There are different reasons a child may have articulation problems. My own daughter, at age 3 years old, would calmly state, I want to doe in de taw for I want to go in the car.. Her twin sister could pronounce refrigerator and microwave perfectly. We blamed the problem on ear infections, but we were never sure. She also had difficulty pronouncing the r sound (wabbit for rabbit). So did my younger brother and two nieces. We chalked that up to genetics. As a speech-language pathologist and mother (who went through it), here’s advice, suggestions, and resources…
- Don’t Panic. Some sounds are considered later developing and will come naturally when your child is ready. If you’re not sure, check a few charts and/or have your child screened. When my daughter was ready, we played games or practiced words as we walked down the street. Don’t Push. Children learn through play. If you work on articulation, make it fun and playful.
- Get a Hearing Test. Young children get fluid build up behind the eardrum, which can cause a mild hearing loss. You shouldn’t be working on sounds if your child can’t hear them properly.
- Be Systematic. Don’t work on everything at one time. If you’re not sure, go to a speech-language pathologist for help.
- If you get frustrated, stop. If your child gets frustrated, stop. If your child is older and should have the sounds, then get help.