Better Speech, Language and Social Skills are truly the best gifts any parent can give their child.
I am a registered Speech Language Pathologist with over 26 years of experience working with many different children and their families in many different settings. I want to help you help your child to have the best speech and language skills possible.
Why Is It so Important To Work On Speech Sounds?
The ability to communicate clearly is essential for social and educational growth. Children who cannot speak well often have difficulty making friends and can fall behind in school as speech sound errors place them at risk for difficulty with early reading and spelling. Helping children improve even a single sound can have a big impact on their speech. Words become easier to understand, children become more confident and frustration is reduced for everyone. Unfortunately speech errors that go uncorrected can last a lifetime. Speech errors in adulthood can affect social, personal and work lives. Early intervention results in the best possible outcome at all ages.
Besides the importance of learning how to say sounds properly there is a strong connection between good speech and early reading and writing skills – phonological awareness. Sound awareness plays a vital role in the early years and is a reliable predictor of literacy development. Children with good phonological skills have a huge advantage when learning to read. If children go for too long saying sounds incorrectly it affects their ability to listen and to tell the difference between sounds. Good speech means a better start for reading and writing skills.
Helping your child to develop clear speech can be the most rewarding and valuable time you spend with your child.
When Should Speech Sounds Be Worked On?
As a Speech Therapist I need to consider several different factors. Is the difficulty with the sound age approriate? Different sounds tend to develop at different ages. This Developmental Guide for Sounds has more information. Is the difficulty with the sound affecting the child’s ability to be understood? This is a very important consideration. Difficulty making yourself understood has huge impacts on social and language development that can last a lifetime. Is the difficulty with the sound affecting early reading and spelling? If so it is much more important to work on. Some Speech Therapists who work for public agencies have very strict guidelines for when they can help children with sounds.
As a parent I worked on my children’s awareness and development of all sounds as early as possible. Providing children with awareness of sounds helps the sounds to develop. I wanted my children to have the best possible start when it came to being able to communicate clearly so they could develop language and social relationships to the best of their ability.
Why Parents Should Work On Speech Sounds At Home?
Taking a child to see a Speech Therapist is wonderful but the once or even twice a week that your child can be seen is not enough for real progress. Parents are the ones that spend the most time with their children and have multiple opportunities each day to interact in a meaningful way. Frequent and consistent practice, even for just a few minutes each day, is what is needed for the best possible progress. Working on sounds at home is most often easy and straightforward if the right steps are followed. It is also very cost effective. Parents know their children best – you are your child’s first and best teacher.
More and more I find that the best use of my time is to help parents help their children. Daily interaction and stimulation helps speech and language skills develop and for progress to soar. While there can be reasons why some parents are not able to work directly on speech sounds at home, parents should always be enabled to support speech and language development at home as much as possible. Supporting parents is powerful, effective and is by far the best possible practice. Research clearly supports Parents as “Speech Therapists“.
This site provides parents with free ideas and suggestions to help speech sounds to develop. Also available for purchase are my programs to work on speech sounds at home. These are the same ideas and materials that I use with parents in my practice and with my children as they were growing up.Free Speech Ideas Speech Programs
Each complete speech program is $5.99 USD. Satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. If for any reason you decide that this program is not helpful, just let me know and I will provide you with a full refund.
While all of the ideas and materials are based on my experience as a Speech Language Pathologist, they are just a guide. They cannot replace therapy with or an assessment by a Speech-Language Pathologist or any other professional.