ala Morris and Klein, 2000). Tongue-tip elevation is accomplished by elevating the tongue-tip actively upward to the alveolar ridge. It requires the tongue to be functioning…