Checking In

July 14, 2018 12:00 am Published by

I hope you are having a relaxing and/or productive (take your pick) summer. I’m having a little of both with some family trips, hanging around the house as well as preparing for fall workshops and updating my presentations.

Coming up, I’m doing an ASHA event on Remediating the /r/ and /s/ Sounds (https://www.asha.org/events/live/08-08-2018-remediating-r-and-s/).It is August 8 at 4:00 Pacific Time and lasts 2 hours. You will have the opportunity to win 2 SATPACs and if you participate, you will be able to purchase SATPAC for $100 instead of the normal $199.

I also have two California workshops coming up–September 24 in Fremont and September 25 in Elk Grove. The following month I’m doing a two-day workshop in Germany and more upcoming but not scheduled yet. I’m considering workshops in February in Florida which I’ve never done before. If your area or school district might be interested, please let me know.

Stephen Sacks
SATPAC Speech

Because I want SLPs from all over to use and understand my program, I have a .6 CEU ASHA webinar that is basically the same as my live presentations. Go to the SATPAC website for details. Here is the link: https://satpac.com/workshops/webinar

Looking for professional development for your school district or organization? Contact me steve@satpac.com for details.

Difficult /r/ Kids

March 17, 2018 12:00 am Published by

I find remediating the /r/ sound to be extremely satisfying because it is typically the last sound learned and the hardest. I have a good grasp of what to do and when to do it and have had lots of success remediating most /r/ sounds in 7 ½ hours of therapy or less.

I use 3 infant tongue depressors taped together which function as bite blocks to stabilize the jaw and then a single infant tongue depressor situated under the tongue for proper placement.

I typically have the student say EE-EE-EERGA or EERSHA as these are facilitating contexts and the EE keeps the tongue wide and flat producing the back or bunched /r/. This achieves palatal constriction with the lateral margins of the tongue contacting the back molars. The ‘A’ sound at the end of EERGA or EERSHA facilitates pharyngeal constriction. Both of these constrictions are necessary for /r/. Typically I can get a good /r/ sound in the first session using these techniques.

However, sometimes my students balk at the whole idea of sticks in their mouths. Right now I’m working with a student who doesn’t like the sticks and doesn’t follow my directions. After about a month of frustration, I decided to work on successive approximations with this student. I started with the stabilization sticks, had him smile and say EE. We did sets of 50 repetitions of EE for a couple of weeks and that was all he needed to do. We then went to EEGA without the /r/ sound which he again could do. Meanwhile, he was getting used to stabilizing his jaw and experiencing success with what I was asking him to do. I then had him put the placement stick under his tongue and had him say EE-EE-EEGA (again without the /r/) and having him push the tongue back on the final EE. And then, I had him do EE-EE-EERGA. At that point I would show him occasionally how the placement stick needed to aggressively push the tongue back. He is still not consistent yet but he can make a good /r/ sound now.
(NOTE: This is just the beginning of my method. If you would like to see more, I have a free CEU presentation on the SATPAC website: https://satpac.com/ ).

Some kids object to the taste of the sticks in their mouths so I’ve used vanilla extract, chocolate or a sour fruit spray to mask the taste and this has worked.

Stephen Sacks
SATPAC Speech

Upcoming workshops: April 12 and April 13 (sold out) in Elk Grove, CA and April 27-28 in So. Cal. Details at https://satpac.com/sacks-workshops/

Because I want SLPs from all over to use and understand my program, I have a .6 CEU ASHA webinar that is basically the same as my live presentations. Go to the SATPAC website for details. Here is the link: https://satpac.com/workshops/webinar

Looking for professional development for your school district or organization? Contact me steve@satpac.com for details.

RtI Tier 3 for Articulation (Readers Comments)

February 24, 2018 12:00 am Published by

I asked for RTI comments from you and got a variety. Here they are:

I use Rti for articulation when a student is referred with a single sound error and is responsive to placement during screening. I usually treat for 8 weeks one time a week, adding them into an existing group or starting a new slot when available. I have had success with this model (sometime an extension on 8 weeks to 12 or 16 weeks), where the student remediates the articulation without entering special education. …


In my district we are not allowed to see kids at the elementary level unless that are on an IEP…


I have been doing RtI with articulation and phonology kids for the past 15 years. Up until 2 years ago, I used real words, but after taking the SATPAC training, I switched to your method. I typically put kindergarteners and first graders into RtI and see them for 5 minutes up to 4 times a week with the help of my speech assistant. I’ve had great results for k,g, l and s blends (errors are corrected within a semester, some in one quarter…


I reluctantly started providing RtI last year for students with artic errors who did not or would not qualify, but clearly needed help. I actually see the kids before school even starts. Parents and teachers agreed that they would walk in the door and come straight to my room for literally 5 minutes, 1-2 times per week. I have been truly amazed with the results! It has been especially effective for the younger students and I can’t believe how quickly change began to occur. I know I am keeping them out of special education and supporting reading development in the process…


What happened to the need for an evaluation prior to starting speech therapy with a background history, standardized test, oral motor exam, hearing screening? Why are children qualified for RTI speech therapy with only a screening, and then calling it “informal” speech therapy? Aren’t we taking away the professionalism of our field when we do this? …
I believe that RTI was developed to cut down on special education expenses, which were deemed to be too high. Now speech therapist have 8-10 children added to their caseloads, which they do not get credit for, on top of already high numbers. So this is the norm we have come to accept, basically increased work to cut down on costs at the federal and state levels. If one is writing goals and keeping data, it takes up just as much time as if they were on caseload…For me, RTI for speech therapy denigrates our profession.


Stephen Sacks
SATPAC Speech

Upcoming workshops: April 13 in Elk Grove, CA and April 27-28 in So. Cal. Details at https://satpac.com/sacks-workshops/

I will be doing a 2-day workshop in Germany in October and there are some other tentative workshops set up in the next several months.

Because I want SLPs from all over to use and understand my program, I have a .6 CEU ASHA webinar that is basically the same as my live presentations. Go to the SATPAC website for details. Here is the link: https://satpac.com/workshops/webinar

Looking for professional development for your school district or organization? Contact me steve@satpac.com for details.

RtI Tier 3 for Articulation

January 20, 2018 12:00 am Published by

My definition of Tier 3 intervention is that students work with me but are not enrolled in special education. The purpose is to see if they respond positively to the direct intervention that I provide. If they do, they are not referred for special education services. If they don’t, they are. I have found through the years, that almost all students I see respond positively and never go into the special education system.

Almost all of the information that I have seen given by SLPs involving RtI involves language issues. From my perspective, articulation/phonology should play a primary role in RtI. There are a ton of kids (particularly in kindergarten and preschool) who need help with fronting, s-clusters and the like. At the ASHA Convention, I went to a session that stated that the research shows a strong correlation between reading deficits and articulation/phonology deficits. Thus, they stated how important it is to remediate speech errors as early as possible.

I also realize there are problems inherent with RtI such as high caseloads that leave no time to do it, students moving to another school where the SLP isn’t offering RtI, no billing/payments for services, getting more schools/students added to your caseload because your enrolled caseload is low (due to working with RtI kids), etc.

Currently I’m doing a study with RtI articulation/phonology students. I work 2 days a week (I retired in 2011), have a caseload of about 20 and an additional 11 RtI kids (with 3 already remediated so I’m now working with 8). The older 3rd grade kids are mostly /s/ and /r/ issues and the kindergartners run the gamut from fronting, consonant cluster reduction/deletion to final consonant deletion. They are seen once a week individually for 10-15 minutes and are all making progress (i.e. they are responding to my intervention).

I’m curious to hear your thoughts and what your experience has been with RtI for articulation/phonology (steve@satpac.com).

Stephen Sacks
SATPAC Speech

Upcoming workshops: Phoenix Feb.1 and 2. April 13 in Elk Grove, CA and April 27-28 in So. Cal. Details at https://satpac.com/sacks-workshops/

Because I want SLPs from all over to use and understand my program, I have a .6 CEU ASHA webinar that is basically the same as my live presentations. Go to the SATPAC website for details. Here is the link: https://satpac.com/workshops/webinar

Looking for professional development for your school district or organization? Contact me steve@satpac.com for details.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

January 1, 2018 12:00 am Published by

Happy New Year to you and your families. I hope this next year that we continue to make the world a better place through helping our students and clients improve their communication skills which tends to make them happier, more self-confident and more productive members of our society.

I received an email suggesting that I share with you where the SATPAC profits go. In case you were unaware, 100% of SATPAC sale profits are donated and this year I targeted homelessness and food insecurity.
The vast majority of the money went to 3 groups:

Alchemist CDC

Alchemist Community Development Corporation (CDC) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Sacramento area residents in their efforts to create vibrant, equitable, healthy and diverse communities. They recently received a USDA Grant to work on the feasibility of a commercial kitchen where local cooks could come and produce their food for commercial sale. http://alchemistcdc.org/

Square One Villages

In Eugene, Oregon, Gib Hayes and his dog Sadie were among the first to receive keys to a tiny home at Emerald Village on December 23rd. The home was designed and built by Arbor South Architecture and a crew of dedicated volunteers. Dubbed “Gib’s Digs,” this tiny home comes in at 236 square feet-complete with a full bath, kitchenette, sleeping nook, and storage loft.

Prior to this, Gib was living in an unheated RV without plumbing. At age 75, his modest social security check was not enough to afford even the most basic apartment rental. But now for just $350 a month, Gib can afford a permanent place to call home at Emerald Village. This monthly fee covers utilities, maintenance and operating costs, as well as membership share in the housing cooperative that the resident can take with them if and when they decide to move out. https://www.squareonevillages.org/

Dakota EcoGarden

The goal of the Eco Village Project is to provide safe, sanitary, uplifting and dignified housing for the homeless in an environmentally sustainable manner and to provide a holistic environment that gives the mental, emotional and physical tools necessary to escape the endless cycle of homelessness. Completely funded through private donations, the Dakota EcoGarden has been a positive response to Fresno’s history of cruel and illegal treatment of the homeless. https://ecovillagefresno.org/

Stephen Sacks
SATPAC Speech

Upcoming workshops: Phoenix Feb.1 and 2. Tentatively scheduled: April 13 in Elk Grove, CA and April 27-28 in So. Cal. More details later at https://satpac.com/sacks-workshops/

Because I want SLPs from all over to use and understand my program, I have a .6 CEU ASHA webinar that is basically the same as my live presentations. Go to the SATPAC website for details. Here is the link: https://satpac.com/workshops/webinar

Looking for professional development for your school district or organization? Contact me steve@satpac.com for details.

SATPAC NEWS

October 1, 2017 12:00 am Published by

Every couple of years, SATPAC has a big special. The time is now! Instead of $199, SATPAC will be 1/3 off or $133. This includes the program as well as a .6 hr. ASHA CEU webinar on the SATPAC Program and Approach which can be used for CEUs or just for reference. This special will be good for October and November. To receive this special, use the coupon code 1/3 Off .

I begin my fall workshops in October going to Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, Minneapolis, Sacramento/Elk Grove and Palo Alto/Los Altos as well as 2 presentations at the ASHA Convention. Check this link for the specifics:
https://satpac.com/sacks-workshops/

I got 2 unsolicited emails this week from SATPAC users. Here they are:

#1

I used your program throughout the day and it worked perfectly! I have an 8 year old boy with a lateral lisp that my director and I can not fix ! Today with your program the little boy and I were able to achieve success using cvvcvvc ( beetseet, etc….) He was very proud of himself and I was so happy for him!

Thank you for developing this fantastic program and I feel fortunate that I was able to learn from you…thank you… , (more…)

Upcoming Fall Workshops and ASHA

August 16, 2017 12:00 pm Published by

I just scheduled my workshops for the fall. After listening to feedback about my previous workshops, I decided to do a little bit of revamping. So instead of presenting almost exclusively /r/ and /s/ information, it is now Remediating the 7 Most Common Error Sounds Using the SATPAC Approach. The emphasis is still on /r/ and /s/, but I’ve found over the years some good success with other sounds too and now will present that information.

My schedule will be Kansas City-October 12, St. Louis-October 13, Chicago-October 26, Minneapolis- October 27, Elk Grove, CA -November 2 and San Jose-November 3. See https://satpac.com/sacks-workshops/ for the specifics.

I was excited to find out that both my submissions to ASHA were accepted! One will be a poster session (along with Peter Flipsen, Jr.) on an /r/ study that we did and the other is a one-hour talk about using SATPAC with highly unintelligible middle school kids.

Stephen Sacks
SATPAC Speech

Because I want SLPs from all over to use and understand my program, I have a .6 CEU ASHA webinar that is basically the same as my live presentations. Go to the SATPAC website for details. Here is the link: https://satpac.com/workshops/webinar

Looking for professional development for your school district or organization? Contact me steve@satpac.com for details.

My Decision

June 16, 2017 12:00 pm Published by

I began my career in 1980 and went to my elementary school for my first day as an SLP. I was very excited! When the day was over I felt really discouraged and motivated at the same time. I realized that I didn’t know how to help many of my articulation kids and particularly the /r/ kids. I said to myself, “They are paying me lots of money and I don’t know what I’m doing!” But it motivated me to begin a quest to become an expert in remediating articulation/phonology disorders. Although I learn new things all the time in my 37th year working in the schools, I’ve felt quite competent for the last 20 years or so.

I’ve been presenting workshops to other SLPs, SLPAs and parents for the past 12 years. This has been exciting and instructive getting lots of praise for the /s/ and /r/ information I share as well as trying to figure out how to make my workshops better and more relevant. I’ve gotten lots of constructive feedback and now feel confident that my revised workshops next school year are going to be the best I’ve ever done.

So, I decided to only work one day a week in the schools next year and will travel anywhere in the country to do workshops. If your school district or organization would like me to come and present, I’m available!

Stephen Sacks
SATPAC Speech

Would you like a free SATPAC Program and free .6 hr. ASHA CEUs? If you are interested in hosting a live summer workshop, contact me at steve@satpac.com

Because I want SLPs from all over to use and understand my program, I have a .6 CEU ASHA webinar that is basically the same as my live presentations. Go to the SATPAC website for details. Here is the link: https://satpac.com/workshops/webinar

The are two 3 hr. webinars (Using the SATPAC Approach with Highly Unintelligible Middle School Students and The 7 Stages of Phoneme Development) available for viewing. As always, you can earn ASHA CEUs. Each webinar is $49 or $79 for both.

Teaching R the Way I Do – (Part 2)

April 16, 2017 12:00 pm Published by

In the last newsletter, I talked a lot about the necessity for palatal constriction to make a correct /r/ sound. Research using MRI images by Suzanne Boyce in Secord, Boyce, Donohue, Fox and Shine’s book, Eliciting Sounds, shows that to make a correct /r/ sound, there also needs to be pharyngeal constriction!

The MRI of the /ɑ/ (p. 146 Secord et al.) shows excellent pharyngeal constriction as you can see that that the root of the tongue is closing off the pharyngeal area. With the /i/ sound as you can see in the next image, you get a high arched dorsum. You also get a wide tongue with the lateral margins on the back molars leading to excellent palatal constriction. According to Boyce, the vocal tract is narrowed by the blade plus a part of the dorsum. But with /i/, there is no pharyngeal constriction as you can see how open the pharyngeal area is.

Having taught /r/ successfully for years and having no knowledge of pharyngeal constriction, it occurred to me that the success of the facilitating contexts EERGA, EERSHA and EERDA (which I use) has to do with coarticulation. The student is anticipating moving into the /ᴂ/ which is very close to the /ɑ/ pictured here and thus achieves pharyngeal constriction. In fact, Boyce pointed out to me that this is probably the case from the evidence in her chapter that the /ɑ/ probably shapes pharyngeal constriction.

Stephen Sacks
SATPAC Speech

Would you like a free SATPAC Program and free .6 hr. ASHA CEUs? If you are interested in hosting a live summer workshop, contact me at steve@satpac.com

My upcoming workshops are in Baldwin Park, CA May 5, Anaheim May 6 and Elk Grove May 15. Here is the link: https://satpac.com/sacks-workshops/

Because I want SLPs from all over to use and understand my program, I have a .6 CEU ASHA webinar that is basically the same as my live presentations. Go to the SATPAC website for details. Here is the link: https://satpac.com/workshops/webinar

The are two 3 hr. webinars (Using the SATPAC Approach with Highly Unintelligible Middle School Students and The 7 Stages of Phoneme Development) available for viewing. As always, you can earn ASHA CEUs. Each webinar is $49 or $79 for both.

Teaching R the Way I Do – (Part 1)

February 16, 2017 12:00 pm Published by

Through much of my career, I was unaware of various /r/ positions. I just did whatever I could to get the sound. That all changed when I started going to oral-motor workshops where I learned about the back or bunched /r/ and the retroflex /r/.

I teach the /r/ sound typically starting with the post-vocalic /r/ and always using the back /r/ because it is a more economical movement than the retroflex /r/ in most contexts. Over the years, I’ve had much better success with generalization/transfer with the back /r/. I use facilitating contexts like EERGA, EERSHA or EERDA. Through coarticulation, EERGA encourages the tongue to be placed back for /r/, EERSHA more central and EERDA more in the front. Because all kids have different oral structures, one of these productions will typically be significantly better than the others.

I begin by using infant tongue depressors for placement and stabilization. The one under the tongue (starting holding the tongue high and pushing straight back on EER-see picture) helps develop the correct placement while 3 tongue depressors taped together and held with the back molars stabilize the jaw. Without the tongue depressors, I frequently get a tongue position which drops as the jaw drops and this typically sounds like EE-YA/EER.

The reason I start with EER is this; with the /i/ sound, you get a high arched dorsum and a wide tongue with the lateral margins on the back molars leading to excellent palatal constriction.

The first 3 SATPAC practice lists all begin with EER to get a consistently correct motor pattern with the high arched dorsum and the wide tongue. For list 4, all the /r/ sounds are said. It is not unusual for students to have difficulty with sounds like AR, OR and OOR for a couple of reasons. First, the starting position up to this list has always been /i/ with the high arched dorsum. For AR, OR and OOR, the tongue starts down and needs to be elevated to be said successfully. Many students leave the tongue down leading to an incorrect /r/. Second, they often leave their lips rounded for OR and OOR and again say an incorrect /r/. At this point I have them go back to the big smile that they were doing with EER. All the various post-vocalic /r/ positions are diphthongs of ER. So EER is really EE-ER, AR is A-ER, OR is O-ER, etc. The problem at this point appears to be that the lax tongue for OR doesn’t lead to a wide enough tongue for palatal constriction. By having the student say O-ER transitioning from lip rounding to smile will lead to the correct /r/ sound. Note that this is not the natural way that we say OR. Typically we leave the lips rounded. But at this point, the student needs to work on the wide tongue for palatal constriction. Over time, as the student develops this consistent motor pattern with the wide tongue, this will become unnecessary and they will be able to use normal lip rounding and still maintain palatal constriction.

Next month: Teaching R the Way I Do – (Part 2)

Stephen Sacks
SATPAC Speech

I am available to present for professional develop both live and via live webinars. Contact me steve@satpac.com for more information.

My upcoming workshops are in Monrovia, CA May 5, Anaheim May 6 and Chico May 15 and I will be presenting at the CSHA Convention on March 17. Because I want SLPs from all over to use and understand my program, I have a .6 CEU ASHA webinar that is basically the same as my live presentations. Go to the SATPAC website for details. Here is the link: https://satpac.com/workshops/webinar

The are two 3 hr. webinars (Using the SATPAC Approach with Highly Unintelligible Middle School Students and The 7 Stages of Phoneme Development) available for viewing. As always, you can earn ASHA CEUs. Each webinar is $49 or $79 for both.