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Speech in the Schools

Articulation Therapy: Inner Voice Recordings
January 12, 2017 9:14 AM by Teresa Roberts
I've had orthodontia for most of my life and still wear a retainer at night. When I was in grade school, I had a palate expander to change the shape of my mouth. A strong wire was connected to the back molars that exerted pressure on the hard palate. Read More...
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Tip or Blade for Alveolar Sounds
September 21, 2016 7:38 AM by Teresa Roberts
Tip elevation: Does your tongue tip lift to the top of your mouth, right behind your front teeth, to the little speed bumps of your alveolar ridge? The tip elevates and the right and left surface portions of the tongue push against the alveolar ridge Read More...
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Observing the Complexity of Fun
September 6, 2016 9:42 PM by Teresa Roberts
We know that we make positive changes in the lives of our clients, but our work can also make a meaningful difference to the next generation of speech-language pathologists. Many years ago, when I was learning to be a clinician, I observed Dr. Bob, a Read More...
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Starting in a New School
August 29, 2016 8:41 AM by Teresa Roberts
Are you new to a school building this year? There are, of course, the obvious tasks: • Make friends with the secretaries and custodial staff • Connect with administration and share how happy you are to be at the school • Complete a monthly calendar for Read More...
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Find the Smile
August 1, 2016 9:35 AM by Teresa Roberts
Everyone enjoys something. It might take us a while to find out just what will make another person smile, but if we watch closely, we can find it. Some years ago I was working with a student who had significant cognitive delays and behavioral challenges. Read More...
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Rainbow Fairies
June 29, 2016 9:05 AM by Teresa Roberts
Fairies represent magic and wonder. The word “fairy” is a magic because it helps students transition from consonantal /r/ to vocalic /r/. The intervocalic /r/ in medial position allows us to produce /r/ at the end of the first syllable and the beginning Read More...
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Record It
June 14, 2016 2:04 PM by Teresa Roberts
Cell phones and tablets allow for immediate audio and video recording. Students typically begin by making silly recordings of greetings and funny sayings. Since most of us are initially surprised at how our voice sounds on a recording, we watch British Read More...
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What Did You Learn This Year?
June 9, 2016 9:25 AM by Teresa Roberts
Every school year we learn new things. I recently took a few minutes to ask each student the question, “What have you learned about your talking and your speaking this year?” Here are a few of the different responses: • “I learned that I can do good R’s Read More...
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'Dear Tongue...'
May 31, 2016 3:38 PM by Teresa Roberts
“We need to write a letter to your tongue so that it will know what to do. What directions do we need to give your tongue?” The students generate directions and tips that we write on a card. A “Dear Tongue” letter for /r/ might be: “Dear Tongue, • Remember Read More...
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Articulation: Social Belonging and Safety
May 17, 2016 9:09 AM by Teresa Roberts
How do you decide if a child needs articulation therapy? My colleague and I discussed different factors. Does it sound like the child has an accent? A mother shared with me that everyone thinks they’re from another part of the country. Their son’s articulation Read More...
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Spelling /r/
May 4, 2016 8:09 AM by Teresa Roberts
How do you say, “Squirrel”? Does your pronunciation truly match the spelling of “squirrel”? A bright student and I were practicing the postvocalic /r/ sound in “first”. I re-spelled the word (incorrectly) as “ferr—st” to show how it’s pronounced with Read More...
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Politics of Mastery Charts
April 19, 2016 11:35 AM by Teresa Roberts
Do you have an emotional response to consonant mastery charts for age of acquisition for speech sounds? I do. Just the mere mention of late mastery of sounds makes me bristle. Do you use the Poole study from 1934 or the Templin study from 1957[1] as a Read More...
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Hearing Two Phonemes
April 5, 2016 10:37 AM by Teresa Roberts
A child who is substituting /w/ for /r/ makes progress producing /r/. He is now using /r/ in initial position in words. Surprisingly, he is also now substituting /r/ for /w/. He is producing “right” correctly, but now he is no longer saying “white”. My Read More...
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What is Speech Worth?
March 29, 2016 9:15 AM by Teresa Roberts
Speech sound production and articulation are often treated casually in comparison to their fancy partner, language. The complexity of language and the mysterious relationship between language and cognition tend to overshadow the finely timed coordination Read More...
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Recovering From an Angry Email
March 16, 2016 2:06 PM by Teresa Roberts
I received an unfriendly email message from a colleague. The message started nicely with kind words, but ended with criticism and complaints. I felt stung. The whole situation was a misunderstanding and I had not even caused the problem. “I’m innocent,” Read More...
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About this Blog


    Speech in the Schools
    Occupation: School-based speech-language pathologists
    Setting: Traditional and specialized K-12 classrooms
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