Had an interesting session with a client who had difficulty producing the /L/ sound today. I wanted to share some techniques for both parents and speech pathologists to assist in producing this sound at home or in your own speech sessions!
There are two things that must be done in order to appropriately produce the /L/:
Okay, lets get started! The area behind your top front teeth is called the alveolar ridge. In order to produce the /L/ sound, one must place their tongue on the alveolar ridge. How can you get your child to identify the alveolar ridge without putting hands in his mouth? There are several techniques that I have tried. Don’t give up if one of these techniques don’t work. Every child is different and because of this, it may take a few tries in order for it to work. Here are a few ideas that I like to try with my clients:
1. Toothette: A toothette is an oral motor tool that can be used to gently touch the alveolar ridge on your child/client. These tools come individually wrapped to ensure sterilization and can simply be thrown out after a session. To increase sensory awareness, Toothettes come in flavors such as mint. You can find them at Medexsupply.com
2. Oral vibrator: An oral vibrator can be used with children who have sensory concerns. These children may need extra stimulation in order to appropriately feel and identify their alveolar ridge. Talktools.com is a great website to buy these oral tools!
3. Peanut butter: I have had parents in the past who have tried this technique. Try placing a small dab of peanut butter behind the child’s teeth and then tell them to lick it off. They will not only feel their alveolar ridge, but also be appropriately placing their tongue where they need to in order to produce the /L/ sound.
Once a child can appropriately place their tongue behind their teeth it’s time for the lateral emission! In order to get your child/client to allow air to flow through the sides of the tongue, have them suck in and feel the cold air on the sides (try it yourself). Then have them slowly flow the air out. Once voicing is added, your child/student/client will hopefully then have a better idea of how to appropriately produce the /L/ sound.
Have a technique not mentioned here? Share it here on Speechbop!