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



Personalized Books

Manasota BUDS recently hosted a workshop with guest speaker Natalie Hale, founder of Special Reads for Special Needs.  Manasota BUDS is a volunteer organization based in Bradenton Florida that provides networking and support for families and helps promote understanding and acceptance of Down syndrome.  Natalie was an excellent speaker, with so much information to share.  Her program Special Reads for Special Needs provides specialized reading materials for learners with Down Syndrome, Autism, and other developmental delays and Natalie has so many wonderful suggestions for making reading more fun and effective.  One of her recommendations for helping children learn to read is making personal books.  So, how do we do this?

Materials you will need:

A “hot topic” list of at least 9 of your child’s favorite people, family members, pets, foods, toys, activities, sports, character, etc.

5×8 index cards

110# card stock paper (for printing the book)

Red marker (for making flash cards)


Choose a vocabulary list of 10-15 words.  Some of these will be your “hot topic” words, and some will be Dolch Sight words appropriate to your child’s current reading level.  A full list of Dolch words can be found here:

Write the text for your book.  Keep your sentences short and simple, each one will be on a page by itself.  After each sentence page, the next page will be the sentence plus a picture.  Be sure to end your story with “The End”.  I created a book about the Minions from Despicable me.  I kept it very simple and incorporated numerical words one to ten.  The entire book had 11 vocabulary words.

Create flash cards for all of the words in your story.  You can do this by writing them as large as possible using your red marker, or printing them on your computer in red ink (red has been known to help children learn).


Find photos online, cut out pictures from magazines, or take your own photos to go along with your text.

Write the text on your computer and print it, with these guidelines (directly from Natalie Hale’s website):

Use landscape mode

Set font to size 70-100 black, and choose one of the Sans Serif fonts (Arial, Calibri, Tahoma). Almost everything we read on a daily basis (newspapers, internet, books) is in a Sans Serif font.

Type one sentence per page, alternating sentence only and sentence with picture and print using the 110# index paper stock (or use plain paper in a pinch, and laminate to help your book hold up longer)

Assemble your book with the text ONLY on the right hand side.  You can take your book to an office supply store for binding.

Time to Read!

Using Fast Flash, a method of reviewing flashcards at a rapid pace, which helps maintain a child’s attention and helps with instant recall, review the vocabulary with your child.  You can find more detail about the Fast Flash method here:  Once you have reviewed the flashcards, it’s time to read the book to your child and enjoy it together!  Finish up by showing/calling out the flash cards again, and you’re done!

You can continue to create new books with the same topic and new sight words, or create books with new topics.  In addition to the Minions book, I also created a book about a baby doll, to help teach some verb vocabulary (Baby Eats, Baby Sleeps, Baby Drinks, Etc).

Once we read the book and review the vocabulary, we get to play with the baby!

I hope you enjoy making your own personalized books!

Blog by: Rebekah Greer

For further information please contact us at 941-360-0200 or visit our website at


For more information about Manasota BUDS, visit their website:

For more information about Natalie Hale and Special Reads for Special Needs, visit her website at:

Articulation Station

Is your child working on correctly producing specific sounds to increase intelligibility in connected speech? Typical flashcards and drill activities can become boring very quickly! Fortunately there is a fun, interactive articulation app that kids of all ages love to play.

Articulation Station has 6 engaging activities at the word, sentence and story level. You are able to customize the target sounds, sound placement, and level of difficulty for your child’s needs. If your child is too young to read, picture prompts and auditory reinforcement are included to allow your child to practice by themselves. They are also able to record their responses and play them back to hear how they produced the sounds. This tool is great for self monitoring.

Articulation Station has a “store” within the app. This is where you can purchase the sound(s) your child needs help with. You have the option to purchase all of the sound programs at once for $49.99. The 22 programs included include: p, b, m, h, w, y, d, n, t, k, g, ng, f, v, ch, j, l, r , s, z, ch, and th. Individual sound prices range from $1.99 to $9.99 depending on the sound.  For further information or to purchase, log onto:

Blog By: Mary Williams-Anderson

For Further information contact us at 941-360-0200 or visit us at

Fun and Simple Meal Preparation

A fantastic way to encourage your child to become involved with simple meal preparation is to make it a creative experience. Play with your food! This activity is great for using imagination, a wonderful way to increase communication, and a great self-help skill builder. Involve your child with all the steps, from selecting the meal to cleaning up the dishes. It is never too early to learn to create their own simple meals in a fun and safe way.

1. Gather the fixings for a sandwich, whether it be peanut butter (sun butter, almond butter, nutella), meat and cheese, veggies, fruit, candy toppings, condiments, whatever it may be that will appeal to your child. We used bread, peanut butter, craisins, and chocolate chips for our fun creations. Since it is Valentine’s Day tomorrow we used heart cookie cutters to create our shapes.

2. Use your cookie cutter to cut out your shape from your slice of bread. If you are grain free you can use the cutters to cut your lunch meat or veggie slices too. Be creative!

3. Spread on your condiment of choice.

4. Arrange your toppings to create animals, fun shapes, designs, boarders, etc.

5. Now you are ready to eat your tasty treat. Austin made his into a mouse by adding pretzels for whiskers. So fun!!

*Depending on the age of your child parent supervision may be required. If you have a child who is able to safely prepare their meal independently, have them make something for siblings, family, and themselves. They will be so proud to show off their creation.

Blog by: Laney London, COTA/L, IMC

For further information contact us at 941-360-0200 or visit us at 

Strategies to Encourage Expressive Language Development

  • Give Your Child a Reason to Talk

Knowing your child well is a great thing, but anticipating your child’s every need gives them no reason to have to communicate.  Instead of automatically giving your child a drink, snack, or even a toy that’s out of reach, wait and give him/her a chance to attempt to ask for it.  Even reaching, grunting, and pointing is a great start if they are not able to produce words.  Model the words for him/her.  “Do you want a drink?” and even add the sign for “drink” if you’re working on using some basic sign language.  Reward these attempts at early communication, by granting the request when appropriate and redirecting when it is not. 


  •  Offer Choices/ Pretend to not Understand Request

When your child communicates that he/she wants something, the next step is to offer a choice of two items.  This encourages further communication and also allows the opportunity for further modeling the vocabulary and language of requesting.  You can even offer the wrong item.  If you know your child wants the car, offer him/her the ball.  This provides further opportunities for modeling and encouraging language. Be sure not to do this during every requesting attempt as this may cause frustration instead of communication.


  •  Control the Activity

Engage your child in activities that you control.  A perfect example is bubbles.  You hold the bubbles and the wand, but don’t blow until the child says “b”, “bubble”, “blow”, or makes some attempt to communicate.  That attempt could be a sign, a grunt, or a squeal. Initially, perfect speech is not the goal, the goal is to teach children the power of speech and communication.  When you do blow the bubbles, don’t forget to model the word “pop” every time you or your child pops a bubble! 


 Other activities can be controlled by providing a limited quantity and waiting for your child to ask for “more”.  Coloring, blocks, craft activities, and interactive games are all perfect opportunities for practicing “more”. 

 In both examples, the important thing is that your child makes an attempt to communicate before you (the parent, caregiver, or peer) initiate the action.

  •  Opportunities throughout the Day

Talk about what you are doing and what your child is doing at every possible opportunity.  When your child makes a sound, approximates a word, or says a word, repeat back what you heard or give meaning to what he/she said.   

Everyday activities or “chores” can even be language building opportunities.  Have your child help prepare something in the kitchen, or sort laundry.  Turn the steps into a song or simply narrate each step.  This will help your child learn action words like “open”, “put”, or “stir” and other basic concepts such as “in”, “out”, “on”, “off”, etc. 

  •  Expand on what your child is saying

Your child might make a “b” sound while playing with bubbles or blocks.  Repeat back “Blocks!  Look at the blocks.” or “Bubbles!  You want more bubbles? OK!”  If your child is a more advanced talker, but still working on some of the grammatical rules of speech, model the correct speech back to him/her.  If your child says “Me want that” when pointing to a favorite toy truck, you could repeat back “Oh, you want the red truck?  What a big truck!  Let’s get the truck and play together!”  Repetition like this will help your child learn language.

A toddler with an expressive language delay may already have a small vocabulary to pull from. Those words may include mama, dada, baby, etc. When the toddler uses one of those words, repeat it and add another word. Make new connections for them with a new word and the “old” word.

  • Use those “speech muscles”

If your child is able to blow bubbles, this is a great way to work the “speech muscles”.  Party horns, straws, or whistles can also be lots of fun! We like to use along with  

 Instead of a sippy cup, offer your child his/her drink in a small open cup or in a cup that requires a straw.  This encourages use of other muscles in the mouth that are important for speech.

 Make silly faces in the mirror with your child – stick out your tongue, move it from side to side, make it go up and down, puff up your cheeks with air, make “kiss” faces and “fish” faces, open wide, and smile!

  •  Encourage imitation of all kinds

Make animal sounds, car sounds, or train sounds and encourage your child to imitate these.  These sounds contain the basic vowel sounds that are a part of speech (“moooo”, “baaaa”).  Blowing raspberries, clicking your tongue, or “popping” your lips are fun to copy too!

  •  Read with your child

Read books to and with your child every day.  Let your child pick out the book he/she wants to read.  Even if you make up your own words or story to go with the pictures, or just point to pictures and talk about what you see. This is great language practice for your child!

Blog By: Rebekah Greer

For further information contact us at 360-0200 or visit us at


Book Review-”The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism”

Written by Naoki Higashida and Translated by KA Yoshida and David Mitchell

This book was written by a 13-year-old child diagnosed with Autism who lives in Japan.  Naoki Higashida uses an alphabet grid to communicate and answer questions set forth.  The book is set-up in an interview-like fashion with over 100 pages of questions.  Naoki’s raw answers to questions, we all wish we could ask of our children on the Autism Spectrum, were nothing short of thought provoking.  Examples of such questions include: “Why do you need cues and prompts?” “Why do you flap your fingers and hands in front of your face?” and “Why are you too sensitive or insensitive to pain?” Naoki’s responses are written referring to both himself, specifically, and children with Autism as a whole. One verse that is repeated and underlying in most answered questions was simply this, “We don’t want you to give up on us.  Please, keep battling alongside us.”  Tearing jerking at times, this book was a good read for insight.  Some points were well-received, but some were questioned and very subjective in nature.  Overall, we give The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism 3.5/5 stars.


“One of the most remarkable books I’ve ever read. It’s truly moving, eye-opening, incredibly vivid.”—Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

Why Can’t My Child Say That?-Childhood Apraxia of Speech

What is Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS)?

  • CAS is a motor speech disorder that affects a child’s ability to clearly and correctly produce syllables and words. The child knows what he or she wants to say, but his/her brain has difficulty coordinating the muscle movements necessary to say those words. The child may have significantly limited and/or unclear speech.

 What Causes CAS?

  • Currently the cause of CAS is unknown. Most often no specific cause is found. Some children may, however, have CAS as a part of a larger neurological diagnosis or as part of a genetic or mitochondrial disorder, (2009. Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America).

 Treatment of CAS

  • Research shows the children with CAS have more success when they receive frequent (3-5 times per week) and intensive treatment. Receiving feedback from a number of senses, such as tactile/visual/verbal cues is often helpful. With this multi-sensory feedback, the child can more readily repeat syllables, words, sentences and longer utterances to improve muscle coordination and sequencing for speech(1997-2013 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association).

 Products frequently used for treating CAS

 Kaufman Speech Praxis Treatment Kit 1 (basic level)


Contains 225 visual referent speech cards targeting the syllable shapes that children with apraxia of speech need to become effective vocal/verbal communicators. The accompanying 52-page manual explains the Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol (K-SLP) methods and how to get children started on the road to combining consonants and vowels to form words. 

 Word FLIPS for Learning Intelligible Production of Speech

Word FLIPS includes three sections of identical picture words with four tabs in each section that divide the words according to articulatory placement. Begin working on severe CAS by having them repeat identical earlier developing sounds, such as “boo-boo-boo.” Older or more verbal children can practice a variety of sequences, such as “tie-tea-shoe” as a warm-up to practicing sentences.


Proloquo2Go® is an award-winning Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) solution for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch for people who have difficulty speaking or cannot speak at all. Providing a “voice” to over 50,000 individuals around the world, Proloquo2Go enables people to talk using symbols or typed text in a natural-sounding voice that suits their age and character.

Apps for CAS

  • Apraxia Ville has multiple levels, both vowel and consonant targets, and the ability to create custom words.


  • LinguiSystems Apraxia Cards provides sets of words organized by syllable structures. The app has two activities, a receptive activity called “touch” and an expressive activity called “say”.


  • Sly Apraxia: Provides 125 images organized into different syllable structure categories. Sly Apraxia app includes CV, VC, CVC, CVCV & Multisyllabic categories.


Blog By: Mary Williams- Anderson

What is Speech and Language Therapy?


Here are some common questions that I run into when working in a school or a clinic setting from professionals and parents.

Q: Is there a difference between Speech and Language Therapy?

A: Yes! Speech and Language therapy two different entities. A speech disorder refers to a problem with the actual production of sounds, whereas a language disorder refers to a difficulty understanding or appropriately putting words together to communicate ideas.

Q: Are there different types of speech disorders?

A: Yes, there are four main areas:

  • An Articulation disorder or Phonological disorder. An articulation disorder refers to incorrect sound production. A phonological disorder refers to incorrect sound patterns.  These disorders can greatly reduce intelligibility in conversation.
  • A Fluency disorder refers to stuttering. This is when the flow of speech is characterized by abnormal stops, repetitions, and/or prolonging sounds.
  • A Voice disorder refers to problems with pitch, volume, or quality of the voice.
  • Dysphagia/oral feeding disorders refer to difficulties with eating and swallowing.

Q: Are there different types of language disorders?

A: Yes, there are two main areas:

  • A Receptive disorder is characterized by difficultly understanding or processing language.
  • A Expressive disorder is characterized by difficulty expressing thoughts and wants/needs, limited vocabulary, or inability to use language in a socially appropriate way.

Q: What types of interventions are used in speech/language therapy?

A: There are numerous types of interventions based on what deficits are present. Listed below are some of the most widely used therapies.

  • Interventions for articulation and phonological disorders: minimal pair therapy, paired auditory, visual, and tactile stimuli in intensive drills, traditional articulation therapy (Van Riper, 1978), and training sound combinations (CV, VC, CVC…).
  • Interventions for fluency disorders: fluency shaping, traditional stuttering therapy (Van Riper, 1958), and diaphragmatic breathing.
  • Interventions for voice disorders: teaching good vocal hygiene, reducing/stopping vocal abusive behaviors, altering pitch, volume, or breathe support, and stress      reduction/relaxation exercises.
  • Interventions for dysphagia/oral feeding disorder: sensory stimulation, pacing/feeding strategies, oral motor exercises, maneuvers, adaptive equipment/utensils, diet modification, postural/positioning techniques, and behavioral interventions.
  • Interventions for expressive language disorders:  increasing vocabulary, teaching strategies for social language, increasing ability to answer WH questions, augmentative devices, and strategies to increase syntax skills.
  • Interventions for receptive language disorders: increasing vocabulary, strategies to improve the ability to follow directions, and strategies to improve comprehension of WH questions.

Blog By: Mary Williams- Anderson

For more Information us at 941-360-0200 or visit