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Many of you have been interested in how to stimulate more speech from your toddlers so I thought I would share a few tricks I use as a speech therapist. Using these little tricks that require your child to communicate will teach your child the power of communication. One day about a month ago DS and I were at one of my last OB appointments (DD was born a week and a half ago). I’m going to have to point my blog readers (many of whom have toddlers themselves) your way sometime soon! I found this post via 5 Minutes for Special Needs in a post by CC, these are great suggestions! When he won’t look at you to see the sign model take his hands and help him make the sign.
The biting could just be a playful thing, make sure you respond appropriately letting him know that it hurts when he bites you and that it is not ok. Dyslexia is a type of language-based learning disability and signs and symptoms can include a child having difficulty expressing themselves clearly and learning new vocabulary. My son is 2 and does the same thing plus he tries to say words thst start with the letter b and doesnt get the full word out of his mouth.
I want to first thank you as the tips on your web helped us to get our son 3 yrs and 4 months to talk more he can now ask if he wants something by saying papa or mommy give me yougurt ? It is difficult to get any toddler’s undivided attention for more then a few minutes. It sounds like it is time for you to contact a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) in your area for an evaluation. We exposed our daughter to Spanish only at home and by the time she was four, she was bilingual. I am a licensed Speech Language Pathologist and have been working in this field since 2000.
Speech therapists, who are also named speech-language pathologists, are in the allied health field of speech pathology and assist people who are going through difficulties with language and speech due to delay in development, or possibly cognitive or physical impairment. Individuals interested in entering the field of speech therapy need to first acquire their bachelor’s degree in the field of either pathology of pre-professional speech-language  or a field that is related. Most of the states require that the speech therapists are either registered or licensed to practice their speech therapy in places other than the public school setting.
If you want to become get a job in this allied health field, chances are that you are going to have to complete of a national examination in speech and language pathology.  You can also get the a certificate if you have your master’s degree and received it from an accredited program, you need 400 hours of supervised experience in a clinical setting, at least 9 months in a fellowship, and you must also pass the Praxis test. River Pediatric Therapies provides individualized speech, language and social communication services to children of all ages including diagnostic and therapy services. After your childa€™s therapy sessions, we also offer follow-up services and home exercises to ensure that they receive continued support.
We’ve talked a lot about helping kids with articulation disorders here on Mommy Speech Therapy. Phonological processes are patterns of sound errors that typically developing children use to simplify speech as they are learning to talk. Below I’ve included a link to download my Phonological Processes Chart which lists common phonological processes and an approximate age at which children should no longer be using them. These processes are considered normal unless they persist beyond the age when most typically developing children have stopped using them.
A phonological delay may also be considered if the processes the child is using are different than what would be expected.
The excessive use of phonological processes can also indicate a phonological disorder because when multiple phonological processes are exhibited together it usually increases the child’s unintelligibility making them really difficult to understand.
If you’re uncertain as to how intelligible your child should be based on their age, the standard guideline is by 2 years old a child should be 50% intelligible to an unfamiliar listener. Since phonological disorders and articulation disorders are both speech sound disorders it can sometimes be tricky to know which speech sound disorder is present. Children with an articulation disorder typically respond well to a traditional articulation therapy approach where one sound is targeted at a time. Remediation for kids with phonological disorders usually involves targeting the phonological processes in error as determined by the speech language pathologist.
As always, I wish your kids the very best in becoming successful communicators and with your help and support I know they can! I’m pretty sure my 3 year old has at least 3 phonological disorders (both final and initial consonant deletion and weak syllable deletion).
Could you please tell me the difference between phonemic awareness and phonological processes?
I can’t believe the school season is almost here already, and has probably already started for some of you!
I explain that the sounds in the first line are the earliest developing sounds and if they have circled any sounds in this line that is usually the best place to start.
Likewise, sounds on the second line are sounds that come in later and are sounds we usually target after all the sounds on the first line have been mastered. Finally, sounds on the last line are sounds that are generally developed and mastered at an older age than the sounds on the first two lines. Please note that this is intended to be used as a guide for selecting speech goals and that it is by no means the rule.
Once I have outlined my speech goals for a student I use my articulation goal tracking sheet to track my student’s progress and to keep track of what goals I want to work on next. If you have questions about how to practice the goals I have written in the left column (isolation, initial syllables, initial words, initial sentences, initial stories etc.) please refer to my post “The Process of Articulation Therapy” to help guide you. I have also included my Articulation Therapy Log (see below) that I use alongside the Articulation Goal Tracker. My son is able to produce the first line sounds as mentioned in your process of articulation therapy. If for some reason or another you are unable to get with your speech therapist to get those questions answered I would recommend you give your son the Articulation Screener yourself to help you clearly identify which sounds he does and does not say in words.
In fact the phonological process of Final Consonant Deletion or leaving sounds off of the end of words is a pretty normal speech pattern for kids under the age of 3. But my number 1 recommendation is consult your speech therapist to see what more you can be doing.
I’m not familiar with your story, but it sounds like you have made some progress if he is starting to develop sounds.
At meal time and snack time give your child bite size portions, rather than dishing up a whole serving for them, then wait for them to request more.
Play turn-taking games such as rolling the ball back and forth, or pushing a car back and forth.
She graduated from Utah State University where she completed both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Eventually he will start to get the idea that he has to do something before he will get anything. He babbles all the time but we don’t know what he is saying and he will occasionally repeat words we say.
They can help you identify specifically which sounds your son is not saying that he should be saying based on his age. The reason I say this is you will be so happy when he signs his first word and you can actually understand him even if he hasn’t learned to say the word clearly enough yet to be understood.
By the age of 3 most children should be able to have a word for almost everything and will use 3-4 words to talk about and ask for things.
Learning disabilities can be hereditary, and are often related to specific language problems.
If your doctor has some concerns about your child having autism, I would suggest having him evaluated by a speech language pathologist. Whenever we encourage her to speak or read a book with us she tends to ignore us or is adamant about doing things her way or does not repeat what we want her to do.
I would really recommend that you contact a qualified speech language pathologist in your area so that they may be able to assess your child to determine what course of treatment would be most beneficial to him.
Your daughter sounds very bright indeed, but the fact that she is only talking in two word phrases at her age is a concern. Once I found one (the one who tested him) her Spanish was so poor, she had to ask the receptionist to translate. I do know there are a lot of very talented bilingual SLP’s out there that would be so happy to help you. I’m sure a good speech therapy treatment program with a good speech therapist would help a lot. Specifications in order to get a job in this allied health field differ according to state as well as by employer.
Standard course prerequisite consist of normal development of language, audiology phonetics, physiology and anatomy of hearing and speech, diagnostic methods, children’s language disorders, clinical practicum, clinical observation, and behavioral neuroscience.
I’ve shared my Articulation Screener to help you identify the sounds kids are saying in error as well as an Articulation Goal Tracker to help select the sounds that need to be targeted and keep track of progress.

They do this because they don’t have the ability to coordinate the lips, tongue, teeth, palate and jaw for clear speech. For example if your 4 year old still uses the phonological process of “reduplication” (saying, “wawa” for “water”) that would be considered delayed since most children stop using that process by the time they turn 3.
As a result, if you have a highly unintelligible child they’re likely to have a phonological delay, and their phonological skills should be assessed when considering a treatment plan. By 3 years old they should be 75% intelligible to an unfamiliar listener and by 4-5 years old they should be close to 100% intelligible to an unfamiliar listener even if a few articulation errors are still present in their speech.
Targeting the phonological processes, as opposed to targeting each error sound by sound as you would in a traditional articulation approach, usually improves speech intelligibility at a faster rate for kids with phonological disorders. The chart was especially helpful as I have a 3 year old who is currently booked for a Furlow Palate repair surgery. Around the age 3-4, children should be saying the sounds: m, n, p, b, t, d, k, g, f, v, h, w, and the y sound correctly in their speech. So your child has some phonological processes that are being exhibited in her speech, but she also has some misarticulations for some speech sounds? To celebrate new classes, students, and goals I thought I’d share my “Articulation Goal Tracker” form with all of you. However, sometimes it may be more difficult for a parent to know which sound to begin with. Then we proceed to write any sounds circled from the first line at the top of the Articulation Goal Tracker as sounds to target first. Then we write on our Articulation Goal Tracker any sounds that have been circled on this line to be practiced after we have mastered sounds on the first line. Therefore, we usually target these sounds after sounds on the first two lines have been mastered.
Speech Pathologists look at other factors besides just age of acquisition to determine what sounds to target first.
I have created a fictitious student named Ella Johnson to provide you an example of how I use this sheet to both set and track goals for articulation therapy. I use the Articulation Therapy Log to keep track of what I work on in every articulation therapy session. These two sheets together have made setting articulation goals and tracking their progress a lot easier for me. I’m a CFY just starting out and these will be invaluable to me as I was unsure how I was going to track progress and data with my artic kids. As a beginning clinician with my first artic client, your tips and worksheets were really helpful in helping me establish teaching strategies and therapy targets. The reason I didn’t include phrases on my Articulation Goal Tracker as a bridge between words and sentences is because in my articulation program I move directly from words to “Rotating Sentences.” The repetition of the rotating sentences allows children to memorize the short sentence while practicing the target sound on multiple words.
Often times kids are surprised to find out they can’t even understand their own speech. What a blessing you must be to so many, with the free advice and resources you take the time to explain. It is more typical for kids to struggle with the consonant sounds than with the vowels which is why I have only included those phonemes. He may qualify for services depending on how low his intelligibility (how well he is understood by others) is. For few words like car, where he is yet to acheive the sound c, he replaces the c sound for p and says par, pup for cup. Have them explain to you what sounds your son says in error or what phonological processes (like deleting the final sounds off of words) he may be exhibiting. Then I want you to print of the Articulation Goal Tracker (the link is in this post) and circle all the sounds your son is omitting in words or saying incorrectly. After you have looked at the sounds he needs help with and it looks like they are sounds he should be saying correctly for his age you can print some worksheets off of my worksheets page for home practice.
When your child indicates that they would like some, model a more advanced way for them to make the request, whether it is using a sign, a word or a simple phrase.
She began her career in early intervention and eventually started her own private practice where she has worked primarily with pre-K through school age kids.
I’m sure parents will be inspired to take a more proactive role, and in the process, have lots of fun too!
I started at 8 months with giving them a bite or two and doing hand over hand signing for more. It is difficult for me to get him to pronounce words properly, all he does is to utter unclear words. They will be able to help you understand what may be causing the delay as well as set up a plan for improving his communication. In the meantime try some sound exploration activities to see if you can get him to start making more sounds.
When it comes to asking for things and saying simple words like hi, bye, more, eat, cup, out, up, etc. Then they can help you set goals and outline ways to teach him the sounds he needs to learn. Saying the word with the sign will provide the verbal models he needs to learn to say the word verbally when he is ready.
If you have concerns that the child you are caring for is having a hard time communicating you should express these concerns to your employer, the child’s mother, and talk to her about having the child evaluated by a speech language pathologist. Your son sounds very smart, and it sounds like you have been working with him very hard to help increase his communication skills.
Make sure she has ready access to books and literature and that she can pick them up herself to flip through pages or play with when she wants.
What I would look for is a Speech Pathologist who will help you implement a communication program with him. Enabling speech therapy to work powerfully at home, we as parents or guardians are very important sources; depending only on days for our child to learn something on their own or being in school may perhaps a bad idea. I put together this blog to share some of the tips and techniques that have worked for me over the years in teaching kids to improve their speech and more effectively communicate.
Almost all jobs in speech therapy call for at least the person to have their master’s degree. But what if your child has so many sound errors you don’t know where to start, or they are so difficult to understand you don’t know how to help them? As a result they simplify complex words in predictable ways until they develop the coordination required to articulate clearly. If you suspect your child may have a phonological disorder or you are concerned about your child’s speech intelligibility you should contact a speech language pathologist for an evaluation.
From what you are describing, it sounds to me like your son is only producing vowel sounds and leaving the rest of the sounds off of the word. I would suggest that your daughter continue to work on eliminating the phonological processes she’s exhibiting.
This form can be a beneficial way for both parents and Speech-Language Pathologists to set and track goals for articulation therapy. When counseling parents on what sounds to start practicing first I like to have them circle the sounds on the bottom left corner of the Articulation Goal Tracker that their child does not produce correctly.
Any sounds circled on this line we write on our Articulation Goal Tracker to be targeted after we have mastered the sounds from the first two lines. If you have any questions or concerns about selecting goals for your child please refer to a certified Speech-Language Pathologist to guide you through setting your articulation goals. As reflected in the example below I write the date of the therapy session, the articulation goal that is being targeted and how the child performed on that goal during that session.
I hope they make setting and tracking goals easier for you too so we can all focus on the important stuff, helping our children speak clearly.
This gives you a nice platform to teach him why it is important to slow down and take time to say each word so his friends can understand him. If he doesn’t qualify for services I would ask the speech therapist to give you suggestions on what you could work on with him at home to help improve his speech intelligibility. For a person who never know how difficult speech production is which i am learning from my son for which i am stuggling and working very hard with him. Have them show you their treatment plan so you both understand what his speech goals are and what you can do at home to help achieve those goals. It may feel like not a lot of progress is being made, but if he has severe articulation problems and language development problems, please recognize that progress might just look a little slower then you expect. She is the founder of Little Bee Speech, and is currently developing apps for speech and language.
It took several months to get the idea, but once they got it, they started figuring out what communication was and learning other signs.
The other reason I recommend this is because you can’t make him say a word but you can take his hands and make him sign a word when you are teaching him that he has to do something in order to get something.
If the child does have a language delay, it is not appropriate to have you address this delay on your own.

Due to her hearing loss, it is not surprising to me that she is having a hard time communicating.
Without practice, it may be difficult for children to understand or talk to people in both languages.
While many people think of lack of eye contact as a classic sign or symptom of autism in young children, it is typically not the only thing pediatricians will look for when they are considering whether or not a child is displaying signs of autism. Ultimately he needs to be able to communicate effectively whether that means with assisted technology, a picture communication system or sign language until he begins speaking. Thanks for reading and remember it takes time and patience with this stuff but it is so worth it! We want your child to not only communicate to the best of their ability but to surpass what others said they would never be able to do!A In order to advance communication and speaking skills, we incorporate language, speaking skills, activities, and structured play into therapy sessions, so children are able to make progress in reaching their goals and have fun simultaneously!
If this is the case they may have more than an articulation delay, they may have a phonological disorder characterized by the presence of phonological processes beyond what would be expected.
For example, they may reduce consonant clusters to a single consonant like, “pane” for “plane” or delete the weak syllable in a word saying, “nana” for “banana.” There are many different patterns of simplifications or phonological processes.
Children at this age will still make sound errors in their speech with other speech sounds that are still developing like s, z, r, l, etc. Phonological processes are error patterns in speech that young children use to simplify adult speech. After I have tested a student and determined what sounds the student needs to work on I simply write the sounds at the top my Articulation Goal Tracker sheet and I am ready to begin therapy. I also include anything else that might be significant like what I sent for homework or what therapy techniques were helpful during that session.
I will do some more testing… but if anyone else is having this same issue, or other issues with the worksheets please let me know. Sometimes quitting the browser all together then re-opening it can clear things out and the html page will open. Then I want you to look at the Speech Sounds Development chart to determine which sounds he should be saying correctly for his age. Early identification of potential language delays can help with the intervention in the long run. It can also be common for children to drop the final sounds of words if they cannot hear them. Yea speaks a lot but her own language which we are not able to understand, and signs and lead us if she wants something. It sounds like your daughter has age-appropriate receptive language–she seems to be understanding what you say, and she can follow directions. Try the ASHA database of Speech professionals, or you may want to try Speech Buddies Connect, another resource for finding qualified speech professionals. Look for someone that can work closely with you to help you learn how to implement such a system at home. Signs and grunts that our child makes pointing out to the stuffs should be well attended with tactics evolving their ability to understand the words and therefore using them in daily practice. In contrast, phonological awareness is a term that is used to encompass a number of skills that children develop as they become readers, one of which is phonemic awareness where a child has the ability to recognize that words are made up of a variety of sound units, or phonemes. As far as the misarticulations, you can work on them, just make sure that you are targeting ones that are developmentally age appropriate for her. When a student passes an articulation goal I write it in the Articulation Therapy Log and then I record the date on the Articulation Goal Tracker. It could have also been the amount of traffic it was receiving at the time you tried to open it. Some days they can’t say much when asked and you just have to take anything you can get but other days they surprise you! Once he learns this he will experience the power communication gives him and he will be more motivated to try new words. You’ll want to make sure that you speak with an audiologist to confirm how severe her hearing loss is, and to see if you would need to utilize any type of hearing aid or personal sound system. But, somehow we feel that sometime when we are teaching her some new words or sounds, she constantly ignores us. Expressive language skills can lag behind receptive language skills a bit, we usually understand more then we are able to express, however there are some typical guidelines we use when we try to determine our if our young children are using appropriate language skills. You are the best advocate for your child; if you feel that your pediatrician is way off base then you can always seek out a second opinion. Usually we say that about 50 words by age 2 is normal, and that the vocabulary will continue to increase dramatically after that. Establishing a good means of communication for him will open up his world and in most cases lead to some level of verbal communication.
If you feel that your daughter is difficult to understand when she’s talking or if she is having trouble saying speech sounds that she should be saying, don’t delay! In literature dedicated to how children learn to read, phonological awareness and phonemic awareness can be used interchangeably, which can make the terms confusing.
For example, “Put the pig in the pink purse.” Rotating sentences have proven to be a very successful bridge from words to unique and more complex sentences as well as stories. It gets the most traffic off all the pages on my site, so sometimes it can be a bit slow to load depending on when it’s accessed. Reward him for his attempts, and next time he is with his friends and he starts to speed up you can gently remind him to use his turtle talk.
In the recent past, tries to repeat the words that he can say others fills the with some sounds. I had been feeling like I was slacking with working with them lately, but reading this made me realize I still do therapy with them all day every day! In the meantime, continue trying to engage your child and model good language and social communication skills for him.
Once you can confirm that she can hear those sounds properly, you’ll be able to address making sure she says those final sounds in her speech.
By the age of 2, children should be able to say about 50 words and should be combining words into about 2-3 word phrases. However, if you feel that it might be worth looking into, you may want to go through some of the various assessments that doctors and other professionals use to diagnose autism. Contact a speech therapist and they will be able to evaluate your child as to whether or not their is an articulation or phonological disorder present. However, phonological processes are different because they deal with speech development and not necessarily reading development. In the rare case I have a child that has difficulty with the length of the rotating sentences I simply modify the sentence for that child until it is achievable for them. If I ask him to say give the ball., he would say ball and others use ba or ka and finish the sentence. You can help expand vocabulary and the length of your child’ s utterances by reading, singing, talking about what you are doing and where you are going, and saying rhymes. Difficult behaviors can manifest themselves in children who have hearing loss and experience frustration from communication breakdown. The best thing you can do is to provide a language rich environment for your daughter at home: talk, sing, read, and play using lots of language.
Autism is a spectrum disorder, so there is a wide range of abilities that children will exhibit from Asperger’s and very high-functioning forms of autism, down to very low-functioning autism. She might not imitate everything you say right away, but reward her for when she does attempt to use good language. The most important thing about children diagnosed with autism is it seems they can make great improvements with their communication and life skills once they receive treatment. If after awhile you feel that your daughter is still not putting words together to form simple phrases or sentences even after you have tried to intervene at home, consider contacting a speech language pathologist to have her evaluated for your concerns with her language.
A licensed speech therapist will be able to address how to handle communication breakdown and might help her learn some strategies for helping her communicate more effectively.
If you feel that she is still not making adequate enough progress, and her lack of communication skills is frustrating for her, consider consulting a speech-language pathologist. If there is a language delay, a trained SLP will be able to provide therapy to help address your daughters’ needs. These are just a few ideas, but we wish you the best of luck as you move forward with your son. It can feel overwhelming as a parent, but it sounds like you are on the right path to getting her the help she needs. Speak with your family, speak with your doctor, and decide what you think is best for your son. I wish you the best with this journey your on with your son’s communication and development.

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