Lucky, lucky me! I’ve had the great good fortune to attend several presentations by Char Boshart, M.A., CCC-SLP, over the past few years. Five hours with this engaging presenter fly by, and leave my head bursting with new ways of looking at my articulation students and therapy plans. Despite my efforts to take notes, I always know I’m missing something or will forget something once I get back to my therapy room. But now I’m lucky again, because now I have her book, “The Key to Carryover: Change Oral Postures to Fortify Speech Production.” Char has packed everything from her presentations—and then some—into this 111 page book, so I will always have access to information to help me with my trickiest artic kiddos.
Char believes that correcting the resting posture of the tongue is key to improving articulation. In fact, she states “the desirable resting posture provides a pivotal epicenter, right in the heart of all the action: speaking, chewing, and swallowing.” Char explains that “wherever the jaw, lips, and tongue rest, is where they work,” and unless resting posture is corrected, children will have difficulty developing and generalizing correct production. Hearing Char explain this at the first presentation was light-bulb moment. It makes perfect sense that fluent, articulate speech would be hampered by a tongue that keeps returning to a position that is too low and/or too forward.
In addition to resting tongue position, Char’s book leads the SLP through a tour of other oral motor factors that can hamper speech: respiration (nasal airflow, mouth breathing), structure (lips, tongue, jaw, palate, dentition, tonsils, hard tissue, soft tissue), and external factors (thumbsucking, pacifiers, oral appliances). She helps the reader determine between “fixables” and “non-fixables,” then sets out stages of therapy for those factors that can be fixed.
“The Key to Carryover: Change Oral Postures to Fortify Speech Production” is my go-to book when I evaluate new artic students and plan their therapy.
The book, and others by Char Boshart, are available on her website, www.speechdynamics.com, for just $19.95. Also on the site are downloadable materials, videos, and her presentation schedule. If you are lucky, she is coming to a city near you!