Practicing Speech Sounds at Home: How You Can Help

Enrichment Therapies

February 15, 2017

Parents often ask, “How can I help my student to practice speech sounds at home?”. When it comes to articulation, many children make progress at different rates. However, no matter how a child is progressing, we often find that more frequent practice is key. The more often a child practices speech sounds, the more quickly progress is made! Knowing that frequent practice may be the key to your child’s success, it is important to consider how you can help your child work on articulation at home. Read on for some cues you might give your student while practicing speech sounds at home! Your student’s speech-language pathologist may send a list of sounds, words, phrases, or sentences home. But if instructions are not extensive, what should you do with them? Consider using some of the following cues: 1. PROVIDE A MODEL You say the target sound/word/phrase/sentence yourself, and ask your child to repeat it back. Consider the importance of visual cues. *Make sure your child is looking at your mouth, while you articulate. This could be a vital cue for your child!* 2. USE A WRITTEN CUE If your child is reading, a written word/phrase/sentence is one way to remind your child of his/her target sound without using the high level cue of providing a model. You might even highlight the letter(s) representing your child’s target sound, to provide an extra reminder to your child. 3. PROVIDE FEEDBACK Listen to your student as he/she practices speech sounds. You might notice an error; for example, your child might say ‘tan’ rather than ‘can’. Rather than correcting your child right away, provide some feedback of what you heard. You might say, “I heard TAN! You TAN do it?? I don’t know what you mean. Try saying that again.” Give your student a chance to say the word/phrase/sentence again before you provide more cues. No matter which cue you use, consider: reducing background noise, eliminating or reducing distractions, and using a reward system for completing articulation practice. If you are looking for some motivation ideas, check out this blog post by Jaimi, about helping your child complete work! If you are wondering whether or not your child’s speech sound development is on track, take a look at our handy Development of Speech Sounds chart!

Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center has locations in the Iowa City, IA area and Des Moines, IA area. We provide individual speech-language therapy and tutoring as well as offering small group academic programs.  At Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success.  Contact us for more information on how we can help your child succeed.

740 Community Drive, Unit A

North Liberty, IA 52317


5530 West Pkwy, Suite 300

Johnston, IA 50131


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