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  • Articulation Therapy: Inner Voice Recordings

    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. This was some time ago, when only an orthodontist could adjust a palate expander. I had periodic ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on January 12, 2017
  • Record It

    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 Radio 1 Scientist, Greg Foot’s YouTube video, “Why does your voice sound different on a ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on June 14, 2016
  • What Did You Learn This Year?

    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 fairly consistently.”•    “I learned a different kind of R and ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on June 9, 2016
  • 'Dear Tongue...'

    “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 to go to the back of the mouth•    Lift up the sides a little ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on May 31, 2016
  • Politics of Mastery Charts

    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 means to determine whether or not a child is demonstrating an articulation delay? The ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on April 19, 2016
  • Hearing Two Phonemes

    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 colleague shared this story with me and explained how she needed to provide specific ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on April 5, 2016
  • What is Speech Worth?

    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 of motor movements for speech clarity. Speech, however, isn’t an unimportant subdomain of ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on March 29, 2016
  • Recovering From an Angry Email

    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,” I wanted to proclaim. “It wasn’t my fault. We didn’t even know that there could be a problem.” ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on March 16, 2016
  • Sounds, Syllables and Stress

    Spelling is misleading. The orthographic system does not reflect all aspects of pronunciation. Word stress, syllable breaks, articulatory placement, and co-articulatory processes affect speech production. In General American English, 80% of words in conversation have stress on the initial syllable. Stressed syllables are typically produced more ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on February 22, 2016
  • On Butterflies and Families

    In the early days of my career, I was at an IEP meeting waiting to present goals for a kindergarten student with multiple needs. He was an enthusiastic young boy with mild coordination difficulties, who frequently bumped into furniture and other children. He had language and learning delays, and slightly imprecise articulation. His grandmother was ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on February 16, 2016
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