Many parents are aware that their children have trouble pronouncing some sounds, but assume that it will naturally improve or be “fixed” when their child gets to school.
Whilst thinking this is understandable, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- It is not developmentally normal for children to start Kindergarten with speech errors. Children learn different speech sounds at different ages, but by the time they are school age, all children should be able to say all their speech sounds correctly (with the exception of ‘th’ as in ‘thing’).
- Not being able to say sounds correctly puts children on the ‘back foot’ when they are learning basic reading and spelling skills in Kindergarten. It is very confusing for children to sound out words in order to read or write them, when they are saying completely different letter sounds.
- There have been a number of studies showing that having significant speech sound errors as pre-schoolers can be a contributing factor to having difficulties with reading and spelling at school- so it’s good to get help with this as early as possible.
- We all know that teachers are amazing, but helping children learn new speech movements is not something they have trained for, and it is impossible to do in a class of 20+ children! Learning new sounds requires 1:1 help from a Speech Therapist who can not only teach the new movements, but also show parents what practice to do during the week.
- It’s surprising how little time we have when our children start school. Different activities take up many afternoons, and homework and readers need to be attended to. When children get help in the preschool years, often it means we have one less thing to squeeze into our already pressured schedules when children start school:)
Eastside Speech provide private one on one sessions of Speech Therapy for Toddlers and Preschoolers. Get in touch with one of our Speech Pathologists today on 02 9313 8980.
McLeod, S. & Crowe, K. (2018). Children’s consonant acquisition in 27 languages: A cross-linguistic review. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. doi:10.1044/2018_AJSLP-17-0100.
Robin L. Peterson, Bruce, F. Pennington, Lawrence D. Shriberg, Richard Boada (2009). What Influences Literacy Outcome in Children With Speech Sound Disorder? Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. Vol. 52, 1175–1188 October