I recently completed a continuing education seminar on speech sound disorders, and probably the most salient thing I learned was that the phrase, “He’s just an artic kid,” misses the big picture when describing a child with an articulation/speech sound disorder.
Here’s a fact:
Atypical speech error patterns lead to an increased risk for reading/spelling difficulties.
I think many speech therapists (including myself) were trained to work on articulation in isolation, without considering other areas in a child’s development that could also be impacted. Oftentimes, children who struggle to produce various sounds are not perceptually processing those sounds. In other words, it’s not only the production of the sound that is difficult, but also their awareness of the sound.
When a child enters school, being “aware” of the difference between speech sounds is crucial to developing strong reading and spelling skills. Thus, it makes sense that our “articulation only” kids are at such an increased risk for reading/spelling difficulties.
As a speech therapist who works with many children with articulation difficulties, I have begun to incorporate more phonological/print awareness activities into my sessions. This simply means I am not only focused on helping the child to “produce” the speech sounds correctly, but also helping to build their awareness and recognition between the different speech sounds and their corresponding letters (which is how we are able to learn how to read and spell). Below are a number of apps, books, and other resources I have found helpful for increasing the phonological awareness skills of children with articulation disorders.
If you live in the DC area and have concerns about your child’s articulation or if you have a school-aged child with an articulation disorder and would like to seek additional help beyond what your school based speech language pathologist may be able to provide, visit www.districtspeech.com for more information on our assessment and therapy services for children of all ages.
Iphone/Ipad apps that target phonological awareness:
Preschool Rhyming game
Syllable Awareness Themes
Rhyme Time Pro
Partners in Rhyme
Books that are great to teach and reinforce Rhyming:
Helpful website links/resources
Phonological awareness resources:
Easy to hard phonological awareness activities:
Phonological awareness activities: