When the Child Can’t Move Past the Sound in Isolation

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If the Child Can Say the Sound in Isolation but Not in Words:

In case you haven’t tried it, work on non-sense syllables for a bit.  Try the target sound before and after different vowels.  I like to try to get “uh” because it’s the easiest.  I’ll tell them we’re just going to hold it out, or say it very loud or breathy, or something like that to try to trick them into saying the “uh” at the end.

Still Not Getting It?

If the child has been trying for a while and can’t get it (or is getting really frustrated), try one of these approaches:

  • Assign the sound in isolation as homework and just try it in syllables a few times each session just to see if she is ready but primarily focus your therapy on something else
  • Completely abandon the sound for a bit and come back to it.  Cycle through different sounds that the child is struggling with or just take a break from speech if that’s the only sound.  I like 6 weeks as a time frame but that’s not based on anything aside from my own experience (ever have a kid come back from summer break and have mastered the thing you worked hard on all year?)