First Thing You MUST do: Get a hearing test!

Many children, especially young children, develop fluid behind the eardrum that can cause a temporary or fluctuating hearing loss. This should be checked by a pediatrician or audiologist as soon as possible.

First Week:

Just practice the sound you are targeting. For example, if you want to practice /s/, then say the sound 10 times twice each day. Just be sure NOT to add a syllable after the sound. Practice "s-s-s-s", not "sah".

Second Week:

Now it's time to add the syllable. Just work on the target sound in one position. Consonants can be in the beginning of words, "sun", middle of word, "beside" or end of words, "mess".  For the second, third, and fourth week, pick one position (beginning, middle, or end) and get comfortable before moving to another position.

Beginning Middle End
sah ahsah ahs
say aysay ays
see eesee ees
sigh ighsigh ighs (ice)
so oso os
su usu us

This is only a guide and other vowel sounds can and should be included.

Third Week:

If syllables are now easy and pronounced right, it's time to move to words. Practice words in the position you are targeting. If you have targeted the sound in the beginning of words, then find 10-20 words and practice them using different types of games.

Fourth Week:

If you're ready to move on, put the target words into phrases and sentences. You can make up phrases and sentences, or use pattern sentences like "I want a _____."

Fifth Week:

Listen for the correct sound during normal conversation. If it is mispronounced, call attention to it and repeat to correct it.

Start over with another position of the same sound.

This is only a guide. Use your own judgment on how fast or slow to proceed.

Extra tidbits that may help to get started:

1. Sounds that have air that continues out, (s, sh, f) are easier if you start with syllables and words that have those sounds at the end.

2. Label the target sound with something related:

S is the smoke sound
Sh is the "be quiet" sound
F is the bunny sound
R is the car sound
K is the coughing sound

3. The /r/ sound is sometimes easier to target if you start with /gr/ first.