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daysofelijah 05:46 AM 12-17-2010
I am not a speech development expert by any means, but I have been wondering about almost 4yo dcb's speech for a while now.

His speech takes on a garbled sound, because he doesn't use his initial hard consonant sounds so for example pizza is heetza. Or car is har. (same with r,s, and some others) But if I ask him to say the "p" sound or "c/k" sound he can say it just fine alone, he just doesn't use it in his speech.

Do you think this is something he'll pick up on his own or should I bring it up to the parents? I tried to suggest he should be going in for his preschool evaluation now, but mom seems to want to put it off. So I'm not sure how well received my observations would be anyway. I just hate the idea of waiting and sending him off to kindergarten with a speech issue that should have been dealt with sooner.
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DCMomOf3 06:00 AM 12-17-2010
I think most schools have a pre-kindergarten screening (Feb-ish) that is free to test things like that. In my experience as a mother with concerns about my own kids speech and what I've been told, I would guess he is ok, but I'd really recommend the pre-k screening from the school district.

If he can say the sounds I would continue working with him by trying to have him correct his words as he's talking, but obviously make him feel bad about it.
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daysofelijah 06:08 AM 12-17-2010
Yes, they want you to do the preschool screening between 3 and 3.5 here, but the parent's seem to be putting it off.

I have started to try to help him a few times a day, having him say the sound, like "X say "p". and he repeats it a few times, and then I say, "Now say "P"izza!" and sometimes he gets it. So I'll just keep trying that for now and hopefully they will take him to his screening soon and if something needs working on they will notice it there.

I don't mind helping him, I'm happy to do it if it will help, I would actually just like to know how best to do that and ideas of what to do.
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countrymom 06:39 AM 12-17-2010
I have a 3 yr old that just started and his speech is awful (drink=fink) so in jan. I will be digging out my speech stuff (my dd has speech for years and I saved all her stuff) but he doesn't go to school till next september. But he's very hard to understand.
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Jenjo 07:57 AM 12-17-2010
A child at the age of 4 should be 75% intelligible to a non caregiver or non family member. When he says something incorrectly just say what he said but correctly. ex. I want eeza for lunch say back to him "Oh you want to have pizza for lunch" Play some games with him where he says the sound and then adds it to the rest of the word ex. "pppppppizza" or "rrrrrran" . Don't make a big deal about it in fact do it with some of the other kids. Make a fun game out of it. I would do all of these things just in the course of your day. Encourage the parents to get him in for his preschool evaluation, and READ READ READ to him a lot! Hopefully this helps.
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dEHmom 08:17 AM 12-17-2010
MY OWN SON 4 years old. Started talking at 3 Yrs old, and all the hard sounds like s's and t's and g's were substituted with H. So as you stated Heea would be pizza, har, hanny (granny) etc.

He is currently in speech therapy but we had a 2 yr wait to get in.

Repetition is the best course.
Never say "No its PIZZA" as a correction. if he/she says heeza say "yes pizza" etc. correcting them in a manner that you are saying they are wrong, can often cause them to shut down.

Reading books and getting them to voluntarily say the words (get them to tell you what something is by pointing) and a repitition of 5 times will often get it to sink into their head. Not 5 times in a row, but as an example, choose a book about spiders if S is their hard letter to say. on each page, find at least 1 think they can say that is S word. say Johnny what is this? he'll say hider, you say "very good it'S a Spider" and really accentuate the S. by the end of the book he should be saying Spider.

Worked well for my son. Just getting him to repeat words, and encouraging him to keep trying instead of saying "no say _____"
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daysofelijah 10:24 AM 12-17-2010
Good ideas! Thank you. I try to make it non-threatening and all the kids love to join in too, so maybe I'll make it a whole group thing (I have five 2-3 year olds). They would like that.

Thank you for the advice on just repeating rather than correcting. I wasn't sure how to do that constructively. I will try that too.
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kidkair 04:28 PM 12-17-2010
I started for my masters in speech language pathology. One of the biggest things we were taught was that people need to hear the sound a lot before they can begin to produce it correctly. I would write down the sounds you want to work on and focus on one a day switching every day. Also the 'r' and 'l' sounds are really hard for some kids so if he's substituting a 'w' sound for those he's on the right track and you should leave it there for now. Also combinations such as 'dr' 'cr' 'tr' 'gr' 'cl' 'bl'at the beginning of words is very commonly changed to 'f'. I would leave these alone as well for now. What you definately don't want to do is over stress the combinations by seperating them. For example a common error is to say "ba loo" to stress the 'bl' in 'blue'. A kid is much better off saying 'foo' for 'blue' than he is saying 'baloo'. "Boo" or "bwoo" is better but don't teach him that just accept it without correction. To start with use simple words and repeat the sounds you want as often as possible. Large motor movements help too because it's involving the whole body and keeps the kids from getting bored.

Keep pushing for the screening. They'll get professional help much quicker if the school knows about it.
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Tags:4 year old, langauge, speech, speech therapist
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