Posts

5 Tips on How to Respond to Articulation Errors

A child who is still developing his or her articulation skills may need some feedback in order to fix speech errors and improve intelligibility. blog-articulation-errors-main-landscape

The following tips will help you respond to a child who produces articulation errors:

  1. Repeat the misarticulated word in your response with a slight emphasis on the target word. For example, if the student says, “I want the wed pencil,” you can respond, “Okay—here is the red
  2. Describe features about the misarticulated sound. For example, “The /s/ is a hissy sound. The air goes sssss like a snake hissing” or “The /v/ is made when our teeth bite down on our lip.”
  3. Give the child a consistent visual cue for the target sound, such as dragging a finger across the lips for /m/ or putting a thumb under the chin for /k/ or /g/.
  4. For a child who can read, contrast sounds that contain the correct sound and the incorrect sound by writing them out. For example, you can write out thin fin and show the child that one is made with a th and the other with an f.
  5. If you know that the child is able to produce the target sound, give him or her feedback on what you heard. You can say, “I heard you say doe, did you mean doe or go?” or feign difficulty understanding, such as, “You want to doe home? What do you mean, doe home?”

If you are unable to determine what word the child is trying to say, refer to this article for more tips: https://nspt4kids.com/parenting/helping-your-child-with-articulation-difficulties/.

As a parent or a teacher, it is important to acknowledge attempts at communication while providing feedback on speech sound production. If your child continues to demonstrate speech sound errors or is frustrated with his or her speech, seek out the advice of a speech-language pathologist.

NSPT offers services in Bucktown, Evanston, Highland Park, Lincolnwood, Glenview, Lake Bluff, Des Plaines, Hinsdale and Milwaukee! If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates!

Meet-With-A-Speech-Pathologist

Pronunciation Library /k/

How do you say a /k/?/k/

A /k/ is produced with the back of the tongue raised, creating a complete blockage of the outward airflow in the back of the mouth. The build-up of air pressure occurs until the tongue moves away from the top of the mouth and releases the air.

Types of Misarticulations & Pronunciation Suggestions

  • The most common misarticulation of a /k/ is substituting it for a /t/. Ex: “tat” for “cat”
  • To try and elicit a /k/ you can use a tongue depressor to hold down the front half of the tongue during production or try gargling with the head tilted backward before trying to produce the /k/ sound.
  • Once you have achieved /k/ in isolation, try pronouncing it by combining the /k/ with back vowels. These vowels best facilitate the pronunciation of /k/.

Did you know?

  • /k/ is among the top 10 most frequently occurring consonants!
  • /k/ can occur at the beginning or end of a word.
  • Consonant clusters with /ks/ at the end can signal plurality

References:

Bauman-Waengler, J. (2012). Articulatory and phonological impairments: A clinical    focus. (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.

NSPT offers services in Bucktown, Evanston, Highland Park, Lincolnwood, Glenview, Lake Bluff and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!

Meet-With-A-Speech-Pathologist

How Dentition Affects Articulation

Successfully producing speech sounds involves an intricate coordination between a person’s oral structures and muscles. The oral structures that are involved in speech production are the lips, teeth, tongue, cheeks and vocal tract. Although some structures have a more direct role than others, all play a role in producing intelligible speech. When one structure is taken out of the equation, the ultimate product – speech – may be affected. During the current blog we are going to discuss how a child’s dentition will affect a person’s speech.

How Does Dentition Affect Speech?

Dentition plays an interesting role in a child’s speech as his or her teeth are still developing. Teeth will come and goHow Does Dentition Affect Articulation? as baby teeth are lost and permanent adult teeth grow in and incorrect bites are corrected with braces. Throughout these changes, a child’s articulation may or may not be affected. There are certain sounds that depend on teeth for correct articulation. For example, when producing the sound “f”, you need your teeth to bite down on your lip in order to cause the friction with your air source to make the sound. If your front teeth are missing that sound will be distorted.

Strident Sounds

There are a group of sounds that are classified as “strident” sounds. Strident sounds are produced by the friction of a fast airflow being pressed against a speaker’s teeth. Strident sounds include: /f/ (“fish”), /v/ (“vet”), /s/ (“sew”), /z/ (“zoo”), /tʃ/ (“chin”), /dʒ/ (“gym”), /ʃ/ (“shoe”), /ʒ/ (e.g., medial sound in “treasure”). Other sounds that are articulated in the front of a speaker’s mouth (i.e., in between your upper teeth and lower lip”) that could be affected by dentition are voiced and voiceless “th” (e.g., “the” and “thirst”).

Typically if a child can articulate the sound correctly before the loss of a tooth, then the child will maintain that skill while the adult tooth comes in. However, it is important to be aware that the sound may be distorted or sound funny while that tooth is missing, although it will only be temporary. The strident sounds may sound distorted due to the fact that there is nothing in the child’s mouth to cause the additional friction that that sound relies on, resulting in an “airier” sound.

The effect of dentition on speech becomes more complicated when a child has both an articulation disorder, as well as an incorrect bite (e.g., “open bite”). For example, if a child is working on correctly producing the sound /s/, but also has an open bite, it will be difficult for them to reach that speech goal due to the fact that structurally, their teeth are not in the ideal position for that sound. This is a great opportunity for that child’s speech-language pathologist and orthodontist to collaborate together on a therapy plan or timeline. Ultimately, having a correct bite or dentition will have a positive impact on a child’s ability to produce intelligible speech.


New Call-to-action


NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!

 

speech and language activities

5 Quick And Easy Speech And Language Activities

The amount of language that happens naturally throughout our day is immense. Even some of the most classic childhood past times involve fundamental speech and language skills. The ultimate goal of speech-language therapy is for your child to generalize the speech and language skills he is learning in the therapy room to his day to day life. By incorporating several minutes of targeted speech-language practice into your child’s life, the better the prognosis it is for your child to be successful! Try one of these easy speech-language activities at home and your child might not even realize they are practicing his language!

5 quick and easy speech and language activities:speech and language activities

  1. Categories Game – Choose a general vocabulary category, such as food or animals, and try to come up with as many items within that category as possible. If your child becomes stumped, provide him with semantic clues, for example, “Can you think of other farm animals?” or “What animal lives in a jungle and has stripes?”. The category game is an easy way to increase a child’s semantic network and to introduce him to new vocabulary words. The game can even become competitive by keeping track of the number of items stated and trying to increase that number each week.
  1. Simon Says – This classic game targets a core skill in a child’s receptive language – following directions. This game can be made simple by using one-step directions (e.g., “Clap your hands 3 times) or made more challenging, progressing to two-three step directions (e.g., “Clap your hands 3 times and turn around in a circle). Improving a child’s receptive language will have a positive impact on his ability to succeed in the classroom.
  1. I Spy – Increasing a child’s utterance length, such as increasing a child’s average utterance from three to four word sentences, is a common goal in speech-language therapy. The game “I Spy” is a great way to work on a child’s expressive language in a fun way. The game can be tailored to a child’s skill level – working on 3-word sentences (“I see cat”) or progressing to a 5-word sentence (“I see a brown cat”).  Descriptive words can also be incorporated. The best part of this game is that it can be used for improving advanced language as well, such as using complex sentences (“I see something that is brown).
  1. Board games – Any activity that involves taking turns provides a great way to practice using pronouns. During a game have someone announce whose turn it is – “It is my turn”, “It is your turn”. Not only can it be used to announce turns, but also to describe the items that people have, “I have three pieces and you have two pieces”. As a child’s language skills improve, third-person pronouns can be practiced, such as “It’s her/his turn” or “She/He is on a blue square”.
  1. Decorating a Letter – If a child has articulation or speech sound goals, these skills can also be easily practiced. Cut a block letter out of construction paper that is the same as your child’s speech goals. Go through a magazine to search for items that have that target sound within its name – in the beginning, middle or end. For example, if your child is working on saying the “k” sound at the beginning of words, look for pictures of items that have that sound – cat, can, kangaroo, etc. Cut the pictures out and glue them on your letter! The decorated letter can then be hung up and referenced at later times for additional practice.

Check in with your child’s speech-language therapist to ensure the activity is appropriate for your child. He or she may have suggestions on how to best adapt the game or activity to your child’s skill level.


New Call-to-action
NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!

a recipe for speech and language

A Holiday Cookie Recipe for Better Speech and Language

It is largely recognized that the holiday season is a lovely, yet chaotic time of year. During this busy time, being with family often takes precedent over the speech and language homework sent home by your child’s speech-language therapist. Why not combine a holiday tradition with speech-language homework?

Use this recipe for extra language and speech reinforcement while decorating cookies this holiday season:

  • 2 cups of basic concepts: While adding ingredients give directions emphasizing the understanding of a recipe for speech and languagequantitative concepts, such as all, some, one, both. For example, “Add both cups of flour” or “Put on some red sprinkles and some green sprinkles.” If this is too advanced, you can always get extra practice with counting. You can count the cups of ingredients or the number of cookies.
  • 1 teaspoon of adjectives: Adjectives or descriptive words can easily be targeted during baking. You can talk about ways to describe the cookies that you are making, e.g., “Look! You made a big cookie and your sister made a small cookie,” or you can give directions including adjectives, e.g., “Decorate the long tree cookie and I’ll decorate the short tree cookie.”
  • 2 tablespoons of vocabulary: Like with any activity throughout your day, it is good to try to introduce your children to new vocabulary or reinforce the vocabulary they are already using. Vocabulary categories that are easily targeted during cookie decorating are: colors, shapes and nouns. For example, “Do you want to make the tree, snowman or ornament?” or “What colors did you use on your cookie?”.
  • Mix in turn taking: Turn taking is a great social skill to practice at home with siblings or friends. Take turns putting in ingredients, mixing or putting on candies to decorate. Appropriate turn taking can be used by kids when playing games with peers and during conversations.
  • Stir in requesting: Have your child exercise his or her expressive language skills by requesting for items. Depending on their skill level a carrier phrase could be used, “I want ______” or the request could be in question form, “Can I have the _______, please?”. Once your child is successful at making simple requests, work towards expanding the utterance, making the request longer, (e.g, “I want the red frosting”).
  • Bake for following directions: Baking holiday cookies makes for the perfect set up for your child to practice following directions. First start with simple one step directions, “Put on white frosting”. To continue to improve your child’s receptive language you can advance to first/then directions, “First put on white frosting, then put on green sprinkles”.
  • Let it cool with articulation practice: Throughout the whole baking/decorating process, articulation (speech sounds) can also be targeted. As an adult model, you can provide the correct productions for your child emphasizing the target sound. (e.g., What cookie do you like?, Look at my cookie!”). If your child is at the stage in speech therapy where they can practice saying their target sounds, work on using them during the activity. For instance, if you were working on “s” or s-clusters you could practice using the sound to describe what you see “I see a reindeer” or when taking about the steps to baking “Stir in the flour”.

Throughout your cooking baking experience keep in mind that the activity should remain fun, keeping the speech-language practice with in your child’s abilities in order to keep frustration low. Enjoy this recipe for ideas of ways to target speech and language! Happy Holidays!




Developing Speech and Language AND Cooking a Pumpkin Pie

Developing speech and language AND cooking a pumpkin pie. Can you believe it?  Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Let’s talk for a minute about the staple of any Thanksgiving dessert table…the pumpkin pie. Many of us are looking for the perfect recipe, I know I am constantly searching! Before you jump straight into cooking, consider the following ways you can make this a fun activity that will help support your child’s speech and language needs.

Here is a list of ways you can make cooking a pumpkin pie
into a speech and language activity:

BakingaPie

  • Direction following: Read through the recipe with your child and have him follow directions as you say them out loud. If your child needs extra support draw pictures in the same order that correspond with each step. For example, draw pictures of the ingredients, cooking utensils, etc.
  • Word recall: Read a list of ingredients out loud and have your child repeat a few, or all, items needed. This is a great way for your child to practice their listening and memory skills. If your child is able, you can ask them to recall items from a list a few minutes later or in steps. For example, if you’ve already used the pumpkin ask them if they remember what ingredient was next on their list.
  • Auditory Comprehension: Read the recipe out loud to your child and have them repeat the steps back to you (different from recalling the ingredients). This is great if your child is working on language processing skills. Your child may need to have the information broken down into smaller chunks, and this is okay.
  • Articulation: Find a few words within the recipe that have your child’s target sound or sounds in them. Ask them to use these words often throughout cooking and repeat them whenever they come up. For example, if their target sound is /k/ you can say, “Pumpkin, that has your /k/ sound in it, you try saying it!”
  • Fluency: The texture of pumpkin lends itself to a conversation about smooth versus bumpy. When encouraging your child to use fluent speech, you can ask them to use smooth speech versus bumpy speech with disfluencies.

Remember, cooking with your child should be fun! Pick one or two of the above activities and gently incorporate it into your holiday fun. Don’t stress yourself or your child too much by making cooking into a structured learning task. These are some great ways for you to support your child’s speech and language needs while still enjoying some family fun!

Here is the recipe for a great pumpkin pie:

Ingredients:

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
1 (14 ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 large eggs1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

Directions:

1.Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Pour into crust. Bake 15 minutes.
2.Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from crust comes out clean. Cool. Garnish as desired. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator



Child with speech bubble

How To Improve Speech Intelligibility

It can be frustrating for both parents and child when a child’s language is difficult to understand! During preschool and school-age years, a child’s language is expanding and he is using more words to request, exclaim, and to label. Parents will often guess at what their child is saying, and unfamiliar adults may rely on parents to decipher their child’s speech. Many times children will throw tantrums or give up when trying to communicate. See below for some helpful tips to improve your child’s intelligibility and your understanding!

Rate: An increased rate of speech leads to more words blending together and doesn’t always give the listener enough processing time to take in all of the information. If your child has an increased rate of speech, encourage him to slow down and try again. Multisyllabic words may get simplified (e.g., “tephone” for “telephone”), leading to further difficulty for the listener. Modeling your own slow rate will allow your child to match your speech.

Volume: Using appropriate volume depending on a situation may help to improve intelligibility. Oftentimes children’s voices will be too loud or too soft, making them difficult to understand. Contrast different volumes with your own voice (no voice, whisper voice, inside voice, outside voice), and allow your child to pick the appropriate volume based on a situation.

Speech sound substitutions and errors: Sound substitutions, omissions and errors frequently impact a child’s intelligibility. There are set milestones for speech sound acquisition, however substituting one sound for another (e.g., saying “wing” for “ring” or “fumb” for “thumb”) can leave parents guessing at what their child is saying. In these cases, parents can model accurate sound production (based on age), and overcorrect, or emphasize target sounds.

If a child continues to struggle with speech intelligibility and either child or parent is getting frustrated, a licensed speech-language pathologist can help!


 

Holiday Cooking for Speech and Language Development

Ready or not, the holidays are right around the corner! This means family, fun, vacations, and a lot of free time. And let’s face it; you’ll most likely have a lot of cooking to do. So, why not have your kids help you, while you help them by making cooking into a fun speech and language activity!

Recipes are a great way to target a variety of speech and language goals in a fun, unstructured way. There is a lot of planning and processing needed to execute a perfect recipe and let’s face it, even the adults don’t always get it right – I know I’ve made a mistake or two! (Why is that cup of flour still sitting on the counter when my cookies are already in the oven?)

Here’s a list of speech and language activities you can tackle with some fun, kid-friendly Thanksgiving desserts from food.com:

  • Sequencing: Read through the recipe and have your child identify what step is first or last. You can incorporate concepts such as before, after, and next. For example, “What comes after the eggs?” You can also have your child repeat the directions in order – if it’s not too complicated! Feel free to use a visual with this task, draw a simple pictures (i.e. a mixing bowl, spoon, cookie sheet) to support each step. Read more

Books for Specific Sound Productions

A fun and easy way for your child to practice his articulation is through books! You may have your child practice his articulation sounds by reading aloud a word, phrase, or sentence from a story. If your child is advanced enough, he may even read the entire story to you! Make sure to provide a verbal model for your child if you hear any distortions, substitutions, or omissions of sounds when he is reading. If your child is too young to read, then you may read the book to him. During this activity, have your child repeat target words, phrases, or sentences that contain their sounds.

The following is a list of books that are categorized by sounds: 

B:
A Bug, a Bear, and a Boy by David McPhail
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.
The Wheels on the Bus by Paul D. Zelinsky

R:
The Pirate Who Couldn’t Say Arrr! By Angie Neal
Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown

P:
Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss
Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy E. Shaw

M:
If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Joffe Numeroff
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow Read more

Top 5 Toys for Speech and Language Development: School-Aged Edition

With Hanukkah only a few weeks away and Christmas right around the corner, parents need to be on the lookout for fun and educational gift ideas. If your child’s speech and language development is one of your concerns, read on for our list of the top 5 toys/gifts for enhancing speech and language skills in school-aged children.

Parents can also help develop these skills by playing with their children and modeling appropriate language, encouraging turn taking, and requesting. Parents can also help children with articulation difficulties through play by modeling accurate speech sound production and correcting their child’s inaccurate productions.

Top 5 Toys for Enhancing Speech and Language Skills in School-Aged Children:

Toy

Function

Apples to Apples
  • Appropriate play with peers
  • Turn taking
  • Direction following
  • Same/different (e.g., explain why the cards go together)
Board Games (e.g., Candyland)
  • Turn taking
  • Direction following
  • Articulation (e.g., say a word before you take your turn)
  • Appropriate play with peers/parents
  • Sequencing steps to play
HeadBanz
  • Word finding (e.g., object description)
  • Object function (e.g., “you sleep on it, and it is soft”)
  • Asking/answering “wh”-questions (e.g., “where is it used for?”)
  • Articulation (e.g.,  monitor sound production, target specific sounds)
Memory Games
  • Turn taking
  • Direction following
  • Memory skills
  • Articulation (e.g., can use pictures of target words)
Story Cubes
  • Sequencing (e.g., story building, temporal relationships)
  • Verb tenses (e.g., make the story in present/past/future tenses)
  • Turn taking
  • Opposites (e.g., say the opposite of what is on each dice)
  • Auditory comprehension (e.g., retell a peer/parent’s story)