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: Can you give me some ideas about getting my clients to use final consonants?
Here are a few ideas. These can be used alone or in combinations together.
Read a list of words that all have the same phoneme in the final position: cat, hat, rat, light, boat, kite, meat… Do this while the client is playing quietly at a table task such as drawing or clay. The client’s job is to listen.
Amply your productions slightly to make them salient, to make them stand out. Use a simple paper towel tube or a flexible vinyl tube that stretches from your mouth to the client’s ear.
Practice words that are identical except for the presence or absence of the final sound. For example, use: sew/soap, two/toot, bow/boat, day/date. These will help with conceptual and auditory awareness, as well as production.
Use a visual cue to signal the final consonant. I like to use my hands like a conductor of an orchestra. I use my hands to smoothly gesture through the word, and then quickly pop! a quick gesture to mark the final C. This wakes kids up to the final C.
In my experience, typical children learn to produce diphthongs before they produce final C’s. The diphthong [as in the words “Hi” or “Bye”] helps the client stretch out the syllable to reach for the second vowel. This leads him toward stretching out the vowel for the final C.
Many kids who don’t produce final C’s need to spend some time with CVCV words. Most kids say “mama” before “mom,” “dada” before “dad,” “bye-bye” before “bye” and so forth. Make sure your client is working on these words either before his CVC words, or at least at the same time.
Many kids who don’t produce final C’s need to spend some time with the diminutives. Most kids say “kitty” before “cat”, “doggie” before “dog”, “birdie” before “bird”, and so forth. Make sure your client is working on diminutives before or while he also is working on his CVC words.
Many kids who don’t produce final C’s don’t have the respiratory control necessary to support the full syllable to the end. This is especially important in children with motor speech disorder. I work with kazoos to build this prolongation of sound so my clients have the full respiratory control they need to make it through a full syllable to the final C.