This advice-column-style blog for SLPs was authored by Pam Marshalla from 2006 to 2015, the archives of which can be explored here. Use the extensive keywords list found in the right-hand column (on mobile: at the bottom of the page) to browse specific topics, or use the search feature to locate specific words or phrases throughout the entire blog.
Q: I have been teaching R using your L-to-R sliding and tapping methods. However the further back my client tries to pull his tongue-tip the more it pulls to his left. He cannot keep it at midline past the middle of his palate, and he is not able to get a good R.
I have not encountered this, but these are the methods I would use to address it–
- Have him use his finger, or another tool, and trace down the midline of the palate to “mark” the trail of midline trajectory.
- Draw a picture of the palate with him and make sure he understands the concept of midline.
- Have him watch in a mirror so he can monitor the midline.
- Have him pull all the way to the right instead. This may keep it at midline.
- Have him smile broadly while sliding or tapping to see if that lateral pull to both sides helps straighten it out.
- Have him bite down on straws on both sides of his molars simultaneously to see if that extra tension on both sides helps it to stay midline.
- Make sure to tell him in plain words what is going on: “You are letting your tongue go to the left… You have to keep it right in the middle.”