Frontal Lisp: From Cute to Concern

A frontal lisp is when the tongue protrudes through the front teeth, typically during the production of /s/ and /z/. This causes air to escape out, resulting in a sound distortion. Production of /s/ and /z/ will sound like the /th/ sound, ex. sun/thun. This articulation error is cute initially, but is no longer developmentally appropriate after 4 1/2 years old.

A child should receive a formal speech evaluation around the age of 4 1/2 years old if this error persists. Intervention should include awareness activities, strategies/techniques to elicit /s/ and /z/ sounds without tongue protrusion, drill activities, and self-monitoring skills.

Techniques that can be used in therapy and in the home environment include:
1) Ask child to close teeth, smile, and blow air out. This technique will teach child correct tongue placement.
2) Have the child use a mirror during practice to visually show child correct tongue placement
3) Ask child to produce /t/ sound and then hold the sound while blowing out air. This technique will elicit appropriate tongue placement.
4) Once the child is able to produce /s/ and /z/ correctly, drill and structured activities will be used so the child is given many opportunities to practice. The more the child practices the sooner the skill will be carried over into conversational speech.

Blog by: Mary Williams Anderson

For further information contact us at 941-360-0200 or visit us at www.pediatrictherapysolution.com

 

 

Fun Articulation Activities

Does your child have difficulty correctly producing particular sounds in connected speech? If so then they may be struggling with an articulation disorder. Flashcards and drill activities can quickly become repetitive and boring for children. Here are several activities that will have your child asking you to practice their sounds:

1. Bowling-print out flashcards or words that contain their target sound (the sound that they are working on) and tape them to empty 2 liter bottles. When your child knocks down the “pin” they will produce the target word using correct articulation.

2. Bean Bag Toss: line up flashcards or words, that contain the child’s target sound and and take turns throwing bean bags at cards. When they land a bean bag on a card they can produce the target word using correct articulation.

3. Simple card games: such as Memory or Go Fish, buy or print out and laminate flashcards containing your child’s target sound.

4. Treasure hunt: Involve other family members if possible and see who can find the most things that begin with the target sound. Make up your own “house rules” to make it more fun.

5. Magnet Fishing: attach a string with a magnet to a stick. Make small picture or word cards with the target sound. These can be fish-shaped, but they don’t have to be. Put a paper clip or staple at the top of each card. Take turns “catching fish” and naming the pictures or reading the words.

Blog written by: Mary Williams-Anderson

 For further information please contact us at 941-360-0200 or visit us at www.pediatrictherapysolution.com

 

Bring Out Those Board Games

In today’s world of tablets, smartphones, and other electronics, family game night does not have to be a thing of the past!
Playing board games with your children is a great way to practice speech and language skills.  Many board games offer the opportunity to practice turn taking, problem solving, numbers, counting, adding, and so much more.
For younger children, simply practicing taking turns, waiting, and understanding the rules of a game is important in helping them develop pragmatic language skills.  A few games that are great for younger children include:
Don’t Break the Ice
Hi-Ho Cherry O
Pop Up Pirate
Cootie
Connect 4
If your child is working on asking and answering questions, try playing Go-Fish or Guess Who.  The repetitive nature helps your child get plenty of practice with specific question forms and yes/no responses.
Articulation practice can be incorporated into almost any game.  Have the list of words or sentences your child is working on nearby, and make it a rule that everyone has to say a word/sentence before each turn.  To make this more fun, parents can “mess up” on the speech sounds, and let your child correct you :)
Another card game that is popular and great for practicing colors and numbers is Uno.
For children working on reading and literacy skills try playing Sorry, Scrabble, Scrabble Jr, or Scrabble Slam.

There are so many fun games available, and just as many ways you can incorporate speech and language practice into them!
Blog written by: Rebekah Greer
For further information please contact us at 941-360-0200 or visit us at www.pediatrictherapysolution.com

The Tricky “R” Sound

It’s not unusual to hear a 3 year old talk about “wabbits” and “wainbows,” but when does the /r/ sound become an articulation concern?

Speech sound errors can be developmental in nature and, with maturity, some children may grow out of it.  Other children, due to various factors such as oral motor delays, past or present hearing difficulties, or other unknown causes, may keep using these immature speech sound patterns as they get older.

According to Goldman Fristoe Test of Articulation-2, a standardized test commonly used to assess articulation skills, 85% of children master /r/ and /r/ blends by age 6.  As speech language pathologists, we typically wait until this age to determine if errors are developmental in nature or true disorders.  We may choose, however, to address /r/ sound errors at an earlier age, depending on the child’s overall speech intelligibility and other factors.

/R/ is a complicated sound due to the various oral motor structures involved and due to the many ways in which /r/ appears in words.

Unlike earlier developing sounds like “b” or “p”, which are made primarily using our lips and our voice, the “r” sound requires proper placement of the lips and tongue.  The /r/ sound can also vary greatly, depending on where it occurs in the word.  Some children may be able to say prevocalic ‘r’ sounds (those occurring before a vowel, as in “rabbit”) with a correct “r” sound, but have difficulty with r blends (br-, tr-, dr-, etc) or vocalic r sounds.  The vocalic r occurs when r is between vowels (as in cherry) or after a vowel (as in car or teacher). 

Correct oral motor placement is key to /r/ sound production.  Most people make the /r/ sound in one of two ways – with their tongue bunched or retroflexed (curled).  A bunched /r/ sound occurs when the middle of the tongue is bunched in the center of the mouth and a retroflexed /r/ sound requires the tongue tip to be slightly curled up and back in the mouth.  With both methods, the sides of the tongue are lightly touching the back molars. 

Here are some tips and techniques you can use to help your child become more proficient with that tricky /r/ sound:

Demonstrate correct tongue placement – show your child how their tongue should be tight and bunched when making an ‘r’ sound – this can be done using a play dough “tongue” or simply a hand gesture to show that the tongue is bunched and the tongue tip slightly back.  You can also use peanut butter, a lollipop, or other sticky flavorful food on the top back molars, to help your child “find” where the their tongue should be touching.

Work from an /l/ sound – Have your child make an /l/ sound.  Then, instruct him/her to slide the tongue back along the roof of the mouth while vocalizing.  This will help get the tongue into position for the retroflex /r/ sound.

Use silly sounds to encourage /r/ - make the sound of a cat purring (“purrrrrrrrrr”), a tiger growling (“grrrrrrrrrrr”), or a rooster crowing (“rrr rrr rrr rrrrr rrrrrrrrrrr”) to practice the /r/ sound

Silent /k/ - If your child is able to make a /k/ sound, have him/her get the tongue into position for this sound (tight and far back in the mouth), and then growl!

Get rid of that /w/ - If your child is making a /w/ instead of an /r/ sound, ask him/her to smile when making the /r/.  This encourages the lips to be drawn back instead of rounded, getting closer to a good /r/ sound.