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 took your course on intelligibility and understand the importance of Long E in achieving the starting point for all vowels, but I cannot get my client to make a good E. It sounds flat.
I would try this––
- Have him say a big oral strong “Ah”.
- The tell him to “keep saying Ah” while he bites his back teeth together (or on a bitestick)
- Then tell him to “keep saying Ah” while he smiles broadly.
- Model this diphthong slowly: Ahhhhhhhhh-Eeeeeeeee.
- The combination of Ah+Bite+Smile might do it.
IF NOT–– You may have to activate the back of the tongue. You have to get the back high, especially on the sides.
In the workshop handout I mentioned using tactile stimulation on the back of the tongue to wake up the back lateral margins, and I talked about using assistance and resistance to encourage tongue-back elevation, especially on the sides.
Yours is exactly the type of client for whom these methods were designed. Good luck!