Ask A Therapist: Bubble Program Difficulties

I have a client who vocalizes but struggles to produce a voiceless volitional breath during step 2 of the bubble program. Does he need to produce a voiceless breath on the bubble to complete step 2 of the bubble program or is a vocalization on command on the bubble sufficient to reach the success criteria? Thank you!

Hi, the answer depends on your goal for using the Bubble Blowing hiearchy. If you are wanting to target the motor skills for phonation (breath control, abdominal grading, lip rounding) then yes, it would be important that they can produce voiceless air. If the difficulty is that they cannot do it in an open mouth position but can with assisted lip rounding then you might choose to skip step 2 and move to step 3. This is taught in our course OPT 1 (A Three Part Treatment Plan for Oral Motor Therapy). If the goal of using phonation was to teach vocalization and you do not need to work through the entire bubble blowing hierarchy because motor skills are not the problem then I would say you are OK. This is taught in my course (Motor Speech Master Series) or (A Sensory Motor Approach to Apraxia of Speech). But bubbles can also be a part of my working to teach voiceless sounds for some clients who are having difficulty with voice and voiceless. I teach strategies for this in my Motor Speech course as well! Hope this helps! – Renee Roy Hill, MS, CCC-SLP, COM®️ CLC

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