BE UNDERSTANDING! Learning to speak is a complex task. Your child is not just lazy. Certain patterns develop in normal articulation development as a result of a concept called "simplification." When children continue to simplify their speech beyond what is expected at their developmental level, they are not doing so purposefully. Usually, this is the result of motor issues, hearing issues, or processing issues that are not under the child's voluntary control.
BE A PRACTICE PARTNER! Ask you child's speech therapist to let you know when and what would be helpful for you to practice at home. Then practice your child's successful words, using word cards or objects at home. Use games and other fun activities and make your practice sessions short and frequent (5-15 minutes per day).
DON'T DIRECTLY CORRECT SOUNDS THAT YOUR CHILD HAS NOT WORKED ON YET. Direct correction has been shown to be largely ineffective and disruptive. This is especially true when the child has not had to the opportunity to have the new skill presented in a more isolated way than connected speech (i.e., conversation). As some point, your child's speech therapist will let you know if your child is at the stage where gentle reminders may be effective during connected speech for the targeted sound. This is usually after mastery has been achieved in speech therapy in single words, phrases and/or sentences.
USE REVISION EVERY DAY TO ADDRESS THE ARTICULATION NEEDS AS A WHOLE. Parents don't realize how powerful this can be, particularly if the revision is used consistently and simply. Revision is the technique where you repeat what the child has said, but use the correct pronunciation. You may want to give your child's sound a little extra emphasis. For example, your child says, "Look at the bug" and you repeat slowly, "Look at that bug! Go, bug, go," emphasizing the ending "g" on bug.
DON'T DIRECTLY IMITATE YOUR CHILD'S ERRORS. MODEL GOOD SPEECH. Some of the cute things children say are very precious to us. But don't inadvertently reinforce the incorrect productions by laughing or drawing attention to them. Repeat the utterance using the correct pronunciation. And make a tape or video recording to save your memories of some of the adorable things your child says at this age. Model good speech.
ADDRESS HEALTH ISSUES THAT MAY CONTRIBUTE TO THE PROBLEM. Fight ear infections. Address other physical difficulties that may contribute such as mouth breathing or voice difficulties with your speech therapist and/or doctor.
READ TO YOUR CHILD. It is amazing how much this accomplishes. Use reading as a way to surround your child with their target sound (i.e., "If you Give a Pig a Pancake" for the sounds /k/ and /g/). When using books with a targeted sound, emphasize your child's sounds in words found in the book.
PLAY WITH YOUR CHILD. Spend time talking with your child in play while you model the correct productions using revision. Some recommended games include: Memory, Go Fish, Candyland, and Hi-Ho Cherrio.
TALK TO YOUR CHILD. Talk to your child as you go through your daily routine. This is a chance to model many correct productions, use revision, and stimulate language development.
HOW YOU CAN HELP YOUR CHILD'S LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT
HOW YOU CAN HELP YOUR CHILD'S FLUENCY
GOOD HABITS FOR A HEALTHY VOICE
1. Avoid talking in a funny voice (i.e., Donald Duck, Darth Vader, etc.)
2. Drinks lots of liquids throughout the day.
3. Avoid caffeine. Cold medicines can also irritate the vocal cords.
4. Avoid constant throat clearing and coughing.
5. Rest your voice (cut down on talking).
6. Try to eliminate background noise when talking.
7. Avoid yelling and screaming.
8. Avoid whispering.
9. Get plenty of sleep.
101 WAYS TO PRAISE A CHILD
The most important thing you can do to support your child's speech and language development is praise them for all of their hard work. Here are a few suggestions...but remember, a smile is worth 1,000 words!
Wow! * Way to go! * You're special! * Outstanding! * Excellent! * Great! * Good * Neat * Well done * Remarkable * I knew you could do it! * I'm proud of you! * Super Star * Nice work * Looking good * You're on top of it * You're catching on * Now you've got it * How smart! * Good job! * That's incredible! * Hot dog! * Remarkable job * You're beautiful * You're a winner * You make me happy * Hip, hip, horray! * You're important * Magnificent * Beautiful * Fantastic * You're on target * You're on your way * How nice * You're spectacular * You're darling * Super * Super job * Beautiful work * Good for you * Nothing can stop you now * Dynamite! * You're fantastic! * Awesome! * You're precious * Fantastic job * You've discovered the secret * Bingo! * Great discovery * You're responsible * You're exciting * You're fun * You're a real trooper * Marvelous! * Terrific! * You're growing up * Outstanding performance * You tried hard * You figured it out * What a good listener * A big hug * What an imagination * You learned it right * You're incredible * Now you're flying * Bravo! * Beautiful! * I like you * I respect you * You're sensational * Phenomenal * A+ job * Horray for you! * You're unique * You care * Creative job * You belong * You brighten my day * Super work * That's the best * You made my day! * Say: I love you! * Beautiful sharing * You mean the world to me * You're important * You've got a friend * You're a joy * You make me laugh * You're A-OK * I trust you * You're perfect * You're wonderful * Give a big kiss * Exceptional performance! *