Besides being an educator who has worked with hundreds of young children with various speech issues, I know firsthand the difficulty of not pronouncing sounds and articulating words accurately. I would see a speech pathologist once or twice a week until I was in fifth grade. And there weren’t just one or two sounds that I had problems with; there were a bunch. However, by the time I entered junior high, you never could have detected that I once had such severe problems with speech that my eight brothers and sisters often joked that it sounded like I was speaking a foreign language.
Try Correcting It Early
It is important to catch speech problems early on. After all, a little kid not being able to say certain words or sounds is considered cute. However, a kid entering junior high still having these issues will be self-conscious and reminded of it daily.
If your child is having speech issues, there is no need to wait until kindergarten for them to receive help. Speech pathologists work with children of all ages. They may be able to correct the problems before the child even enters school. iAchieve even offers a chance for young learners to gain knowledge from their educational professionals.
Still, most speech cases can be fixed by parents using specific strategies and activities early on without bringing in the professionals. Incorporate these into your daily routine with your children, and it will assist them in articulating the best they can.
Concentrate on Phonics
Phonics is all about correctly matching sounds up with letters or groups of letters. By using a systematic phonics and decoding program that continually builds off previous lessons, the child will decipher words appropriately and focus even more on letter sounds than they might usually. This type of program can be started with toddlers on up through even middle school students.
Break Down Words
Kids often let their mouths run faster than their brains can handle. This leads to a big jumble of sounds emerging. If this is the case why your child is struggling with pronouncing words correctly, they might have to slow down. Being able to go slow and separate the sounds will lead to improved articulation.
Correct but Do Not Scold
It is okay to stop your child now and then correct them to pronounce sounds and words, but don’t do it too often. You must pick your battles wisely. Otherwise, they will start to tune you out or become upset with you. It is a fine line; you must walk as a parent when correcting speech problems.
Technology Will Help
There are more than a million educational apps, websites, and games available that could assist your child with their speech issues. For instance, just hearing sounds being pronounced slowly and correctly, like from many reading and spelling apps, could be what your kid needs. There is more technology out there than in history and is growing by the day. Might as well put it to fair use!
Speech problems are common in children. The English language is said to be one of the toughest to master. It just makes sense that children can have a tough time with it as well. Some of the most challenging sounds to pronounce are wh, r, ng, th, and sh. But with enough practice and the right guidance, they will get better.