Sarah, our Speech Pathologist, provides practical tips to help with your child’s speech sound production.
If your child is not yet producing all the sounds in words correctly, don’t panic. Bear in mind that children’s speech sound production develops over time. Some sounds and patterns of errors are expected in young children. However, by around 5 years children’s speech should be clear and able to be understood by everyone, especially people who don’t know your child well (mums and dads are great at interpreting everything their child says).
To help your child to learn how to make sounds correctly simply model the ‘correct’ production back to them. For example:
Child: Look, a tat
Parent: You’re right, it is a cat.
Try not to overexaggerate the sound you’re ‘fixing up’ too much. You want the word to sound as normal as possible.
For older children who have more awareness of their own skills you could try occasionally asking them to say the word again. Make sure you respond to the content of what they are saying or asking first, before correcting their speech. For example:
Child: Did I win a fwize?
Parent: Yes! I think you meant a prize? Can you say it like me? Prize.
Don’t overdo it, as it can make children self-conscious and reluctant to repeat words.