Practice, Repetition and Predictability are key to improving intelligibility in children with motor speech disorders.
Happy 2016 from the 3CTSLPs at Speech Anchors! Hope the new year brings you good health and happiness!
Our first post of the new year is about the children on your caseload that would benefit from vowel intervention and what the treatment should include.
Do you have children on your caseload that say:
"nuh" for NO, "buh" for BYE or "huh" for HI?
Children with motor speech disorders (e.g.: apraxia or dysarthria) have difficulty with the jaw grading (setting the mouth posture) that is necessary to produce accurate vowels.
Hallmark speech signs associated with apraxia are vowel errors and/or a limited vowel inventory. Children with apraxia tend to reduce vowels to a schwa “uh”.
Hallmark speech signs associated with dysarthria are vowel distortions or stretching out the vowel with continuous oral movements that can turn a one syllable word into 3 syllables.
What should therapy for severe motor speech disorders look like?
What we already know:
High intensity, high repetitions of carefully chosen target sounds and words
Specific feedback as to what the child did or didn’t do when producing the target sound (You didn’t push your lips out when you said –oo-)
Use of child’s phonetic repertoire to practice a variety of articulatory movements (sound to sound, syllable to syllable and word to word) with these sounds.
Visual, verbal, tactile cues to shape the target sound or word.
But did you know?
Explicit teaching and practice of mouth postures for each vowel will improve intelligibility.
Setting the mouth posture for the vowel in a syllable or word facilitates the motor plan from consonant to vowel. (e.g.: oo-oo-shoe)
Repetitive and predictable books are recommended for apraxia treatment.
Need some repetitive books for working with children on your caseload?
Check out the Speech Anchors book series at www.speechanchors.com. We have created 5 funny predictable stories that focus on producing a target vowel in isolation, syllables and simple words.
The adorable characters and carefully chosen vocabulary set the vowel (e.g.: -oo- Sue lost her shoe, -ee- Hungry Pete) repeated in the story.
The repetitive lines, rhyme and familiar tune entice children to naturally fill in the word without having to ask them to repeat.
The predictability reduces the cognitive load of processing the language and allows the child to attend to producing the targeted sounds, syllables and words.
Be sure to come back and visit. Our next blog will cover developmental norms for when the vowel system is typically fully developed in children.
Until next time,
Sue, Lynn and Patty