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Monday, August 27, 2012

Adventure Pack--Swamp Adventure

This is part two of our series in which we are highlighting our speech game software, Adventure PackToday we want to introduce you to the SWAMP ADVENTURE.  This game is the easiest one to play and is appropriate for ages 3 and up.  Preschoolers love this game, but then I have had 2nd graders who are not computer savvy that love it too!  As I write these entries about these  games I will interject the "frequently asked questions" we get.  Please feel free to call with any questions you may have about the games when you are stumped playing them or trying to set them up. (606-483-1338)  People call feeling frustrated that the game "won't work" or "something is wrong with the CD" when it is simple human error. We are more than happy to help you out! I will talk to you just like I'm sitting there with you :)

This is the opening screen shot.  From here you can click on the PLAY button which will begin the game.  The computer will automatically load the target stimuli that you selected for the child to practice.  The BACK button will take you back to the teacher interface page where you customize the target stimulus for the child.  SIDE NOTE: See blog post 8-20-12 for more information on customization to today's topic--On the bottom of the screen you see a "High Scores!" ranking. This is  where the child gets to enter their initials if their score is higher than the other players. There is a minimum score they must obtain to qualify for being listed in the Top 10.

Before we begin with game play let me explain a few important details.  Look at the top right corner of the screen and you will see two things:
  1. At the very top corner you'll see a "0." This is your points meter.  You want to gain lots of points during game play because a high score of a 1000 or better will allow you to enter your initials in the TOP 10.   I find the kids like to beat not only their friends scores but their own personal best as well.
  2. A smaller icon of the swamp man and 3 colored squares (green and yellow. This is your "Life" meter.  You are only allowed to be bitten by the alligators 3 times and then game over. YOU are CHOMPED!

Finally, if you will look closely you will see some alligators are awake and some are asleep.  This is important to game play.  If you step on an alligator head when he is awake you will be bitten.  You must be patient and only move when he is asleep.

....and so your Swamp Adventure begins.  The objective is to get across the swamp by stepping on the alligators heads.  You will move your Swamp man by using the RIGHT ARROW KEY ON YOUR KEY PAD.  All the games play with the arrow keys on the key pad, not by clicking the mouse!  You wouldn't believe how many calls we get saying they can't get the Swamp man to move and it is because they are trying to use the mouse and not the right arrow key!  This is the EASIEST of the four games and only requires the right arrow key to play the game.

In this screen shot you will see the Swamp man is now standing on the second alligator head. This alligator is asleep, so he can stand there safely, but not too long because the alligator might wake up. (How long the alligator is awake or asleep is randomized by the computer.) If you look in the top right corner you will see this player has 169 points and only has 2 lives left.

Now for the speech component of the game. In this screen shot you are looking at one of the stimulus pictures.  Each time you step on an alligator's head a speech stimulus will appear with audio. In this example the target is final S. If you selected word level the audio prompt will be "guess"; if you selected phrase the audio stimulus would be "guess what"; if you selected sentence the audio prompt would be "Guess what I found."  The child would then repeat the audio prompt. As the SLP you have the freedom to determine how many times you wish them to say it. The game is automatically on pause at this point and will only resume when you hit the space bar on the keyboard, so you can keep the stimulus up there as long as you need.  For example if they need cues/reminders from you to say it correctly, the visual prompt is still there for you to discuss/correct.  However, the audio stimulus is only presented once. So to continue in the game hit the space bar which will remove the stimulus and continue the game!

We get calls frequently asking what that "bandaid looking thing" is there beside the stimulus picture.  This is only relevant when you are using headsets with microphones with the games. (You do not need headsets to play these games.) That is a sound meter bar.  It visually shows when sound is detected. A thick green line appears within the bar when sound is detected. You will notice there is a red line midway up the bar.  When the sound raises the green bar past that horizontal red line it makes the stimulus picture automatically go away.  You will not need to hit the space bar.  However, you can also touch the space bar on the key board to remove the stimulus, even when using a headset, if speech is not being detected.   I personally never use headsets.  It is a matter of preference.

 In all, there are 8 alligators to step on to reach the other side (or 8 targets to say). Reaching the other side completes this game.  In a 30 minute session most of my little ones could play 3 games.  The stimuli is different for the first 24 pictures and thereafter it will become a random sequence of those 24 pictures.  Only one stimulus is presented at a time. At your disposal are 24 initial and 24 final word pictures;  24 initial and 24 final word phrases; 24 initial and 24 final word sentences or 144 audio stimuli for each individual sound.  You choose from the teacher interface page as I discussed in the previous post.  Again I will remind you that we offer stimuli for practice of f-v-k-g-r-s-l-sh-ch-and th.  Altogether there are 1440 audio stimuli along with the pictures for the child to practice.  Some therapists who like to get X number of responses per session have been confused about how this can be done.  Let me give you an example: You want the child to drill on K final words and hope to obtain 100 responses per session, so when the stimulus pops up have them say the word 5 times.  If you do that for each of the 8 alligators you will have 40 responses from one game.  So if they play 3 games per session you can obtain 120 responses.  

PLEASE NOTE: These games do not have voice recognition in them.  YOU the SLP must monitor their speech productions!!  We believe the therapist should stay actively involved with their clients during a therapy session.  If the child could do this on their own they wouldn't need us.

This leads me to interject here that the game also does not keep the data for you either.  You must tally for yourself.  You choose how many times you want them to say it and keep your tallies as you usually would.

Here is a screen shot of what it looks like when you get bite by the alligator.  We are proud to say that in our games we do not use bloody, gory images nor do we refer to our characters dying.  Since all the life lines have been used (note the green and yellow boxes are gone from the top right corner) the next picture will simply say "you have been CHOMPED".

Let me share a delightful "cheat" for this game.  If you want to increase your score do this: before you hit the space bar to remove the stimulus picture look at the next alligator you will be stepping on. Is he awake? If so then keep the stimulus picture up until he goes to sleep, then close it out and jump over onto his head. This way you won't get chomped or lose points because the points are on pause while the picture is open, even though the alligators continue to sleep and wake during the speech phase!

This concludes our  How To Play the Swamp Adventure game.  You may purchase it here:

Have a great week!
Leah and Dean

Friday, August 24, 2012

SLAP IT descriptors game SOLD OUT

Sorry for the too frequent posts.  I am trying to keep everyone informed as to what is still available to purchase.

Currently we still have:

You Win-10 available

Concept Bottle caps-15 available

Looting Pirates- 15 available

Opposites-11 available

Gold Rush -9 available

Bee Happy-6 available

If you were thinking about buying any of these you'd better order while you can!

Thanks for your tolerance.  I won't update anymore until next week :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

WH ? Game is sold out!!

All of our WH ? games that I had made are now gone! Time is running out and so is our stock of Grab-N-Go games.  Only 1 SLAP IT descriptors game left!!  Less than a dozen of the other games.
Here is the link to our products page:


Monday, August 20, 2012

Adventure Pack Software: what it's all about

Of all the products we have created, our BEST has to be our Adventure Pack games.  I do not feel we have adequately shown you just how fabulous this software is, so today I am going to do so! I will do this as our final series because each game deserves it's own time in the spotlight. However, today's entry is to familiarize you with the software and how you use it/set it up. We will have in-depth information on each of the individual games in subsequent posts in this series.

What is Adventure Pack you ask? It is four unique video games with the speech component built in.  It is software for drill and practice of speech sounds through the unique format of playing actual video games.  It is used to habituate correct speech sound production.  It is to be used to keep student motivation high during the boring drill and practice phase of speech therapy. 

This is software that you will install on your computer from a CD rom.  It is compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems.  If your computer is at least 4 years new, it should work since we created this is 2007, when Windows XP was out. It is certainly compatible with anything newer.

Once you have the software installed you will see the following, which we call the "teacher interface" or the screen where you select what you want your student/child to practice that day. This is totally customizable for each individual child.

We get calls frequently from SLPs who are unsure what to do here, so let me take you through it step-by-step. It is as simple as 1-2-3!

1. Practice Level: select either word, phrase or sentence depending on where they are in their individual therapy.  You will click on the word, phrase, or sentence button and it will be highlighted. As you can see here sentence has been selected.

2. Sound Choice: here is where you will select the sound you are targeting.  The software comes with these speech sounds: F-V-K-G-R-S-L-CH-SH-TH. Not all sounds are visible within the bar so you must click on the arrows on either end of the sound choice bar to scroll through the sounds. The sounds are listed alphabetically. The sound selection will glow green to show you which sound you are targeting.  In this picture the S is selected.

3. Placement in Word: you have the option here to select whether you wish to practice the sound in the initial or final position of the word/stimuli that is to be practiced.  It is very important to tell you that yes you do indeed need to click on  the green "GO" button to complete the setup and tell the computer which stimuli to load.

There are two other important features I wish to point out that you will see on this "teacher interface" page:
 One is the Settings Overview and the other is Audio Options, which are boxes located to the right and left of Step 3.

Settings Overview  It is very, very, very important that you look at this before you hit GO because if any of the 3 settings say "none" such as it does in the picture, the GO button will not work because you have missed a step and the computer does not know which stimuli to load into the games :)   If any of them say none then simply go to that step and make your selection.

Audio Options There are 2 functions here denoted with icons.  The top icon is a microphone that says input with a sensitivity slider bar below it.  You probably will only need to adjust this if you are using a computer which has a built in microphone.  Sometimes the noise within a room will interfere with the game as the software doesn't know the difference between ambient noise and speech.  So you can set the sensitivity of your microphone here.  Simply click on the slider bar and move it left and right to adjust. 

The bottom icon is a speaker and says Background Sounds ON. Each of the 4 games has themed background sounds to enhance the fun experience of the games.  You can turn these background sounds OFF by clicking the speaker icon.  It would then read OFF.  Some children with auditory processing difficulties or sound sensitivities would not function well with the additional noise so it would be best to turn it off.  (Or you yourself may find it annoying and wish to turn it off.)

Although this may read like a lengthy process, in actuality it takes only seconds to set up a game.  We have found the students learn quickly and will often set it up themselves. ;)

That's all it takes to customize and set up the program for use.  Once you click on the GO button you will see this screen where you or the student can select the game to be played.

We give you a very generous User Agreement.  If you are a SLP who travels to more than one school you are permitted to download this software to any computer you use at any school.  You do not need to purchase multiple copies of this software for your own use.  However, you must be present at the school when the software is being used.  Also, if you have more than one computer in your therapy room, you may download this software on as many computers as you use in your personal therapy.
We are not giving permission for this software to be "shared" by more than one therapist in any building, clinic, or school system.   We are being generous so you won't have to be unethical in your technology practices.

Additional Info RE: Closing

Good Morning!  It is 10 minutes until noon, so I can still say that :)

Thank you for expressing your well wishes for Leah and I as we close.  Some have commented here and others have emailed me directly to ask if our blogsite will remain up.  YES!  I can keep it up for you to use/reference, since I never directly linked it to our website.  However the store website will vanish after 9-30-12.

That brings me to the next question I have been asked.  Where's the link to our website?  Our website to order any of our materials before we close is  We have a good supply of our FAME products and the Adventure Pack, but we have a very limited supply of our little Grab-N-Go games.  I hand make those and am not making more before we close....when they are gone they are gone!  FIRST COME FIRST SERVED!

Thanks for hanging in there with me :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

2 Gals Speech Products Final Days

It is always hard to say good bye and even more so when good bye is to a little company you have poured your heart and soul into for 5 years.  We have decided to close our doors and not go into debt keeping 2 Gals alive. We were blessed in that our little company stayed afloat for these past years on its own simply from it's own income, which is an accomplishment few start-ups can achieve.  It is unfortunate for us and you that the economy has tanked and budgets cuts seem to always hit the Special Needs Departments first.

When I step back and review these past five years, I find that I have made some of the most beautiful friendships and have met some of the sweetest SLPs one could ever hope to meet.  The SLPs of KY, OHIO, and WV have been our biggest supporters and we will always be indebted to you for standing behind us.  I also want to thank School Specialty Inc., Abilitations, and Speech Corner for distributing our CDs in your catalogs.  You have been absolutely wonderful companies with which to work!     

As our time draws nearer, I take heart in knowing it is not because we don't have a good product that we have to close, but rather it is due to these economic times in which we all are suffering.

2 Gals Speech Products, LLC will officially close September 30, 2012.   If you wish to purchase any of our products please do so prior to that date.  Sorry but we not be offering any special going out of business sales.

Sadly, I will also stop blogging at that time as well.

With much regret,
Leah and Dean

Monday, August 13, 2012

#1 Most Popular Post is...Lateral Lisp

Today completes our TOP 10 best blog posts.  Holding the number 1 spot, with no close contenders I might add, was the blog we wrote on tips for correcting the lateral lisp. As of today it has been viewed 10,031 times :) So without further ado, here is the post from April 3, 2011 with updated links to Caroline Bowen's information and info on where to purchase the book Straight Talk.

ELICITING SOUNDS- /s/-Lateral Lisp

Most of you seasoned therapists know and use the techniques that I am going to share, so I apologize if you are disappointed that there’s nothing new for you. However, those who have less experience under their belts and feel frustrated with the lateral lisp will appreciate these “pearls of wisdom.”

What is a Lateral Lisp?
According to Carolyn Bowen, “Lateral lisps are not found in typical speech development. The tongue position for a lateral lisp is very close to the normal position for /l/ and the sound is made with the air-flow directed over the sides of the tongue. Because of the way it sounds, this sort of lisp is sometimes referred to as a 'slushy ess' or a 'slushy lisp.’ A lateral lisp often sounds 'wet' or 'spitty.'
Unlike interdental and dentalized lisps, lateral lisps are not characteristic of normal development. An SLP assessment is indicated for anyone with a lateral lisp.” (direct quote from her website) Since a lateral lisp is not developmental, you do not delay therapy until the child is older. You would address it as soon as it is identified according to Dr. Lonnie Harris.

Treatment Techniques
As the old adage goes, there is more than one way to skin a cat and I’m going to share some proven strategies and even some unorthodox methods that have worked for me. Yeah, I’ve always been a rebel of a therapist.
The number 1 best tip I can give you is to go to Carolyn Bowen’s website and wander through her personal gold mine for lots of great information. Heck, I’ll even make it simple for you and put the link here that will take you straight to her techniques for Lisps :)   It is the Butterfly Procedure to which I want to draw your attention. Basically, you can achieve correct tongue positioning for /s/ by approaching it from /ts/. She provides very detailed directions for using this technique in 10 easy steps. She will direct you from beginning to the final, end product of having that good /s/ in words, at which time she transfers you to traditional articulation therapy.

Years ago Jane Folk published a book called Straight Speech: a lisp treatment program (1992) which taught /s/ from the “ts.” It was a wonderful book that provided all the word lists and practice materials for using this treatment approach. Straight Speech by Jane Folk is still sold at

An unorthodox approach we have used successfully is to convert that lateral lisp into a frontal lisp and then correct the frontal lisp. Crazy? Definitely, but it works! You aren’t really going to do a complete conversion from lateral to frontal because the idea is to teach /s/ from voiceless /th/. If you do try this strategy, I caution you to not tell the child that you are working on /s/, as just the thought causes the tongue to go to the lateral position. Tell them you are going to work on /th/. In session one, practice /th/ in isolation. For session two, practice /th/ with the teeth closed. DO NOT say anything about /s/ at this point! This is crucial. For the third session, the child should be saying /th/ with closed teeth (which in reality should be the perfect /s/). If the child is doing the /s/ correctly at this point, then at the end of this 3rd session you tell them that they have been doing the /s/ sound correctly!! They will look at you in total disbelief and you will say, that is how you say /s/. If they revert back to a lateral at this point remind them to think /th/ to get the tongue back into position. After that, you should be able to follow the normal therapy sequence.

Another great tip is Pam Marshalla’s book, Frontal Lisp, Lateral lisp . She wrote an entire book on the lateral and frontal lisps, which includes how to diagnose direction of airflow, treatment techniques, how to combine articulation and oral motor therapy, and much more. Here’s a link to the book This would make a great resource for your personal library.

The final tip is to check out Talk Tools and this book in particular Oral Placement Therapy for /s/ and /z/ It provides instruction for doing an evaluation specifically for interdental and lateral lisps, and 20 lesson plans with Homework sheets and speech practice sheets. It also includes a DVD of Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson performing a couple of assessments; reports generated and therapy video clips.

We hope this has provided you with an assortment of ideas and resources to try with your clients and that you will no longer dread working with the Lateral Lisp! 

Leah and Dean

Monday, August 6, 2012

TOP 10 - #2 Eliciting SH and CH

 It's "Back To School" time again!   Lawrence Co KY started last week and Johnson City Schools here in TN begins today.  Leah starts back in a couple of weeks in WV.    Wishing everyone a wonderful and fun year.

(Repost from 4/10/11 our #2 most popular blog post)

Today we will look at a few techniques and strategies to elicit SH and CH. This is in no way everything you need to know about teaching SH and CH. These are just some tips we found worked for us and would like to share. Usually when the child learns the correct tongue position for /s/ the other sibilants simply fall into place with little to no attention. However, as with everything else in life, there are exceptions and some need direct instruction so we will share our tips for eliciting these sounds.

Since those of you reading this are professional SLPs I am not going to tell you the correct tongue placement. You know it. I will instead elaborate on how to fix what they might be doing wrong.
The most common label for the SH sound is the “be quiet sound.” We visually cue by putting one finger in front of our mouth, pucker our lips, and blow. The simple act of putting one finger in front of our lips causes us to naturally round them which is necessary to produce this sound correctly. Most of us do not even realize we do this. Cue with this to get lip rounding.
Sometimes a child will make the sound more like an “ess” because they are placing their tongue too forward in their mouth. Tell them to move it back mid-palate. If they are not getting what you mean about mid-palate use the straw trick. Have the child to smile broadly and slightly open their mouth. Place a straw (I like to use the fat ones from McDonalds, but one from your cafeteria will do) laterally across their teeth from cheek to cheek. The straw should be sticking out both sides of the mouth. The broader they smile the closer to mid-palate you can position the straw. Tell them to keep their tongue behind the straw with the tip down. I usually use the wording, ”pull your tongue back in a bunch behind the straw.” If you try to produce the SH sound at this point it will sound terrible, so don’t. The point of this is for oral awareness of where mid-palate is for the tongue on SH. Tell them to hold that position as you ease the straw out of their mouth. Tell them to “freeze” their tongue as they pucker up and blow. It will not sound perfect but it should result in a palatal fricative. Now that they have the mid-palate position you can teach SH as you normally would.
Pam Marshalla recommends teaching SH from the Long E to get the correct tongue positioning. Using this method will get the sides of the tongue touching the sides of the teeth. Here’s the link to those instructions
Leah teaches SH by shaping from /s/+/j/ (e.g., “miss you”) This is another simple technique for helping the children who sound say “ess” for “sh.” By saying the words “miss you” quickly and repeatedly, it will go from sounding like “miss you” to “mih shoe.” When it does sound like that, ask them to mouth the movement for “miss” and say “you.” It will usually sound like “shoe” instead of “sue.” After practicing this several times, have them say the “shoe” without the silent mouth movement for “miss.”
A great way to get the child to conceptualize the CH sound is to demonstrate it as the “Sneezy” sound. Most kids can imitate that and you’re off and running with therapy. Another common label is the “Choo-Choo” sound. I will try both to see which the child prefers. When I demonstrate the Sneezy sound, I put my finger under my nose and use an exaggerated inhale while squinting my eyes closed. Then a let an explosive CH erupt. Sometimes I will even say “uh, uh, uh” on my exaggerated inhale for dramatic effect. I think my silliness with the sound is all the prompting they need to want to try it themselves. Kids love to act silly! When I present CH as the “Choo-Choo” I say “CH-CH-CH-CH” with my arms doing the train motion. I begin my choo-choo movements slowly and build in crescendo until my train is going fast.
Now you’re ready to begin therapy or not. What do you do when the usual and customary visual-auditory prompts don’t work? You will try shaping from a sound they have in their repertoire. One way is to shape from /t/ to SH. Practice saying them separately (/t/ -pause -sh) and increase in the speed at which you say them until you are saying them together which will result in CH.
Another shaping trick is to work from /t/+/s/+/y/ (e.g., “itsyou”). Again you follow the same procedure as for the “miss you” trick in saying it faster until it begins to sound like CH.
Another trick you might try is to have them say the SH but hold the tongue on the roof of their mouth and build up pressure before they release. Sometimes just telling them to push hard on the roof of their mouth will be all they need to get the CH sound.

Jack Hartmann has a fun cd teaching sounds through music

Carolyn Bowen (you’d think I was her new best friend the way I speak of her) has wonderful pictures for minimal pairs on her website
So here you go, a few more tricks to add to your magic speech therapy bag! We’ll see you next Monday morning!

Leah and Dean

Leah J Musgrave, M.S. CCC-SP
Dean Trout, retired SLP