8 Ways to Encourage Speech and Language in Young Children

1. Read, read, read! Find age appropriate books that have lots of pictures that your child can look at while you read, label objects and actions, etc.

2. Expose your child to new situations. This will provide you with an opportunity to introduce new vocabulary in novel situations such as, a trip to the zoo or a bike ride through a park.

3. Expand on what your child says, Ex. if your child says “doggie” then you could say “Yes, the dog is running,” or something within the context.

4. Provide choices in order to create opportunities for your child to vocalize their wants/needs. Ex. ” Do you want crackers or pretzels?”.

5. Put desired objects in out of reach places to encourage your child to request, and ask for help.

6. Use fill in the blanks statements. Set up a familiar phrase, and leave off the last word. Ex. “ready, set, …..”

7. Self talk. Talk about what you are doing, seeing, thinking, etc. “I’m washing my hands so I can make you a snack”.

8. Feign lack of understanding. Pretend like you aren’t sure what your child wants. Ex. If your child points to their juice on a high counter, but doesn’t vocalize the request, you can act like you don’t understand. I.e.  “I’m not sure what you want? Do you want your juice or this paper?” Wait till a vocalization is made even if it doesn’t sound perfect, then reward their efforts.

Blog By: Mary Williams-Anderson

For further information contact us 941-360-0200 or visit us at www.pediatrictherapysolution.com

Frontal Lisp: From Cute to Concern

A frontal lisp is when the tongue protrudes through the front teeth, typically during the production of /s/ and /z/. This causes air to escape out, resulting in a sound distortion. Production of /s/ and /z/ will sound like the /th/ sound, ex. sun/thun. This articulation error is cute initially, but is no longer developmentally appropriate after 4 1/2 years old.

A child should receive a formal speech evaluation around the age of 4 1/2 years old if this error persists. Intervention should include awareness activities, strategies/techniques to elicit /s/ and /z/ sounds without tongue protrusion, drill activities, and self-monitoring skills.

Techniques that can be used in therapy and in the home environment include:
1) Ask child to close teeth, smile, and blow air out. This technique will teach child correct tongue placement.
2) Have the child use a mirror during practice to visually show child correct tongue placement
3) Ask child to produce /t/ sound and then hold the sound while blowing out air. This technique will elicit appropriate tongue placement.
4) Once the child is able to produce /s/ and /z/ correctly, drill and structured activities will be used so the child is given many opportunities to practice. The more the child practices the sooner the skill will be carried over into conversational speech.

Blog by: Mary Williams Anderson

For further information contact us at 941-360-0200 or visit us at www.pediatrictherapysolution.com

 

 

Fun Articulation Activities

Does your child have difficulty correctly producing particular sounds in connected speech? If so then they may be struggling with an articulation disorder. Flashcards and drill activities can quickly become repetitive and boring for children. Here are several activities that will have your child asking you to practice their sounds:

1. Bowling-print out flashcards or words that contain their target sound (the sound that they are working on) and tape them to empty 2 liter bottles. When your child knocks down the “pin” they will produce the target word using correct articulation.

2. Bean Bag Toss: line up flashcards or words, that contain the child’s target sound and and take turns throwing bean bags at cards. When they land a bean bag on a card they can produce the target word using correct articulation.

3. Simple card games: such as Memory or Go Fish, buy or print out and laminate flashcards containing your child’s target sound.

4. Treasure hunt: Involve other family members if possible and see who can find the most things that begin with the target sound. Make up your own “house rules” to make it more fun.

5. Magnet Fishing: attach a string with a magnet to a stick. Make small picture or word cards with the target sound. These can be fish-shaped, but they don’t have to be. Put a paper clip or staple at the top of each card. Take turns “catching fish” and naming the pictures or reading the words.

Blog written by: Mary Williams-Anderson

 For further information please contact us at 941-360-0200 or visit us at www.pediatrictherapysolution.com