Saturday, January 5, 2013

Articulation goals and techniques!!!


How many of you have students or clients working on articulation goals?  I know personally, a large portion of my caseload includes students working on speech sound production.  Out of those students, many of them are working on either /s/ or /r/.  Every SLP has multiple ways of teaching different sounds to students/clients.  We always have tricks up our sleeves!  I love finding new ways to help my students with their speech sound production.  Over the past few years I have found many different techniques.  I have implemented many "tricks" especially those from the The Complete Oral-Motor Program for Articulation by Bonnie Lechner, Harriet Pehde and Anne Geller from Linguisystems.  I use many of their techniques (with my own twist!) when working on the /s/ and /r/ sounds.  I wanted to share with all of you a few ways I encourage and teach my students these sounds.  

Let’s start with /s/…

I always tell my students that /s/ is our “snake sound”.  I am constantly saying, “Make sure that snake stays in its cage”, or “Oh no! I think your snake got loose!”.  Anything to make it fun and silly!  Whenever I am introducing this sound I explain it like this...  Keep your teeth together as you smile.  Make sure your tongue (snake) doesn't come out of its cage (teeth).  The “snake sound” should only come out from the front of your mouth, not from the sides.

To stabilize the jaw….
Place one end of a straw or coffee stirrer between the student’s molars on either side (right or left).  Put a mirror in front of the student and tell him/her to smile.  Have the student check to make sure his/her upper teeth are over the bottom teeth.

To help with lip closure…
This is one of my favorites!  I have heard it called many different names like button pull, cheerio pull, etc.  I personally call it “fruit loop pull”.  Students love this because it involves food (and who doesn't love food)!  Put a fruit loop through a piece of dental floss or thin string (8-10 inches long should be good).  Knot both ends.  Tell the student to smile showing his/her teeth.  Here comes the fun part...The student has to stop the SLP from taking the fruit loop with his/her lips!  The SLP will gently pull on the string while the student keeps those lips together to resist.

To help elevate the tongue-tip….
Have student stick his/her tongue out.  Put a cheerio or fruit loop (more food!) on the tip.  “Challenge” the student to open his/her mouth wide and bring that cheerio or fruit loop to the “bumpy part” on the roof of the mouth (alveolar ridge).

Now onto the /r/…

In my speech room we say that /r/ is the pirate sound!  My students get a kick out it.  It is very cute to hear them walking around the halls saying, "I am a pirate.... “arrrr”.  I tell them to slightly curl up the tip of your tongue and at the same time pull back your entire tongue slightly.  Make sure you don’t round your lips too much!

To stabilize the jaw…
Another technique with food!  Use a piece of licorice and put on students bottom molars (either side).  Have him/her bite down without biting through the licorice as the SLP slightly pulls on it.

To help elevate the tongue-tip…
Put a dab of peanut butter or fluff on a tongue depressor and place it on the student’s alveolar ridge.  Then, challenge the student to try and lick it off!

To help elevate the sides of the tongue…
Use a lollipop to stroke the sides of the student’s tongue.  Then, touch the upper molars with the lollipop.  Tell the student to push the sides of his/her tongue to touch the upper back teeth when he/she makes the /r/ sound.

If you have students working on either of these sounds, head over to my TPT store and grab my Winter Articulation game (targets /s/, /r/, AND /l/)!  It has the most adorable penguin graphics which the students absolutely love!  There are 48 cards for each sound in the initial and final position of words.  Also, I have included different syllable words for the various reading levels of your students.  I hope you find this information useful and maybe even try some of the techniques/tricks with your own students!  


My winter articulation activity is currently on SALE!!  Actually, ALL of my activities are on sale as part of my appreciation to all of my friends!!!