Speech-language pathologists are no strangers when it comes to the human oral and facial anatomy. We are always (consciously or subconsciously) analyzing our students’ teeth, tongue range and motion, and lips to ensure that they are able to produce adequate speech articulation. So here is my silly little question to you: have you ever looked inside of a child’s mouth and then all of a sudden screamed out, “Eww! OMG! What did you eat?!” Trust me, we have ALL been there before (oh the joys of being a speech therapist). Never a dull moment, indeed!
The following is a list of the top 5 things I wish my students would stop eating right before they come to speech therapy.
5. Ice cream
- They say that you should wash your face twice a day with warm water and soap if you want to keep your skin nice and clean. For some reason though, I feel like my younger clients wash their face with ice cream and chocolate syrup every time they eat that sweet treat! “My friend, please walk to the bathroom and wash the ice cream off your face, then we can start speech therapy.”
4. Oreo cookies
- Don’t get me wrong, I love Oreos just as much as the next guy, but when students come into the speech therapy room with those chocolate crumbs all over their mouth and in their teeth, I can’t help but think that they ate a handful of dirt. “Guys, did you go outside during recess and take a bite out of the ground? How did it taste? Should I try eating the ground, too?”
3. Blue lollipops/blue gum
- In speech therapy, I typically see red and pink colored tongues, so you can imagine my shock when a child comes to speech therapy with a full blown BLUE tongue. “We can’t do speech therapy today because we have to get you to the nurse! You are turning into a Smurf!”
2. Fruit punch
- Imagine seeing a child with a mustache. Pretty wacky thought, right? Now imagine seeing a child with a RED mustache. Super distracting when we are trying to work on the /TH/ sound, don’t cha thing? “I like the red mustache you are sporting. Not only is it stylish, but you can also taste it when you get a bit hungry. Convenient!”
1. Doritos chips
- Wow. Ok. I don’t think there is a worse smell on this planet than a child’s breath after they have devoured a bag of Doritos. “Please, keep your shoes on during speech therapy because your socks are kinda stinky. Wait, your shoes ARE on?! Oh, that is the Dorito breath I am smelling.”
In closing . . .
Agree? Disagree? Did I miss any foods? Writing this post sure has made me a bit hungry for a snack. Lucky for me, I packed some S’mores Pop-Tarts in my book bag. Haha! Have a great day and I look forward to writing a new blog post soon! Oh, and please feel free to share this post with all of your SLP friends
(This post originally appeared on the ArticBrain blog)
Erik X. Raj, M.S., CCC-SLP (www.erikxraj.com) is a speech-language pathologist who has provided direct care to pediatric, adolescent, and adult clients who exhibit a broad spectrum of communication difficulties. He is presently pursuing his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Communication Sciences & Disorders as a Thomas C. Rumble University Graduate Fellowship recipient at Wayne State University. Erik is also the founder of ArticBrain, LLC, a speech therapy product development company.