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 4th grade client substitutes a nasal snort for his sibilants. Have you written about this?
The escape of nasal sound on the sibilants is fairly common and has been called by various terms in the traditional literature––nasal lisp, nasal snort, recessive s-lisp, and nasal stigmatism. Peterson-Falzone and Graham (1990) used the phrases phoneme-specific nasal emission and posterior nasal frication to describe nasalized sibilants.
I have written a whole chapter about how to work with resonance problems like this in my next book to be called The Marshalla Guide. For now let me share a section from that book that may help you. The following is from a chapter entitled: “Balancing Oral and Nasal Resonance: Developing the distinction between “mouth sounds” and “nose sounds”. It is in a section called “Auditory Feedback”.
Excerpt from The Marshalla Guide
“Careful listening and discrimination training are the principle skills taught during resonance training. Tubes and other tools have been used to provide enhanced auditory feedback during this effort for a very long time–– “An appeal to the ear may be made by using [a] rubber tube” (Scripture, 1912, p. 154). One end of the tube is held at the client’s nose and the other end is placed at his ear.
“The client thus listens to his nasal sound. Then the nasal end is brought to client’s mouth so he can listen to his oral sound. The tube is used to discover whether sound comes out the nose or mouth during correct and incorrect productions. Comparisons are made. A nasal bulb placed on one end of the tube makes the insertion into the nares more comfortable.
“Tubes work as well as if not better than other more sophisticated equipment because the client can manipulate it from his own nose and mouth by himself. Therapists began to use microphones and earphones for this process in the 1950s (e.g., Laing, 1958), and many therapists continue to do so today with the addition of computer technologies.” (e.g., Fletcher and Higgins, 1980).
- Fletcher, S.G., & Higgins, J. M. (1980). Performance of children with severe to profound auditory impairment in instrumentally guided reduction of nasal resonance. Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 45, p. 181-194.
- Laing, J. M. (1958). Therapy techniques for better nasal resonance. Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 23, p. 254-256.
- Peterson-Falzone, S. J. & Graham, M. S. (1990). Phoneme-specific nasal emission in children with and without physical anomalies of the velopharyngeal mechanism. Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 55, p. 132-139.