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: Is epenthesis (adding a schwa to the end of words) a concern in a child who is close to 10 years old? It affects his social interaction. If so, how would you target this?
I always see epenthesis as a normal developmental process, however ten is pretty old to still be using it and, since you said it is interfering with social communication, then it is worth targeting.
If I want to get rid of it I literally spell it out in orthographic symbols to help the client hear it. I say, “You are saying ‘Cat-uh… Most kids say ‘Cat.’” Usually I draw a circle around what I call “the Uh-part”.
- Practice it with the schwa more to help him hear it (negative practice).
- Practice it with the schwa made longer and louder (more negative practice).
- Teach him to become aware of it and to grab hold of it with his mind.
- Then teach him to pause between the word and the schwa: Cat—–Uh.
- Then teach him to drop the schwa.