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: 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 on the stops?
- Is there lack of frication on the sibilants?
We also need to know what is going on with his oral-motor skills.
- Do his movements look clumsy?
- Is the jaw unstable?
- Does the jaw sit too low?
- Does the jaw lateralize, protrude, or retract?
- Is the tongue anchored in the back?
- Does the tongue-tip elevate to the alveolar ridge? If not, why not?
Therapy is not just a random assortment of techniques that one selects will-nilly; Therapy is a process of differentially diagnosing the problem and then coming up with solutions to address the specific problem that is causing the client to mispronounce the targets.