Your child has difficulty pronouncing certain sounds. How do you find the balance as a parent of correcting them without it becoming too much? Should you just let it go? How much is too much? All of these are great questions to ask yourself if your child has difficulty with certain sounds. It can be a challenge to balance over-correcting with letting it go completely. One tip I like to give parents is to try and keep your feedback positive and limit the negative language when addressing your child’s sounds. Here are some ways that you can address it at home while avoiding over-correction:
Congratulate them when you hear the correct production. Make a big deal and celebrate that your child said their sound correctly—especially if it is during a casual conversation. The conversation is typically the last place we will target correct sound production. This is because it is complex and instead of focusing on a single word, we produce several words. Don’t be alarmed if you continue to hear errors in conversation after a few sessions of speech therapy. We work up to conversation and we may be targeting sounds just in single words.
Model correct sounds for them to imitate. If you hear a sound error—for example your child says “I see the gog.”—just try to follow it up with a model of a correct sound. “Yes, I see the dog too.” You can put a little extra emphasis on the target sound so that it is more noticeable.
Try to practice at home for 5-10 minutes a day. Your child’s speech therapist will have provided you with a list of words to practice, and the best progress and carry over happens with consistent practice at home.
Developing the correct production of sounds is similar to riding a bike or learning to play a game. It takes practice! The more you practice, the easier it becomes. Don’t be afraid to celebrate your child’s progress! Even if it seems small to us, it can be a huge accomplishment for them.
Mikeeta Villanueva M.S., SLP-CCC