Nonsense Words are a great tool in your kit to help break through poor phonological habits. Nonsense words are meaningless words (e.g. Gar, Har, Nar) that maintain useful phonologic patterns. Since, the nonsense words are novel to a student and are not frozen in a child’s lexical system; it forces the student to focus on the component sounds, perhaps resulting in a successful production which can be used as a facilitator for other contexts.
How to use nonsense words? Use nonsense words for proper names and places only. Don’t rename objects especially for language-disordered children. Kids love fantasy, so create fun and weird creatures and places that they live. Instruct your students to draw pictures of their new characters (that contain the target sound). Experiment with different combinations to see if the lexical combinations produce successful utterances. Have fun with it and create stories and games using just the nonsense words. When you think the child is ready transfer the successful productions to meaningful sounds.
Next time you are stuck, incorporate nonsense words and see what happens. Gar: Using nonsense words to help break phonological patterns