Char's Blog


Demystify the Tongue Tie! 0

The tongue: it's pretty small when compared to other body parts. It’s usually hidden from view and rightly so: it’s relatively unimpressive to look at. There’s no “Tongue of the Year” award, and it’s not usually a topic of conversation. We take it for granted. We are simply concerned that it works: an infant feeds, gains nourishment, and grows daily into someone who speaks, chews, and swallows with ease.

Enter the tongue tie.

The Illusive Lateral S 0

It’s 10:35 on a Tuesday morning. I’m in therapy with a second grader.

Riiiiight. See if you can just keep your jaw still. Well…that’s a start. Can you feel what your tongue is doing? Can you hear a difference? It sounds like air is going down the side of your mouth. It’s supposed to go down the middle of your tongue. Can you feel that? 

Well? I’m not SSSℵℑξΦURE. I think SSSℵℑξΦO. You think IT’SℵℑξΦ goin’ around the SSSℵℑξΦIDE?

Pretty sure. Wow! Almost did one. Good trying. Now, try this. Okay. Well…maybe just watch my mouth…

A lateral /s/ has that identifiable squishy-squashy-scratchy, airy, juicy, around-the-side sound, that we SLP’s dread. Many of us have what you might call “lateral-phobia.” Many of us have tangled with a lateral /s/ and lost.

Series: Speech Sound Solutions 4

“S” seems so simple.  But when it goes wrong, it can be a multi-faceted muddle.  The tongue sticks out, the tongue is narrow, the tongue is fat, the tongue is flat, the tongue is flaccid, air flows around one side, air flows around both sides.  Then there’s my “favorite”, the hot-dog tongue that angles off to one side and the jaw goes with it.  Not to mention the nasal snort “s”.  That one deserves a blog unto itself.

We can label the /s/ sound with all the typical terms.  You know the ones:  It’s a lingua-alveolar sound, it’s a fricative, it has centralized airflow, it’s voiceless.  So just how is that descriptive info supposed to help me in therapy?  Good descriptors, but, honestly, not real valuable to my therapy-kids and me.

Over the next few months we’re going to pick-apart the /s/ production and come up with some useful information and ideas that we can all apply in therapy.

Hello and Welcome! 2

I’m Char Boshart, stepmom to four amazingly accomplished adult-children, grandma to three bright and talented grandchildren, with another sweet lil-boy baby on the way. My husband and I moved here two years ago from Southern California (via Texas) and are enjoying the refreshingly peaceful benefits of living in North Georgia. Our cabin is on the Ellijay River, across from the expansive green meadow where at least 20 colorful cows and their little calves roam. We love it!

As a speech-language therapist, I’ve been fortunate to work with many kids of all ages, with varying populations and disorders. I’ve worked in schools, private practice, and clinical settings. I’ve presented many seminars along the way, as well. There are numerous competent and caring therapists out there, and I’ve been so very fortunate to meet and speak with many of you.

  • Charlotte Boshart