Lisp Speech Therapy | Articulation Therapy

Articulation Therapy for S

Your student has an interdental lisp- or maybe a lateral lisp- and you're feeling stuck. This feeling is something I came across often in my speech therapy sessions. One day, I decided it was time to do something about it. I wanted to correct those lisps. I'm somewhat of a perfectionist when it comes to articulation therapy. I can't help it. I get so, so excited when my students make progress!

lisp speech therapy interdental lisp and lateral lisp remediation

Orofacial Myology

Alright, I took CEU courses. I was trying, y'all. I really, really wanted to help my students out. I tried these straightforward approaches- I sometimes saw results, and sometimes I didn't.

"Hide your tongue," I'd tell my student. Distorted /s/. So not cool.

"Okay, say the word "sun", but say it like this: thun." Well, that did help the airflow (no longer lateralized), so progress was being made! That was seriously helpful, but I wanted a little more structure to my approach.

Google is my friend. One day, I started searching. I don't remember what I typed in. Probably some panicked "someone PLEASE help me correct a lisp" keyword was entered into my google search bar. It worked, because I read about this whole Orofacial Myology thing.

"Is this like a, 'let's blow a cotton ball through a straw with puffed cheeks for no rhyme or reason because I'm attempting oral motor stuff'"?' I asked myself. I was a little skeptical. This is truth, you guys. I'm not trying to sound like some infomercial. I was getting desperate, but I decided to find out more. I found this website called orofacialmyology.com and I was pretty interested. Figuring I had nothing to lose, I decided to check out the 28 hour ceu course, tenderly labeled as Sandra Holtzman's "Boot Camp". I should probably let you know: my husband is a dentist, so maybe I was a little more open to what orofacial myology might have to offer to me as a Speech- Language Pathologist. Anyways, I signed up, and I went. It. was. awesome. (P.S. I am not receiving any sort of financial compensation from orofacialmyology.com for writing this post. All opinions expressed in this article are true, honest, and my own).

How Do I Correct a Lisp?

I learned a lot at that course. Prior to going to this course, I found out that I am a "class II". My husband and my mom have something in common. My mom attempted dental school- she could have finished, too, but she had three kids and decided to stay home with us. My husband- boyfriend at the time- frequently discussed "dental school" with her. Well, one day, they started talking about me. (So awesome, right?) I walked into the kitchen as they were discussing how I was a "class II" (overbite). You guys: I was seriously so upset. All this time, I'd been thinking I had this "perfect" alignment going on, you know, all "class I" and stuff. I was pretty upset. It turns out this was all great preparation for the course I was heading to. I am the PROUD owner of a stressed out mentalis (thanks to my class II). In addition, my masseters... they're like, those girls at the gym who pick up the 1 lb pink weights and still look fresh and perfectly manicured at the end of a workout. Basically, I'm not perfect, but I can still produce a pretty spot-on /s/ and /z/, despite all of this. My point, though: orofacial myology is important, and can be incredibly useful to the Speech-Language Pathologist. Also, your mentalis does not need to fit into skinny jeans. You can still be awesome and correct a lisp even with an overactive central muscle of the lower lip that is working overtime to keep your lips together even with your teeth are, apparently, not aligned perfectly. But, I digress.

lisp speech therapy interdental lisp and lateral lisp remediation

Articulation Therapy: Asking the Right Questions

Prior to this course, I wouldn't have known just how important it was to ask background questions such as, "Does your child- or has your child ever- sucked his thumb?" Prior to this course, I didn't give all the sippy cups with hard, stiff spouts at Wal-Mart a death glare. (Please recommend to parents that an actual cup, or at the very least, a cup with a soft, flexible straw or spout is being used to encourage the correct lingual resting posture). Prior to this course... I wasn't able to correct that lisp like a boss. Now, I do- and you can, too.

Lisp Remediation

I went home from Sandra's course, and decided to try her methods out. You see, I have to try things out for myself. I know you do, too. 

In order to correct a lisp, I've found that negative oral habits, such as thumb sucking, have to be eliminated prior to beginning therapy.

In order to correct a lisp, I've found that my students need to spend time realizing where the tongue should be at rest. If your student is sitting there, chilling with an open mouth posture and lingual forward positioning at rest, this needs to be addressed. Teeth shouldn't be canoodling with the tongue tip all the time. I'm just saying.

In order to correct a lisp, my students need to demonstrate proficiency with coordinated lingual movements. (I can't take credit for this, you guys! Phase one of the Myo Manual!)

lisp speech therapy interdental lisp and lateral lisp remediation

Once the foundational skills are set, my students show remarkable progress when I use techniques such as the "whispered t" and the "long t" to elicit /s/ in isolation.

When we move on to carefully selected final /ts/ words, phrases, then sentences: they are ready, because we have followed an incredibly structured hierarchy. These practice targets don't contain any competing /s/, /z/, or /th/ targets. Finally, we use co-articulation strategies and produce /s/ in the initial position of words. 

The honest, amazing truth: I've seen results. I'm so, so excited to share these therapy materials with you. I'm so, so grateful to Sandra Holtzman for allowing me to create materials based off of her techniques. 

Please... go out there, and correct that lisp like a boss.


Speech Therapy Scheduling

Speech Therapy Scheduling

Tomorrow I start seeing my students for the first week in speech. I've got some ready-to-go activities planned, including my Would You Rather...Questions and my Beginning of the Year Tic-Tac-Dough boards. This past week has been a little nuts, to say the least. That's because I've been doing all the "behind the scenes" work- setting up my room, attending beginning of the year meetings, and working on scheduling. Speech therapy scheduling is never fun, but now that I have experience doing it, I've created a "go to" checklist that I'm going to share with you.

speech therapy scheduling ideas for the school slp



 Let's conquer that tricky speech therapy scheduling once and for all.

  
speech therapy scheduling- my go to checklist for scheduling my school caseload


Speech Therapy Scheduling Checklist

Here's what you need to schedule:

1) Your speech caseload list: This should be a list with all of your students on it. Make sure you have included the IEP monthly minutes for each student. You'll want to have a quick reference available when working on your schedule. Make an extra copy of this list so you can write on it.

2) Progress reports: Pull these out of your charts if you need to, because it's super handy to be able to glance at your students and quickly see their goals. It will be helpful to know if your student has articulation goals, language goals, fluency goals, or a combination of goals, because chances are, you'll need to group students together. Consider coming up with a color coding system. I just grab markers or highlighters and color code my speech caseload list. Draw a red dot next to students working on articulation goals, a purple dot next to students with language goals, and a brown dot next to students with articulation and language goals.

speech therapy scheduling ideas for school SLPs


3) Administrative homeroom list: Ask the building secretary for a printed out list of this. You'll go through these lists and highlight any student on your caseload you find. Hopefully, you have access to a computer system where you can type in the name of your student, and immediately see what teacher they have and what homeroom they're in. Then, go to your printed out list and highlight that student.

4) A map of the school: This will be helpful too. It's nice to be able to quickly glance and see how close classrooms are together, especially if you're considering scheduling in groups. How long will it take you- or your students- to get from Point A to Point B?

5) Letter to teachers: Since you've now highlighted the homeroom lists with your students, get a scheduling letter out to those teachers. If you're only in that building one or two days a week, make sure you explain this. I like to provide my teachers with the number of IEP monthly minutes I need to meet. I explain that I need to "over schedule" minutes, if this makes sense- because there are going to be assemblies, fields trips, sickness, testing days, and meetings (just to name a few things) that can get in the way of meeting minutes. Get straight to the point- state how many blocks of time you'll need, and how long those blocks of time should be. I explain that I will always do my best to group students in classes together, but this can't always be accomplished, as the priority is to group students based on their individual goals and needs. Are there specific classes that would be best to take these students from? Are there classes that would absolutely be terrible to remove the student from? You'll want to know this.

Basically, you need to know the best, the "okay",  and the worst times to take your students, and schedule around this.

6) Sticky notes: You will both love and hate sticky notes by the end of your scheduling experience. While you don't have to use them, I've found that I need to be able to physically move the pieces of paper around as I work out where to place my students. I do this on a desk, and just give myself a ton of space. Even if I put students together in groups, I give each student an individual sticky note. Why? That group might not work out, because chances are, someone will come back to you and say, "Actually, that time doesn't work anymore..."



7) Post It Tabs: Yes, get these if you can. Remember how I talked about group scheduling? When I pair students together in a group, I put a post it tab and write "group" on it, so I can quickly see who is paired with who. In addition, I place these to the side of the sticky note when I plan on seeing that student more than once a week.


speech therapy scheduling ideas for the school slp

Oh, and p.s. ...don't forget to leave yourself time in your schedule for evaluations, medicaid billing, planning, and report writing.

8) Excel or Powerpoint: Once your schedule is in front of you (at least, the sticky note version), you'll want to type this out. I highly, highly recommend having a "week at a glance" schedule.



9) Letter to teachers (again): Once you have your schedule figured out, write out a quick note to your teachers letting them know when you'll be by to pick up their students.

I know scheduling is a headache- but you CAN do this! Please share your favorite tips and tricks in the comments below.

Speech Therapy Room Setup | Speech Room Decor

Hey guys! I wanted to give you a quick tour of my speech room. I'm pretty excited about my speech therapy room setup for this school year. Many of the labels, signs, and other speech room decor pieces are all part of my newest SLP Organization and Decor packet, which you can snag here at my TPT store!

Speech Room Setup and Decor Tour


speech therapy room setup and speech room decor

I'm so excited to have you stop in! Come on, let's take a closer look...

speech therapy room setup and speech room decor


I wanted to go with a welcoming and exciting theme this year. It's exciting because it's travel-themed with a tagline of "communication takes you anywhere". I also love how calming the blue and green color combination feels!

speech therapy room setup and speech room decor

speech therapy room setup and speech room decor

speech therapy room setup and speech room decor

Make your first week in speech way less stressful with my Tic-Tac Dough Beginning of the Year Activities and my Would You Rather Questions!

speech therapy room setup and speech room decor

speech therapy room setup and speech room decor

speech therapy room setup and speech room decor

speech therapy room setup and speech room decor

speech therapy room setup and speech room decor

speech therapy room setup and speech room decor

speech therapy room setup and speech room decor

Snag my free binder labels and spines for bundles here!

speech therapy room setup and speech room decor

I can't wait- this year I have a specific place to put my draft reports. There will most certainly be interruptions throughout the day, and I'll know exactly where to look for my files when I need to set them aside for awhile.

speech therapy room setup and speech room decor

speech therapy room setup and speech room decor

My coworker told me about this fabulous- and inexpensive way- to reduce distractions in your room. Keep your kids focused by covering up materials stored on bookshelves with a shower curtain. I purchased the shower curtain and rings at the Dollar Tree and a pressure rod at Wal-Mart. The whole setup was around $7.



Basketball is a super fun way to motivate your students! Add some figurative language in with a quote such as "Give speech your best shot".


I like to have my "quick table games and activities" in a caddy. I can't tell you how many times throughout the day I'm looking for dice, daubers, and my "go to" card games.

speech therapy room setup and speech room decor

speech therapy room setup and speech room decor


EET expanding expression toolkit activity idea for your speech therapy room

I wrote a grant a year ago, and I LOVE my Expanding Expression Toolkit . I created this "wall decor game" and have a beachball stored in my room, ready to go. My kids request this all the time.

Finally, I have a bookshelf devoted to everything I might need while getting work done. I have a "Needs Filed" tub, but I'm extremely excited about my seasonal tub. I'm changing out the label as the seasons change with a little velcro, and it's going to be a great place to store those seasonal or holiday specific therapy materials.


Thanks so much for stopping by and touring my room! I hope you'll stick around awhile or visit me on TPT!

Categories Speech Therapy | Movement Activities for Kids

Movement Activities for Speech Therapy 

Do your speech therapy students need to MOVE? As we all know, exercise is a GOOD thing, and while I'm no PT/ gym teacher/ fitness specialist (and whatever other title you can come up with), I do know that kids learn best when they are engaged in an activity. Movement activities for kids can be used in your speech therapy session- with amazing results. I created a categories speech therapy packet specifically for my students that just aren't that into sitting in a chair all day. I know your students will love these activities, too!

categories speech therapy- movement activities for kids in speech and language therapy

Categories Speech Therapy Packet

Okay, so this past year, I kept reading and reading about how important it is for kids to move while they're learning. Not only will your student be more engaged (mine have!), but it truly benefits them. Kids learn best when they're moving. I know your day gets crazy and sometimes, the thought of having to "try something new" is just overwhelming. I get it. As a working mom, I'm just... tired. A lot. I've found, however, that incorporating simple movement activities throughout the day not only helps my students- it helps me, as well.

categories speech therapy- movement activities for kids in speech therapy. FUN!


No Prep Speech Therapy

Movement and learning go together. I believe it so much, that I've been creating packets that are entirely focused around movement-based learning. I've got an apraxia of speech packet, and a categories packet. I'm working on a whole lot more Kinesthetic Communication packets, because 1) I believe in this- strongly and 2) I want to make things easier for you. I'm a big believer in low prep and no prep speech therapy materials whenever possible, because I often find myself absolutely swamped with things to do during the day. Having materials handy that I can just print and run with make my day that much better.


This categories packet targets the following skills:
  • labeling what category a picture belongs to
  • category sorting
  • identifying items in a given category
  • identifying the item that doesn't belong in a category
  • naming items in categories
  • explaining how items are alike
  • explaining how items are different


This categories packet is available in my TPT store. You can also purchase the Apraxia of Speech Kinesthetic Communication packet for even more movement-based learning!

Disclaimer: This is not meant to be an exercise program. Please ensure that the student you are working with is able to participate in physical activity exercises and stretches prior to completing any worksheets. With any form of exercise, there is a risk of injury. Consulting with a medical professional is recommended if you are unsure if your student is able to complete any suggested tasks. All tasks suggested are voluntary.These worksheets are for educational purposes only.

SLP CFY | Articulation Speech Therapy Guide

CFY-SLP: the Survival Guide for Articulation
You've finished grad school (or are just about to finish grad school) in Speech- Language Pathology. CONGRATS! Perhaps you've just started your new position, and you're pumped to be able to sign that CFY-SLP at the end of your name. You should be proud, because this is a huge accomplishment. Soon, you'll be managing your own caseload. With this comes a set of challenges, and unfortunately, your new employer isn't going to hand you the "how to" manual. I'd like to help you out there. When I started working, I encountered some pretty challenging articulation and phonological disorders cases. I spent hours doing the following things: scouring the internet for SLP posts about various subjects, taking CEUs, asking my colleagues for help. I was overwhelmed. I had a HUGE caseload, and I didn't know where to start. There was so much information out there, but not enough time in the day.


Articulation and Phonological Disorders

I decided to create a "how to" guide. It's basically a "how to not do all the things I did" and "use what I found ACTUALLY works instead" guide, but that title didn't sound quite as catchy! In this guide I'll share my best tips on how to treat variety of articulation and phonological disorders. I'll explain my favorite ways to correct a lisp or a vocalic /r/. I'll go over in detail how I work on suppressing active phonological processes. I've had graduate students before- my goal with this guide is to provide you with the same knowledge and information that I provided to them. I'll also be brutally honest in the guide. I've made TONS of mistakes along the way. Write this one down: never, never ask a student with a lateral lisp to say the word "sit" in front of his mom. It was a very memorable session for me (and probably my patient's mom), but you know what? I learned from it. Don't choose words that will accidentally result in your student/ patient/ client cursing, and figure out how to effectively remediate a lateral lisp.




CFY-SLP Tips and Tricks for Speech and Language Therapy

My hope is that you will reference this guide, not only throughout your clinical fellowship year, but years later. This free printable is a taste of a product that is in the works, and will feature even more tricks, tips, and "DON'T DO THIS" advice for treating receptive and expressive language disorders.
I am continually learning new things. I certainly don't know it all, but I know I've made some improvements along the way. The absolute COOLEST thing ever is when you start to see your kids making progress. What we do is SO important. This entire guide is low ink, because I have this tiny worry that you might not have easy access to a color printer. So download it, sit back, and enjoy while drinking your favorite beverage. You can write CFY-SLP after your name, and that is the result of INCREDIBLY hard work. Now, please, let me help you absolutely crush your clinical fellowship year. You've got this.

Looking for some help with language disorders? The entire CFY-SLP Speech and Language Guide is available at my store.


Speech Therapy for Toddlers | Speech and Language Activities for Nonverbal Children

Hey friend! Speech therapy for toddlers doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as you might think, and I’m so glad you stopped by. By the way, if you have have a child (or teach a child) who is not toddler-aged, but is non-verbal or minimally verbal, I know you'll find some great ideas here. Not only am I a pediatric Speech- Language Pathologist, but I’m a mama, too! My baby boy is almost 11 months, and we’re basically doing speech and language activities at home, all day, every day. What a lucky boy he is, right?  (Cue the eye rolls from my husband). In all seriousness, though, language development is super important, so I’ve put together some speech therapy activities you can use with your little at home (or in the classroom or therapy room). Just an FYI- these ideas aren’t meant to replace you taking your kiddo in for a speech therapy evaluation or speech therapy session, especially if you have concerns! Early intervention is key, and the more carryover you as a fabulous parent can do at home- the better!


Speech Therapy for Toddlers

            


My Thoughts on Speech Therapy Tools for Toddlers and Children who are Nonverbal

Let’s just get a few things out of the way first. If you’re on a tight budget, don’t freak. You don’t need to spend hundreds on fancy toys or pay for cable to watch “educational” shows. In fact, research is telling you to do just the opposite: kids learn language from face-to-face interaction, not from hearing it on the television.

Screen time actually rewires the brain, and not in a good way. It’s actually pretty scary when you read about it. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends zero screen time for children under 18 months. It really doesn’t matter what the content of the show is- my advice to you is to turn off the TV, hide your smart phone, and do whatever it takes- because it really does matter.


speech therapy for toddlers! speech and language activities to try at home!

            

Speech Help for Toddlers and Children who are Nonverbal

If your toddler or older child isn’t talking yet- or is only talking a little - you might consider introducing some form of multimodal communication. Don’t panic- that just means allowing your child- or student- to use lots of ways to talk- like signs, gestures, or communication boards. Start with a few basic signs containing core vocabulary, such as ‘more’, ‘want’, ‘stop’, ‘go’, ‘eat’, ‘drink’. Think basic verbs, adjectives, or prepositions. Of course, signs like mama, dada, hi, or other meaningful words can be great starters, too! You can absolutely still talk in sentences, but don’t be afraid to sign those target words, and then say the target word one more time for good measure.


speech therapy for toddlers


Speech Therapy Activities You Can Try At Home

My biggest tip? Talk all day long to your child, even if he isn’t responding yet. You might feel like a crazy lady, talking to yourself, but remember- it really does help! Talk about what you’re doing, what he’s doing, and describe things. Here are examples of modeling language:


“Why should we push the ball? We want it to go down.”

“Put the green ball ON top. Let’s push the ball. Look! It’s going DOWN! Down.” (Please make sure there are no small parts or choking hazards! But you already knew that ;-) Just went into helicopter mama mode, sorry!)

speech therapy for toddlers


Sometimes modeling actions- and simply saying the verbs- is super fun. “Shake, shake, shake! It’s your turn!”

speech therapy for toddlers


Make reading interactive! Read the words, but don’t stop there! 

“Let’s read a book together. Book. It’s so soft! It’s a soft book. Can you open the soft book? Open. Great work!”

“Let’s turn the page. Look at that snappy crocodile!” I then make my fingers “snap” against his arm. (We were reading "Charlie Monkey", in case you're wondering!)

“Let’s feel how soft the big, brown gorilla is. He’s soft. It’s mama’s turn. Now it’s your turn! Okay, let’s turn the page!”

speech therapy for toddlers


“Let’s push it and make the fish go. Push it down. Down! Go, fish, go! Awesome job!”

speech therapy for toddlers

“I want to pull the colorful flower down. Let’s pull it down. Down! Look! Wow! It’s going back UP now!”

speech therapy for toddlers


“It’s mama’s turn to make the ball GO. Ready, set, GO!” Bounce the ball and say something like, “Bounce, bounce, bounce! We bounced the round, colorful ball!” Before you toss the ball in the air, say and sign the word up. “Up. Mama’s going to throw the ball UP in the air! Look!”


speech therapy for toddlers



Hopefully this gave you some speech therapy ideas for toddlers- or kiddos of any age using augmentative and alternative communication! Keep modeling language through play! Keep it fun and interactive! That’s how kids learn best. You’ll absolutely want to follow my speech therapy for toddlers board on Pinterest for more fabulous ideas! In addition, you'd love my parent handouts for modeling core vocabulary- these are super easy ideas for implementing language modeling all day and throughout the year!
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