Last Monday, I talked about the importance of doing a complete oral exam and focused on nasality screening. Today I want to talk about and open a discussion on the importance of doing those diadochokinetic rates.
How many times have you been tempted to just skip over those because the child does not “appear” to have motor sequencing issues? Or, as one SLP said to me, “He does not have his back sounds (/k/-/g/) so we canʼt do that.” With eyebrows raised in astonishment I say, “What? Oh but yes you can!” There are ways to screen for motor sequencing issues without back or even front sounds.
Typically we have the child do the puh-tuh-kuh, or buttercup, or maybe patty-cake. So what do you do when they donʼt have those back sounds? You have them say a rapid sequence of tip-lip-tip movements by saying “lippity-lippity-lou.” You do not time them as you would the puh-tuh-kuhs. You simply have them say it quickly three times. Can they sequence those oral movements efficiently? Now should the /l/ be missing from their repertoire have them say “dippity-dippity-doo.” If they donʼt have any front sounds (/t/-,/d/) at all have them say “gippity-gippity-goo.” If you hear "gippy-gippy-goo" with the omission of /t/ don't worry about it. They are giving you a rapid back to lip-back to lip-back sequence. Again remember you are screening for motor sequencing not the articulation of sounds. Regardless of which sound pattern you have them do, the scoring is the same: can they say it three times, rapidly, ﬂuidly, without breaking down. Remember the focus of this particular screening task is for the detection of possible motor sequencing issues and to determine the need for further testing in that area. And too, remember this is just a screening task not an entire oral motor evaluation.
There has been much discussion in later years regarding is it apraxia or a severe phonological disorder. In my opinion, the best place to start is with a simple check of diadochokinetic rates and the above tips should allow you to check those on any child.
Next week, I will be talking about sub-mucosal clefts. Until then, have a great week with your kids!
Disclaimer: You are reading a blog which is just our opinions and our tips and tricks. It is not intended to replace sound teachings.