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Tips for Working with Velar Fronting

Sandra Uhl, M.A.

September 3, 2007


Question

My question concerns a six year old girl who has velar fronting for /k/ and /g/ and a frontal lisp on /s/ and /z/. I am a student beginning to work on my own cases and am having some trouble with this case.

Answer

First of all you are correct in working on this child's articulation skills. It is unusual that velar fronting is an issue for a 6 yr. old. It is necessary to keep the tip of the tongue down and the back of the tongue up. You may try a flavored tongue depressor and a dum-dum sucker. If the 'er' sound is correct you may try the 'ger', which may help to lift the tongue. It is difficult to address this without seeing the child. When working on a lisp, stabilization of the jaw is very important. A good prompt would be "Keep your teeth together in correct occlusion." Perhaps a facilitation context such as /st/ words. I would not address the tongue placement, unless the production is distorted. Model, model, model and use a mirror. Show the child correct and incorrect. I hope this helps.

Sandra Uhl was a professor at Miami University of Ohio for 32 years where she specialized in articulation and phonological disorders and orofacial myofunctional disorders. She supervised students in their clinical practicum and also had a private practice for many years.

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