5 Tips for Eliciting the /k/ and /g/ Sounds in Speech Therapy

Are you struggling with eliciting the /K/ and /G/ sounds from some of your students or kiddos? Jenna Rayburn from Speech Room News is here to help! Here are 5 tips – okay, more like 7 or 8 tips – to help.

Eliciting /K/ and /G/

Today we’re talking about the tricky /k/ and /g/ sounds and eliciting /k/ and /g/. I hear a lot of people complaining about those ones.

Let’s talk about Throat Scope. This is something I’ve been using with my /k/ and /g/ kids – actually all my kids – it’s one of those great ‘As Seen On TV’ things! It was made in Australia by a mom. Let me show you what it does.

So it’s a light-up tongue depressor. Watch. Can’t you see my palette, isn’t that awesome?

And it looks like a Light Saber, which makes every kid willing to do it.

What I usually do is a bring a puppet, like a dinosaur puppet, and I have the kiddo do it so they can see what we’re going to do… So then I’m not just attacking them with the light saber.

It’s way better than the cherry-flavored tongue depressors, way better!

I put this in my mouth, and you can see. I don’t have to have a separate pen light.

So for /k/ and /g/, I’ll have it in my mouth… And they make disposable that you can attach. So I’ll have one for myself, and one for the kid, and we can swap out the base. The base is what has the light in it. You put the tongue depressor on and it works. So once you slide the tongue depressor or the blade on there, the light just stays on.

Finally, a therapy tool we can afford!

Welcome to the Speechie Show! Being a speech language pathologist often means having too much work and not enough planning time. To beat the overwhelm, we’re bringing you the tricks and tools that will make your job a little bit easier.

Carrie: Hey everybody welcome to the Speechie show. I am your host Carrie Clark with SpeechandLanguageKids.com and I’m here today with Jenna Rayburn with Speech Room News. How are you Jenna.

Jenna: Doing great, how are you?

Carrie: Good, I’m excited to have you on. I know that a lot of my followers also follow you so I’m sure our friends are very excited to see us both sort of in the same place, almost.

Jenna: Simultaneously, kind of. Thanks for having me on.

Carrie: Absolutely. So today we’re talking about the tricky K and G sounds.

Jenna: Da Da Daaa….the dreaded sounds.

Carrie: Absolutely. I hear a lot of people complaining about this one so. Good topic today.

Jenna: And R

Carrie: Yeah, R and K and G and we’ve hit all of those on the Speechie show. If you are new to the Speechie show this is a weekly show where I interview another speech language pathologists and we talk about one topic for a while and we get feedback from you. If you are watching online right now. So, if you are watching with us, what is it..December 5th today…if you are watching with us here on December 5th, go ahead and type in for me in Facebook live. Are you having trouble with the K and G sounds. Or are you good to go, I don’t know why you’re here. But go ahead and if you’re having trouble too, type yes for us so we know you’re here. So, we are going to go ahead and talk about K and G in just a minute. We also have some giveaways coming so don’t skip out. Hang on till the end to get the giveaways. But Jenna why don’t you go ahead and tell us a little bit about yourself for anyone who is not familiar with you.

Jenna: Yeah, well thanks so much for having me on again and we’re going to tackle K and G today. So, my name is Jenna Rayburn and I am a school based speech language pathologist and I live in Ohio. This is my 7th year as a speech therapist and I work in a preschool right now. I’ve done…sorry I have a cold…excuse me….Right now I work in a preschool only special ed program. My district has 13 different elementary schools and then they send all their preschoolers to one building. So, it used to be an elementary school and now it’s a preschool only. So right now, I live preschool all day every day. And about 60% of my week is doing therapy and about 40% of my week is part of the evaluation team. So, every week I do play based assessments for incoming kiddos who are qualified for preschool.

Carrie: That sounds fun.

Jenna: Yeah, and I’ve done up to middle school age. I haven’t really dabbled in the high schooler and beyond but all the pediatric levels I enjoy, but preschool’s my favorite. That’s why I’m talking about K and G because everybody is doing cluster reduction and everybody’s fretting in my land.

Carrie: Absolutely and I don’t see any comments on there. If you all are watching live tell us if you’re working on K and G with any of your students. And you have a giveaway for us too later, what are you giving away?

Jenna: I will be giving away something called Fallen Flakes Finology because I love alliteration. Um and it’s going to have winter activities so you can do those starting now all the way until…if you live in Ohio it snows in April unfortunately…and its all the different chronological processes so you’ll have lots to practice with your students. It’s really interactive so I’ll show you that in a little bit too.

Carrie: Perfect. Ok so everybody hang tight. We are going to be doing giveaways. She’s giving away that. I’m giving away 2 free months in my membership program for speech language pathologists.

Jenna: That’s a good giveaway.

Carrie: Yeah. So, stick around for that. Don’t forget to share this video. The more we share it the more it will go around so if you know someone who needs help with K and G, tag them and share it on their Facebook page. Or share it on your own Facebook page for your friends as well. Alright let’s go ahead and jump in. We have 5 tips to share with you today and Jenna is going to tell us the first one which is using gravity. Jenna tell us about that.

Jenna: Well I guess I’m starting kind of backwards because this is one of my last resort tips, but for some reason I’ve had maybe five or six kids in my career that this was like that one thing that I like well I could’ve done that a month ago, and this would have been a lot easier. But I just use gravity so I usually have them lay on their back or on an exercise ball and we try to use gravity to listen for the “K” or “G” sound, getting that tongue elevated in the back and sometimes no matter how many cheerios I put under their tongue or how many times they hold their tongue tip down, just using that gravity helps them feel it and feel what it’s supposed to feel like. So, it elicits that sound and then we start using strategies when they’re sitting upright because we don’t all just lay on the ground all day. Using gravity sometimes really helps me get that tongue elevated in the back of their mouth.

Carrie: So basically, you’re just having them lay down and having them now say “K”?

Jenna: Yeah, I have them lay on their back and open their mouth as wide as they can and I have them do animal sounds. Which is one of the ways that I elicit it is through animal sounds like having them growling or making a noise like that. So, I have them lay flat on their back and just try to elicit it normally but I’m using gravity to help that tongue get it back there.

Carrie: Ok. So, you could actually, you actually have them lay down and then try other strategies too. So, you could do this with any of them.

Jenna: It’s the last resort.

Carrie: I love it. You know you also mentioned the cheerio thing which I don’t see on our list so will you mention that one? That will be our bonus, you get 6 today guys.

Jenna: Ok six and a half. It’s kind of the same thing I don’t really put in there. But I just always have them hold their tongue tip down with their finger. I don’t try to put my finger in their mouth because I don’t want to get bit #1 and #2, some kids are so gag reflexive…they have an easily triggered gag reflex and I don’t want that to happen so I have then use their own finger and hold the tongue tip down and say that sound “k” Camel. Once I have them do that and I try to wean them off of that I use the cheerio and I have then put a cheerio right underneath their tongue and I have them try to hold down that cheerio with their tongue. Because sometimes if they’re focused on that then sometimes I can get their posterior tongue to elevate so I can get that “k” or “g”.

Carrie: Absolutely. So, that was like three for one guys. We’re banging them out here. Alright so Angela says she always has K and G for her pre-k kiddos definitely. So, and looks like Frahannah just shared the video, thanks. So, don’t forget to share the video guys and stay tuned cause we’re doing some giveaways.

Jenna: Yeah

Carrie: Also, if you guys have any questions about eliciting K and G or any of the strategies we’re talking about right now, go ahead and type those in. If you are watching with us live, we’ll answer them now. If you are watching later then we’ll answer them whenever we can get back to you. So alright let’s move on to #2 slash 4…hahaha…wherever we are. So, that one is utilizing animal sounds. Tell us about that one.

Jenna: So, preschoolers have such a hard time following a one stop direction like “throw this in the trash can” and if I try to give them a one-step direction that relates to their mouth and lifting their tongue, it’s just too hard. So, I always start with that natural, however I can elicit that sound that they might already be doing through animal noises or car noises or train noises or whatever it’s called. And so, I usually use animal noises like a growling sound to elicit that “grr” sound in the back. And sometimes even if they’re not doing it at all in any place in words, I’ll hear it in that animal sound. So, that’s kind of like the first thing I ask them to do if I’m going to check for sounding ability or check if they can even do it. Before I even say ya know “watch my tongue and copy what I do” I just say “oh let’s pretend we’re bears grrrr” and I just try all these different sounds and see if I can elicit it though an animal sound.

Carrie: Yeah, I’ve also done like kind of a monster sound so we’ll just go like krrrr. Which it’s kind of like a stretched-out K almost and that seems to help for some of my kids and they really have fun with that too.

Jenna: Yeah, to get that voiceless sound. And then my next tip kind of falls back so then for the “k” I usually do the cough sound. I’m like “oh let’s fake a cough” k…k….k…and I like mold their cough into a K cough.

Carrie: Yeah. Ok if you guys have used one of the animal sounds or coughing, lets type in what you call that. So, like what kind of sounds, is it a monster sound. What’s worked for you, for your kids. And then touching on that I’ve noticed once you can get them to make like a coughing sound or like a “K” kind of growling sound the you can kind of like you said, shape it down so you can say ok let’s practice on making that really short. Or really choppy and try to get them to do it different ways that sounds more like a K without actually telling them their making the K. Because them of course they’re like oh yeah Tah Tah that’s my K.

Jenna: Yeah, I guess that should have been my very first step and that’s what I always do is I rename the sound. So, if it, whatever is the trigger that helps like if you’re lying on your back and you get it, I’ll call it your napping sound.

Carrie: Nice

Jenna: Because you were laying on your back when you got it. If you were growling like a bear when you got your “gah” it becomes the bear sound. Now if you walked into private speech therapy and said I’m working on my bear sound, that person might not know, but that doesn’t matter cause to me I’m just trying to help that kiddo reframe that. Because you’re right, the first time you say ok now practice Kah sound he’s going to go t t t.

Carrie: Yeah, we don’t talk about the K sound.

Jenna: And sometimes I call it a new sound if I can’t get the kid to elicit it, like if nothing worked right off the bat, I just call it your new sound… “oh let’s do that new sound that we practiced last week”. So, it becomes the new sound. Anything but calling it the K or the G sound.

Carrie: Yeah and Shannon is saying they call it the back sound, so that’s good too, I like that. Yeah and then of course you’re going to call it by what it is once they can do it, but you have to break that mindset first.

Jenna: Yeah

Carrie: Definitely. Alright.

Jenna: To change that pattern.

Carrie: Uh Ha, absolutely. We have a ton of people on here. We have 26 people live on here watching right now. Thank you, guys, for joining us. Don’t forget to share and stay, stick around because we’re going to do some giveaways here in just a sec. We have two more tips for you. We’ve already thrown out a huge number of tips so far. So, let’s do Hippo mouth. Tell us about hippo mouth.

Jenna: Hippo mouth. I use to just call it the open mouth but then one of my kiddos was like “it’s like a hippo mouth” because when you think about a hippo mouth they open their mouth so wide that’s like the biggest mouth I can think of so now I use the hippo mouth.

Carrie: I like it.

Jenna: So now when all else fails I just tell the kiddos to open their mouth as wide as then can like the widest. Everyone do it with me. If you have your mouth open as wide as you can, you cannot say tah. Ya just can’t make a T instead of a K.

Carrie: Nope

Jenna: Now you might not be able to get a good K, but if you have your mouth open as wide as you can you can kind of shape it from there because you just can’t make a tah when your mouth is open as wide as you possible can.

Carrie: Perfect, I love that one. Yeah, the first time I tried that and it worked with a kid I was like are you kidding me, I just needed to tell you to open your mouth…hahaha

Jenna: A hippo mouth? Ok great we’ll do this forever! So just opening your mouth as wide as you can, you really can’t. And as I start bringing it back down I start doing that finger hold kind of thing to keep that tongue down. But we just practice it with our mouth wide open as we can. We’ve got out hippo mouth.

Carrie: Awesome, I love it. I love it. Let’s see Mel, thanks for joining us Mel. Ok we have one more tip to share with you. If you’ve missed any of the tips leading up to now we’ve, you will be able to watch the recording afterwards, but we have one more tip to share and then we’ll be moving into our giveaways so stick around. Mel says the hippo sounds fabulous. Absolutely I agree…hahaha. Ok so our last one is, when all else fails, cycle. Tell us about that.

Jenna: Cycle it. I think that K and G is one of those sounds that you could like bang your head against the wall everyday if you have a kid who just can’t get it. I’ve only had one kid I sent to Kindergarten that never ever got it and she had autism and so I, theirs other kids out there. But if you cannot get it, there is no point in practicing it wrong a hundred times a day if you don’t have other things to work on. I just don’t think it’s worth it. So, what I do if I have a kid who I cannot get um it in in any place. I can’t get it in isolation, we’re not even close, I just kind of put it aside. Even if I think theirs other, if that target is more important than other ones and I use the cycles approach and I cycle it. So, we’ll work on it and we might do auditory the whole time but we’ll work on it for a little bit, do auditory, work on the elicitation and then put it away for a few weeks. And sometimes it’s hard to do the cycles in a school setting. It’s hard for me too, so I just try to run through it so that I’m making sure I put it, you know I kind of think about it in months at a time. So, this month we’re really going to work on it and then I’m going to put it away and then I might test it again and see if we’re ready to try it again at a later date.

Carrie: How often do you cycle back? Does it depend on how many goals they have?

Jenna: Most of my kids have goals for like two to three processes. So, that could be a lot of cycle because we’re writing yearlong goals. So, that could be a lot of cycles when you think about your breaking it down to like the individual sounds within those processes and if you’re thinking about blends and taking those apart. So, when you’re thinking about that, there is a lot to be targeted. So usually I have plenty to work on if I can’t get the K and G and I’ll just come back to it and I’ll keep coming back to it and make sure the kiddo is still aware of it. Still going to do auditory but just naturally when I’m doing therapy on other things but I definitely cycle through it. Just try not to beat your head against the wall with it if you can help it.

Carrie: Yeah

Jenna: It frustrates the kiddo too cause it’s hard to have your speech therapist everyday to say you’re not doing it right and you want to find success.

Carrie: Yeah, I’ve found that the months seems to be a pretty good time frame in terms if you’re going to try something and not making any progress in a month, especially in the schools, that seems to be a pretty good like “ok we gave it a good month, let’s put that one away and come back to it”. So, I agree.

Jenna: I see my kiddos twice a week so that would be like 8 different sessions so I thinks that’s a pretty fair amount of time. If I haven’t been able to get it at all then I’ll just put it on the shelf and then take a month off and then try it again.

Carrie: Absolutely. Alright we have a couple comments here.

Angela says “I always say use your cough sound”. Have them cough into their elbow when producing it. Hopefully help them to cover their mouth when they really are coughing…hahaha…yep.

Debbie is watching from Kuwait, wow welcome you get the furthest person away award. And

Chelsie says I call the G gulping water and the K knocking door sound.

I like that, those are good names.

Jenna: I may have to steal that.

Carrie: Ok perfect. Alright we have reached the giveaway stage so if you guys are watching on Facebook live with us right now on December 5th you are eligible to enter the giveaways. I have to preface this. I’ve had some people try to enter via email and that’s not how this works so I’m going to give this analogy. So, it’s like watching Jeopardy at home and shouting out your answer, you don’t get to win. So ya have to be in our live studio audience which happens to be on Facebook right now. Ok so for giveaways talk about what you’re giving away and any other resources that you like for K and G.

Jenna: Yeah so first I’ll talk about a hard resource I’m holding it. So, this is a product that I have been using like crazy with my K and G kids. Actually, all my kids, but let me hold up the box so you can see it. If you just screenshot it, this would be a good time to do that so you can see what it is. I’ll throw a like in here when we’re done being live. But it’s one of those great “as seen on TV” kind of things that was made in Australia by a mom and let me show you what it does. So, it’s a light up tongue depressor…watch…

Carrie: Oh, my gosh that is so cool.

Jenna: Can you see my pallet? Isn’t that awesome. Also, it looks like a lightsaber which makes every kid willing to do it. What I usually do is bring a puppet. I have a dinosaur puppet and I have the kiddo put it in the puppets mouth so they can see what we’re going to do cause then I’m not just like attacking them with the light saber. And then it’s way better than the cherry flavored tongue depressors.

Carrie: Hahahaha…absolutely.

Jenna: You have them put this and then you don’t have to have a separate pin light, its way better. So, for K and G I’ll have it in my mouth and they make disposable blades that you attach. Here’s like one of the blades. So, I’ll have one for myself and one for the kid and we can swap out the base. The base has the light in it when you put the tongue depressor on it, it works.

Carrie: That’s awesome!

Jenna: I know right! So, once you slide the tongue depressor or the blade on there it just stays on.

Carrie: I love it!

Jenna: Alright so it’s called Throat Scope. It was made in Australia but it’s available in the US as of January, so perfect timing and it’s like $15 or something.

Carrie: Woah!

Jenna: Finally, a therapy tool we can afford!

Carrie: Right! Yeah Emily says she wants that. I agree, I want it too.

Jenna: I think it’s throatscope.com I’m pretty sure and you can preorder them. I’m going to order like a bunch because I need one in my bag and my rolling cart. I’ve had mine since the beginning of the school year and I’ve been using it like crazy. And then they sell, the package comes with like your Throat Scope, the base and then three blades for like the $15-18, whatever the price was and then you buy the replacements in bulk. Like doctors, therapists, those people.

Carrie: Nice

Jenna: Yeah so, it’s still pretty cheap it’s like $20 bucks for a big thing of blades and it’s lasted me. I haven’t run out yet this year. So, that’s called the Throat Scope and that’s my first favorite tool.

Read the original blog from Speech and Language Kids here.


Never miss a blog!

Subscribe to get updates on new blogs from Holland Healthcare.



Recommended Posts

No comment yet, add your voice below!


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *