When the Child Omits a Sound in Blends

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Strategies to Try:

1. Have the child say the word without the first sound of the blend (“stop” would be “top”).  Write this word out or use letter tiles so he has a visual of the word.  Just have him practice the second word, don’t even tell him what the target is yet.  Then, add the first sound of the blend to the beginning.  Use writing or letter tiles to show the visual of the word.  If the first sound is one that can be held out, do so!  This would sound like “ssss…top” but without a pause.  Or “fffff…lip”.  Keep practicing this for a while and then eventually explain to the child that he made a new word by adding that sound to the word and tell him what he’s really saying (if you start with him knowing what target word you’re trying to make, he may overthink it and revert back to his deletion).

2. Use one root word and add different beginning sounds to make it a different word.  Explain how some are nonsense and some make real words.  For example, start with “lip” and then add /k/, /s/, and /f/ to make clip, slip, and flip.  You could also add /p/ or /g/ to make nonsense words and talk about how they don’t make sense.  When using this strategies, use letter tiles so he can see the root word staying the same and another letter coming and going.  Also, start with the sound blends that the child is able to do easily and save the harder ones for the end so you can build upon his knowledge of how other sound blends work.

3. Talk about sound buddies.  Practice saying sound blends in isolation (not in full words), like “st” or “fl”.  Practice them in isolation until the child can do them and then add vowels to the end to make nonsense syllables, like “stah, steh, stuh” and “flah, fleh, fluh”.  Then, add sounds to those syllables to make them real words.  For example, “stah” can become “stop” and “fluh” can become “flush”.