I’ve known for a long time that squirrels are evil and attempting to take over the world. They eat our gardens, infiltrate our basements and attics, devour our birdfeeders, and cause countless power outages and automobile accidents. They have even crept their way into just about every speech articulation drill book and card set created thus crushing the articulatory confidence of /r/, /l/, and /s/ speech kids for years.
Every time I come to that picture card depicting that deceptively cute squirrel, I have to control the urge to sigh and roll my eyes. Unfortunately, my inner voice always says “you can try it if you want kid, but you won’t get it”. Of course, he doesn’t get it, because it’s one of the most difficult English words to pronounce– just ask anyone who has learned English as a second language. Don’t believe me? Search “can’t say squirrel” on You Tube and have a good laugh.
Sometimes I try to skip over and ignore the bushy-tailed rodent but kids always want to try. “I know what it is, I know what it is, I know that one, I can say it!!!” Every so often you catch a break and the kid calls it a chipmunk. “That was so close Bobby, it’s actually a squirrel, let’s move to the next one.” So why do we expect a child who is struggling with even the most basic sounds produce the /skw/ blend followed by /erl/. Surely it can’t be a speech therapist who decided this was a good idea. This brings me to my point. Practicing speech therapists—I mean those therapists working “in the trenches,” know how to make the best treatment materials.
Help us put an end to the frustrations of our speech kids. If you make your own materials please share by posting it on our new website SpeechTrader.com. Help us BOYCOTT THE SQUIRREL!!
Speech Thoughts by Speech Trader, LCC
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