Ø Continue to review the sound cards from past weeks.
Ø Refer to web page "Target Word Practice" for ideas to make the reviews more fun.
Ø Make certain that your child is also imitating the vowels in the target words correctly. A vowel change can change the entire meaning of a word!
Ø Be certain that your child is really listening to you and looking at you when doing the homework. He also may need more cues such as:
1. Verbal cueing: “don’t forget to bite your lip and blow”
2. Visual cueing: using a mirror while practicing so the child gets visual feedback.
3. Tactile cueing: touching the area of the mouth that you want the tongue or teeth to touch (for example: with /f/, touching the top teeth and bottom lip.
4. Auditory cueing: Listen, it sounds like a leaky tire…fffffffffffffffffØ Encourage work on self-monitoring. Your child MUST learn to listen and hear
his own speech productions in order to make significant changes. You can play a game with his cards. Have a smiley face and a frowning face drawn on opposite sides of a piece of paper. Have him say the word on his card and before you give him any feedback, he chooses whether it sound right to him (and puts it in the smiley face side) or whether it sounded wrong to him (and puts it on the frowning face side). The goal here is not always to produce the sound correctly, but for the child to monitor his own speech.
Ø Read, read, read! Make reading a part of every single day. Books should be very simple with up to 4-5 lines per page. Use the books for new words to imitate (or produce spontaneously).
Ø During every day conversation, you can use modeling as immediate feedback to their incorrect production of sounds. For example; child says “ –top sign” , parent says, “yes, I see the Sss-top sign” and leave it at that. This kind of modeling can also be used for grammatical errors. For example; child says “Her is going to the store?”. Parent says “IS SHE going to the store? …yes, SHE is going to the store.”
Ø During every day conversation, you can also have them imitate important or frequently used words that are not pronounced correctly. For example; child says, “I’m hungry, I want a –nack”, parent says, “ you said you want a –nack, is that really what you meant or did you mean Sss-nack?”, (In doing this, you are giving them immediate auditory feedback) “ Do you want a –nack or a Ssss-nack?” (now you are requiring them to correctly produce the sound in a word). Child says “sssnack”. If not, have them repeat just the word. “Say ssss-nack”. Childs says “ssss-nack”. Reserve this type of work for only important words that the child is already using and just do it once in awhile…NOT every time they mispronounce a word.Ø Do the four Reflex Integration Exercises every day (the giraffe stretch, the rocking horse, superman and popcorn). They are truly important for both speech and overall sensory integration.Have your child “help” around the house with “Heavy Work”. This is a Ready Bodies, Learning Minds strategy that is used to develop the proprioceptive system. “Heavy work” is any activity that involves muscle working against resistance or gravity such as: pushing and pulling, lifting and carrying, jumping hopping and skipping, climbing, walking on small cans (stilts).
Ø Provide your child with different oral sensations as often as possible. Encouraging your child to experience different tastes, textures and temperatures helps them to balance their oral sensory system. Offer sour candy in different flavors and textures, pop rocks, cinnamon gum, bubble gum, popsicles, crushed ice, crunchy foods, etc.
Ø Provide a variety of horns or whistles for blowing exercises.
Ø Eliminate sippy cups. If you must use them, use the ones with straws. Encourage drinking from a plain cup or through a regular straw.
Ø Remember that speech sound development is a very long and difficult process for some children and the more often that “homework/activities” are done, the faster the process. The success of this program relies heavily on parent participation. The foundation must be laid with single word production. See the web page “Speech Pyramid”