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24 Jan. 2023

5 Basic Lessons of Articulation

If your child is having trouble with their speech, there are easy speech therapy lessons you can do with them from home.

Speech disorders can have a variety of different effects on children. Some children may have trouble pronouncing words or only use a small vocabulary. Others may exhibit a repetitive pattern of speech that is difficult for most people to understand.

Luckily, you’ve come to just the right place if you’re looking for guidance on how to help children with speech disorders at home. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common speech disorders in children, and explore how speech therapy activities for children at home can set them up for success in life.

Articulation Issues in Children That Lessons Can Help With

Children can struggle with articulation and develop a variety of speech issues. Speech-language pathologists often focus on four common types of articulation errors: substitutions, omissions, distortions, and additions.

These errors are difficult to identify as they have no set pattern. Nonetheless, these errors can affect word production and can even lead to reading difficulties later on in life.

  • Substitutions are replacing one sound with another. Common substitutions are changing “you” to “yuh” and “my” to “ma”.
  • Omissions are when words are left out of a sentence. Common omissions include “nana” instead of  “banana” or “at” instead of “cat”.
  • Distortions occur when sounds are changed in a word. When this happens, a child is very close to saying a word correctly. A common distortion would be changing ‘time’ to ‘tine’.
  • Additions are when a sound is added between two consonants. Common additions are “bu-lue” to “blue”.

Fun Speech Therapy Exercises for Kids

Speech therapy is an important part of the life of many children. With speech therapy at home, parents can help their kids grow and learn
while they are in a comfortable environment. The following are some of the ways you can help your child improve their
speech:

  1. Bring out the Mirror!

    Kids with speech problems can benefit greatly from an object as simple as a mirror. Mirrors are a simple, inexpensive activity to help your child practice articulation. This is because these kids don’t fully understand how to move their mouths to make certain sounds correctly. So, speaking in front of a mirror helps them see how to
    move their mouths to make sounds.

    To practice articulation with them, you must model the appropriate way to articulate each sound. Show them the differences between each sound in the mirror and have them copy you.

  2. Use Flash Cards

    Ah, good ol’ flashcards! If you thought you would never have to pick up another stack of flashcards, think again. Flashcards aid in helping kids focus on what sounds they have problems with.

    To make flashcards a more entertaining activity, introduce a reward. Candy happens to be a great reward because of the jaw strengthening that happens when chewing or sucking on a piece of candy. Aim to practice flashcards daily.

  3. Play Games

    Games are an interesting way for kids with speech disorders to get the therapy practice they need. One of the best games to play for speech therapy practice is Guess Who. Guess Who allows children to problem solve and encourages socialization skills.

    Although, there are many games to choose from – even online games if your child prefers those. Online games have been known to increase motivation for continuing speech therapy. Remember to focus on games that are not only fun but also help them improve their speech.

  4. Try Speech Therapy Apps, Music, or Programs for Children

    Does your kid enjoy being online? Try speech therapy apps, music, or programs! Try to download different apps that specifically target the speech issue your child is dealing with. Miogym is one app all parents must try out! This speech-language therapy-based app will help children with pronunciation. Miogym also has various exercises with animations that help children learn to speak clearly and with confidence.

    Also, Youtube is an amazing resource for speech therapy music. Children love to learn, especially through music. If deciding to use music as speech therapy practice, don’t worry about finding songs that don’t have any words. Songs that repeat sounds at a rapid pace are ultimately ideal.

  5. Practice Visual and Auditory Cues

    You’re probably wondering, what’s the difference between visual and auditory cues? How can practicing visual and auditory cues help my child with their speech disorder?

    Visual cues help a child remember how to make a certain sound.
    Auditory clues help a child learn syllables.

    Visual cues mean showing them how their mouth should be formed to make the desired sound.
    Auditory cues equate to counting syllables by clapping hands or tapping on a hard surface such as a table. (Pro-Tip: Try out an audio recorder! This will allow them to hear their voice and the mistakes they may be making.)

Benefits of Working on Speech Therapy at Home

Exercising patience is incredibly important when practicing these lessons with your child. Don’t forget to remind them that you genuinely want to know what they have to say, and that you care about everything they say. Give them time to get out what they’re saying if they are having difficulty. It’s okay to correct them, however, keep corrections in casual conversations only a few times a day.

On the same token, don’t miss a single chance to compliment and praise them for any correct pronunciation. Let them know you’re proud of them. Dealing with a speech disorder as a child can be a tricky and frustrating ordeal. It doesn’t have to be with the right tools in your toolbox.

Research shows that speech-language therapy has a positive effect on children with any of the common articulation issues. When it comes to speech-language disorders, early intervention when young is best. Doing speech therapy lessons at home is better than no intervention at all. Overall, with proper treatment, children who have speech disorders can go on to live happy, social, and confident lives.

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