Stopping is when a child takes long “noisy” sounds such as S,Z,Sh,Ch,F,V & Th and changes or “Stops” them into a T,D,P or B. This can happen at the start of words such as “Shoe” becoming “Two” or at the ends of words such as “Leaf” becoming “Leap”.
When children are learning how to talk many will Stop some of their sounds. Most children will learn how to correct these errors on their own but others will need help. Stopping some sounds such as S and F is considered to be age appropriate only until 3 years of age. While stopping harder sounds such as Sh, J and Ch is age appropriate until 4 1/2 years.
In my experience as a Speech-Language Therapist I have found that working on Stopping can have a huge impact on a child’s speech. Words become much easier to understand, children become more confident and frustration is reduced for everyone. I often work with children on all of the different kinds of Stopping starting at 3 years of age because it makes such a big difference to their speech.
“Fixing” Stopping is often easy and straightforward and if the right steps are followed it is something that can be done at home in just a few minutes each day. Following is an assessment guide to help parents know if they should be working on stopping and my therapy program to help parents work on stopping at home.
While all of the ideas and materials in both the assessment guide and the therapy program are based on my 26 years of experience working with children and families as a Speech-Language Pathologist, they cannot replace an assessment or treatment by a Speech Pathologist or any other professional. They are just a guide.
Better Speech, Language and Social Communication is truly the best gift any parent can give their child.