Month: January 2012

Resistance: The Most Powerful Oral Motor Technique

By Shanti McGinley

Q: What can I do to help my client learn to elevate his tongue-tip to produce /t/ and /d/? Any part of the tongue can be taught to elevate by providing something against which it can press. This is called “resistance.” (Resistance is not used to build strength. That is a misconception of the “anti-OM” crowd). Instead, resistance is used to develop specific new movement patterns. Press down lightly on the tongue-tip with a tool and ask the client to…

Lateral Lisp and Obesity?

By Shanti McGinley

Q: My daughter has a lateral lisp and obesity. The SLP cannot seem to get her to make the correct sounds. Can obesity interfere with learning these sounds? I have never faced this situation with any client. However, from what I know about tongue function and the lisps, I do not see how obesity might interfere with learning correct tongue position for S, Z, Sh, Zh, Ch, or J. Perhaps your SLP does not know how to fix a lateral…

Lip-Biting Habit

By Shanti McGinley

Q: My client constantly bites her lower lip until it swells and bleeds. She is highly intelligent, five years old, hypertonic, and has vision difficulties. Do you have suggestions? I have never faced this situation, but I believe that the principles of helping a child stop any oral habit would apply. You have to help the child recognize what she is doing, help her understand the problems it causes, help her develop a goal for stopping, set up a reward…

Don’t Let the Issue of Evidence-Based Practice Get You Down!

By Shanti McGinley

Q: I have been reading your book Becoming Verbal with Childhood Apraxia. The ideas sound great and very interesting, but I did not see a complete reference list. Are there specific research studies that support the techniques that you were describing in your book? The examples included were helpful. I need some more support because of the emphasis on the evidence-based practice. There is no reference list at the end of the book because these are all my original thoughts…

Articulation Therapy vs. Speech Improvement

By Shanti McGinley

Q: There seems to be a shocking lack of knowledge “out there” about how to do articulation therapy. I recently saw a girl with an R distortion who had been in therapy with another therapist for a year with no progress. I was able to get a correct sound from her in 15 minutes! The mother was amazed that I actually worked on tongue movement and placement. I agree, and I think I know why this is occurring. The tried-and-true…

L and R with Tonsils/Adenoids Problems

By Shanti McGinley

Q: I am seeing two elementary age brothers with a history of enlarged tonsils and adenoids that are not significant enough to warrant surgery according to the ENT. Both are difficult to understand because of their resonance issues. We are working on R and L with limited progress. I don’t know where to go with them. Speech is starting to impact reading and writing. A child with mild-to-moderate upper respiratory problems and minor articulation errors is one of the most…

Use the Client’s R

By Shanti McGinley

Q: I attended your R course recently. It was wonderful! But I am stuck with one client. He has achieved a Tip R, but not a Back R. How much longer should I spend trying to help him get a Back R? If the Tip R works to get the sound quality you want, then that’s what you do, and you forget about the Back R. It does not matter which one he gets. Focus on what he can do….

When to Refer to Orthodontia and ENT

By Shanti McGinley

Q: You mentioned orthodontic referral in one of your lectures on the lisps and R. I am wondering if you also refer to ENTs for issues relating to and resulting from mouth breathing. I follow standard practices in SLP. Therefore I refer clients to orthodontics when there are indications that a dental malocclusion may exist, and when it seems to be interfering with sound production. I refer clients to an ENT when there are indications that there may be upper…