Ask a Speechie: How can I help my child transfer their speech sounds into everyday talking?

December 18, 2019
Ask a Speechie: How can I help my child transfer their speech sounds into everyday talking?

This month’s question is answered by our Clinical Manager and Senior Speech Pathologist, Genevieve Ackland.

It can take time and patience to support your child to transfer their target sound to everyday talking. For some children it happens naturally and other children may require support to carry their sound over. Your Speech Pathologist will let you know when your child is ready to transfer over their sound.  

Children have busy lives and may not be thinking about their target sound by themselves. We can help support them by adding in a visual reminder of their sound. This could include a special sticker in places that may prompt them, such as their pencil case, on a favourite toy or even the back of a seat in the car. An articulation sound key ring could be attached onto the zip of the child’s bag or pencil case which can be a great reminder every time they use their zip. Some children may also create a poster or help make a rewards chart that could be displayed at home on their fridge.  

Books are another great way to generate conversations and to read and then re-tell stories. An Australian Speech Pathologist has created a website: 

This fantastic website has categorised books based on their speech sounds. You can search a specific sound and a list of books that have that sound can be. Parents could borrow the book from the library or see if they have the book at home. The book can used to generate conversations about the pictures or your child could make up their own story based on the pictures.  

Remember that one of the most effective ways to encourage a behaviour to happen again is to give plenty of positive praise! Show your child how proud you are when they say their target sound and tell them how it helps you to understand all the fantastic things they have to tell you.