Speech Sounds and Articulation
The following ideas will help your child to speak more clearly, be easier to understand and to improve their ability to say the different speech sounds. I hope they help.
Basic Speech Development Ideas
Your child learns to say sounds and speak clearly by listening to you. Model good speech. Say words slowly and clearly making sure you say each sound in every word. Don’t use baby talk. Read More.
Speech Sound Development – When to be Concerned
The following is a guide as to when it may be good to work on different speech sounds. Remember that all children develop differently. There are no hard and fast “rules” for when specific sounds should be worked on. The biggest thing to watch with young children is how well they are understood by strangers. Read More.
Games to Play When Practicing Sounds
Playing simple games makes it motivating for your child to practice sounds. It doesn’t matter what you play as long as you both are having fun. Here are game suggestions for both younger and older children and ideas on how to make the practice more challenging. Read More.
Core Words Approach
The Core Words approach is the most powerful way I have found for parents to work on speech sounds at home. Practice becomes meaningful and change starts to happen. Because you are working on carryover from the very start your child learns how to make the sounds correctly in their everyday speech. Read More.
Hand Gestures for Sounds
Pairing a physical action with a sound makes it easier to say the sound. Having your child practice doing the action each time you say the sound, will make it easier for him to say the sound correctly in harder words. For some children the very action of doing something physical when trying to say the sound makes it easier. Read More.
Practicing, even just a little bit each day, is necessary for your child to make good progress. However motivating your child and sometimes even yourself to do this isn’t always easy. Here are some ideas to help: Read More.
Modelling Back Good Speech
Modeling is a powerful way to help children become more aware of and learn how to say speech sounds. Some parents are afraid to “correct” their child’s speech. Modeling isn’t simply correction. Modeling provides children with the information that they need. Read More.
Early Ideas for Last Sounds
Children sometimes leave the endings off of words. When this happens words often become hard to understand. These are some ideas to help younger children put the last sounds onto words. Activities for children under 3 focus on having the child become more aware of sounds. Read More.
Minimal Pairs – What are they and how to use them
Minimal pairs are a teriffic way to teach children awareness of sounds and helps them to see that changing one sound in a word can completely change what they are saying. Minimal pairs are words that differ by only one sound such as “Wing”/”Swing”, “Rake”/”Wake” and “Can”/”Tan”. I often encourage parents to use them when practicing with their children. Read More.
Slowing Down Speech
Children sometimes need to learn to slow down their speech to make it easier to understand. When children talk too quickly their words can get pushed together or they don’t give themselves time to say the sounds properly. Here are some ideas to help practice slowing down. Read More
It is important to teach children to know what to do when they are having difficulty making themselves understood. The first step is to help them know that you didn’t understand what they said. This is why it is so important to not “pretended” to understand. If a child doesn’t realize that what they said was hard to understand they won’t be motivated to say it differently. Read More.
It is important to reduce frustration as much as possible. When children have problems communicating they often become frustrated. Frustration can lead to behavior problems and limits social and language development. Read More.
Apraxia Practice Principles
Apraxia is a motor speech problem where the is a disruption between what the brain is telling the mouth to do and what actually happens. Children with apraxia have trouble controlling their muscles to make speech sounds. When working with children with apraxia it is important to follow the principles of motor learning. Read More.
Oral Motor Exercises
Do Oral Motor Exercises help a child to make speech sounds? In my opinion, in most cases no. And by most cases I mean that I may have seen one or two children in the last 26 years where oral motor exercises might have made the difference. But even in these cases I’m not sure if it was the exercises themselves that helped. Read More.
Working on Speech Sounds Early
Working on speech sounds early, before they are considered to be a delay, can be a contentious topic. Speech sounds typically develop at different ages. This Speech Sound Development Chart is what I use as a guide for when speech sounds should be worked on. It is though, as are all speech development norms, just a guide. A lot depends on how the difficulty with the sound is affecting the child. Read More.