The Gift of Feeling Understood
"I pound a boo ball!" ~ Aiden
"Yes! You FOUND a BLUE ball!" ~ mom
In the picture above, you see Aiden's blue hair, blue clothes, and blue ball! He told me all he wants for Christmas are BOO presents. Aiden loves "boo". At home, we know that "boo" means "blue", that "pinger" means "finger, and that "weg" means "leg". My SLP brain tells me that he is just fine and his sounds will develop. My mommy's heart breaks when I see that he feels frustrated when others do not have a clue what he is telling him. He is nearly four. It is time for me to do more than just be a speech model for him...it is time for me to teach him the way.
1. INFORMED CHOICE:
I picked a speech sound that he was developmentally ready to learn, which was the "F" sound as in FUN!
2. SMALL STEPS:
I had fun playing 'copy cat' with him. I showed him how I can gently bite my bottom lip. He could do that, too! Then I showed him how I could let air leak through my teeth and onto the palm of my hand, while I bit my lower lip. WOW he could do that, too! We heard his magic "FFFFF" sound!
3. KEEP IT REAL:
During the week, I used real life routines to point out when we came across something that started with his sound. For instance, in the bathtub, we played WHAT'S HIDING? I covered his foot with a pile of bubbles. Smiling, I felt his wiggly foot with my hand and asked, "What's hiding under the bubbles?" "MY POOT!", Aiden would giggle. I would respond, "Yes your fffoot! Hey! Foot starts with your magic sound! FFFFF" I did that again for his fffffingers and his toy ffffish, each time feeling the air on my hand. Sometimes, he would copy me. Every time, he would laugh!
4. SAY IT WHILE YOU PLAY IT:
Other times during the day, I simply remained a positive speech model. If he said, "I wost my pog", I would say, "Oh no! You lost your frog! Let's look for your ffffrog!"
5. TALK TIME:
Aiden and I enjoyed our special talk time. As I noticed he became more capable of easily making the target sound, I set aside a few minutes together each day that we called TALK TIME. It was short, simple, and successful. We simply had a bag of items that started with his "F" sound. As he pulled out each one from the bag, we would gently bite our bottom lip and feel the air on our hand as we named the item. Other ideas include using pictures (two of each so you can match them or play a Go Fish card game) and looking at books that contain target words. Other times, he would say one of his words for each finger on my hand, then we would give each other a "high-five". Short, simple, and successful! Done!
6. SHOW TIME!
Below is a video of Aiden and me showing off his new magic "F" sound. You can still see the FLOUR on my shirt from when we made fluffy FISH shaped cookies with our FIVE FINGERS...1,2,3 FOUR FIVE!
If your child needs help feeling understood, contact me for your own individualized support program. Follow this link: http://www.tinyeye.com/Online-Speech-Therapy-For-Parents/How-Online-Speech-Therapy-Can-Benefit-Your-Child.php
Marnee Brick, MSc
Speech-Language Pathologist and Director of Speech Therapy
TinyEYE Therapy Services (Speech Therapy Telepractice)
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