Month: December 2012

“Gummy Smile”

By Shanti McGinley

Q: I have a new referral from a dentist for a client with a “gummy smile.” Haven’t seen him yet. What do you think this means? I would assume that the term “gummy smile” means that the upper lip is retracted and the upper gums are exposed.  Assuming that this is the case, the client needs to learn normal oral rest posture.  Normal oral rest consists of the lips resting gently together, the teeth resting a few millimeters apart, and…

Trill-to-R

By Shanti McGinley

Q: I have tried “everything” to teach R to this one client and he has gotten nowhere. Then one day he learns a Spanish trilled /r/, and WHAM! He gets an American R right away. Can you explain this? Van Riper wrote about this as one method for teaching the retroflex R:  “Have the child imitate you as you trill the tongue-tip. Then use this trill to precede the vowel E”  (Van Riper, Speech Correction, 1947, p. 142). Think of…

Getting the Tongue-Tip to Curl Up and Back

By Shanti McGinley

Q: How do you get a tongue-tip to curl up and back toward the velum for the retroflex R? I have been using cream cheese, but it does not stick to the palate well, and I have been pushing the tongue back, but the child just doesn’t get what I want him to do. First, using food on the palate is an old-time popular method to stimulate tongue movement, but I never use food.  You have to analyze the stimulus. …

Tongue Exercises for Restricting Frenum

By Shanti McGinley

Q: Are there any exercises one can give to extend the tongue frenum instead of having the client get a frenectomy? Are these exercises are proven scientifically? From long ago, therapists have said that “tongue exercises” could stretch the frenum, but I have never seen anyone spell out what those exercises would be, nor have I seen any data that would prove that any certain exercises do help. My own personal experience is this:  Clients tend to move their tongues…

Language Therapy with a Blind Child

By Shanti McGinley

Q: I just was assigned a three-year-old child who is blind and who has no expressive language. I have never worked with a child like this before. I am looking for general guidance. I am not an expert on working with blind children, but I have some experience and these are my thoughts–– Blindness effects language development in certain ways mostly by limiting the child’s experiences and related vocabulary and concepts.  How does he develop concepts of size and space…