Month: August 2013

Lisps and S: Working With Your Own Child

By Pam Marshalla

from flickr, some rights reserved

Q: I am an SLP and a mother with a four-year-old boy who has a frontal lisp. Do you think I should work with him, and if so, what simple things could I do at home? I always tell parents we do not have to work on a frontal lisp in a preschool child, but we usually do anyway because the parents want it. I find that the absolute key to remediation of the frontal lisp has three essential parts:…

R and L in Toddlers: Encouraging the Correct Developmental Path

By Pam Marshalla

Q: Do you have any tips for promoting good /r/ and /l/ in toddlers? Not to correct the phonemes directly, but to set the child up for future success by doing certain oral activities? Most would agree that we do not have to correct R and L in toddlers, but the idea that we can set them on the right development path is right on. This is what I do to set a child on the right developmental path for…

How to Consider a Differential Diagnosis

By Pam Marshalla

Q: My client misarticulates all the lingua-alveolar consonants–– T, D, N, L, S, Z. Can you give me some advice for how to fix them? Designing methods to “fix” a phoneme all depends upon what is wrong with it.  Therefore in order to recommend methods to address these lingua-alveolars, one would need to know–– Are they completely absent from the client’s repertoire? Are they backed? Are they lateralized? Are they interdentalized? Are they nasalized? Is there a lack of plosiveness…

Restricting Frenum and Lingua-Alveolars

By Pam Marshalla

Q: My preschool client backed all lingua-alveolars until I taught him D. But not — it is distorted (his tongue looks funny) and the other sounds aren’t coming. Help! Most kids with a restricting lingua frenum use what the elocutionists used to call “thick speech” meaning that it was speech produced without the tongue bowled.  The tongue was humping, bulging, or what the researchers today would call arching upward. This is probably what your client is now doing on D,…

Sibilants and Tongue Cribs

By Pam Marshalla

Q: Can I expect correct articulation on S, Z, Sh, ZH, CH, J, T, D, N, and L when my client has a tongue crib that fills the entire alveolar ridge? The orthodontist is recommending SL therapy for the phonemes and to fix the swallow. In my experience clients usually cannot produce any of their lingua-alveolar and/or sibilant sounds correctly as long as an appliance like that is in the mouth.  The appliance distorts sound, especially stridency. I usually do…

Differentiating Oral Movements from Head Movements

By Pam Marshalla

Q: My preschool client with apraxia can only say “K” when he bobs his head around. Should I ignore this as part of the learning process? Some clients seem to need extraneous movement to initiate a phoneme’s movements, but they do not need them for long.  I see them as gross movements that will become more refined with time. I usually let my clients do all this extra movement at first, and I even emphasize it by imitating it back…