Sisters-In-Law Write Books to Help Kids With Speech Difficulties

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Looking for some family fun for your Saturday morning?

You might find it in Fort Worth at the official release of a new book, “R is the Roughest Sound.” The book is about the letter R, which is one that can be hard to pronounce.

The story of the women who wrote the book is #SomethingGood.

For Michelle Marlow, it started in grad school as she pursued a degree in speech language pathology.

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“My professor at TCU loved the way I taught children how to say sounds. And, she said, ‘Michelle, you should write books.’ So right after grad school, I wrote this thing called “The Chapter Book” and it sat on my computer, forever and ever and ever,” Marlow said.

Her husband later found it on that old computer and encouraged her to embrace that long ago project. And, in her sister-in, she found a partner who helped take her ideas to print.

“We started writing these books and they’ve become a passion.” Michelle Marlow said.

“It’s a process.” Cynthia Marlow added. “One of us has an idea. We discuss it and it grows from there. And there’s lots of texting and phone calls.”

The women are speech pathologists, and their books focus on letters that can be hard for some children to pronounce – letters like S, L and R.

The first in what’s called “A Series of Hard to Pronounce Letters” was “S is the Most Delicious Sound.” The most recent is “R is the Roughest Sound,” and “L is for LemonAid” is next.

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“S, L and R are some of the true articulations you see misarticulated in children’s speech. S is probably the first one. Then L, then R being a later developing sound which is usually mastered by 7 or 8 in children,” Michelle Marlow explained. “And, the title of the book says it perfectly, R is the Roughest Sound, because r is the roughest sound.”

“Children are in speech for the longest to remediate that sound,” Cynthia Marlow explained. “With the placement of the sound, it’s so far back and your tongue has to be curved in a specific way so you’re using lots of different muscles in order to make that sound.”

The books are not intended to replace a speech pathologist but to add some encouragement where needed.

“Take it home, read it to your mom and dad. And it’s okay if you don’t get that sound right all the time, but just practice and whatever works for that child,” Michelle Marlow said. “The big message in our book is, it’s about confidence.” “Building self esteem,” Cynthia Marlow echoed.

And, for Michelle Marlow, to see the series of books come to life after so much time is especially rewarding.

It’s been so fun to watch it grow, our ideas,” Michelle Marlow said.”She’s like, ‘Let’s do ch and sh.” And, I’m like, ‘I’ll do stuttering!’ There’s so much potential and future in this, that we just get so excited.”

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The Marlow sisters-in-law invited the public to attend the signing of “R is the Roughest Sound” Saturday morning from 10 a.m. to noon at the statue of Will Rogers, in front of the Will Rogers Coliseum, in Fort Worth.

“We’re gonna have donuts and coffee and chocolate milk. So, come out and read and eat and drink,” Michelle Marlow said. “We hope to get this book into the hands of as many children as we can.”



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