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 a 4th grade student who has trouble saying multi-syllable words in conversations. Do you have any suggestions for working with a student like him who doesn’t have any specific phoneme errors?
Charles Van Riper called these clients “clumsy-mouthed individuals.” In my opinion, this is mild dysarthria. The key to treatment at this level is to teach the client to over-pronounce while he learns to self-monitor. Teach him how to do the following:
- Speak up
- Speak out
- Punch out every syllable
- Take care not to let syllables drop out
- Take care not to let phonemes drop out
- Make full, round, and resonant vowels
- Make sure not to resort to the schwa
- Make diphthongs clearly with both parts
- Take care not to let final C’s drop
- Take care not to let morphemes drop off the ends of words
- Make nasal on M, N, and Ng clear and resonant
- Punch out the rhythm of utterances
- Use intonation with a little exaggeration
- Learn how to watch his listeners for signs of incomprehension
- Use a slower rate to control all this
- Learn when and why to control better
Also, please have a look at the other Q&A’s about dysarthria on this website.