Another Question About My Older Daughter

Updated on March 06, 2008
A.J. asks from Dinuba, CA
56 answers

since i received such an awesome response to my question yesterday, i decided this was worth a shot =)
ok my older daughter will be 4 in april and she has a lot of trouble pronouncing consonants. she replaces most B sounds and some others with D sounds for instance. also F and P with H, etc. most people can figure out what she's saying if they're around her long enough, but with strangers or even over the phone when she talks to her daddy or grandma, they can't understand her at all. i've tried practicing sounds with her and if she feels like cooperating, she can usually get the sound right, but most times she just gets frustrated and starts to cry before even trying. i try not to correct her at the time she says something wrong, but then later on just say "hey let's practice sounds!" and get her little sister involved as well and just give them both praise no matter how they end up saying the words or sounds.
family and friends keep telling me she'll grow out of it, but i'm not so sure now. she hasn't had more than one ear infection her entire life so i really don't think it's hearing-related.
has anyone had experience with this, and what did you end up doing about it?

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So What Happened?

thanks for all the suggestions and advice =) since she will have her yearly checkup in april, i will ask her doctor then about the speech issues. our insurance through the military is totally free, so a referral would be free, you just sometimes have to fight for it. she will be starting preschool in the fall through the public school system so if she's still having problems by then, hopefully they can work with her as well

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D.J.

answers from Houston on

My son and daughter both had problems with p's and sch combo. I had them both tested and were told that it is just a growing thing. Their mouths just aren't developed to get the hang of some letters yet. They both grew out of it by the time they were 5 or 6. I wouldn't push it...she should grow out of it soon!

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L.S.

answers from San Antonio on

Contact the local school district to have her evaluated. Most schools, I know NEISD does, have programs for early childhood speech therapy. It may be a central auditory processing disorder. My nephew was just tested and placed into speech classes, he will be 5 on Sat.

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G.M.

answers from San Antonio on

Most kids' speech irregularities correct themselves when they start to learn the phonetic sounds associated with letter (when they learn to read). However, ask the pediatrician to give you a referal to a speech patholigist. They will evaluate her and be able to tell you if her speech patterns are normal or if they recommend speech therapy. My kids love going to speech. Good luck.

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B.S.

answers from Austin on

A.
I had the same issue with my oldest son (who is now 11 yrs old) and my middle son (who is now 9yrs old) - they are 19 months apart. NO one could understand my oldest unless they were with him for long time. Over the phone forget it. Strangers - even other kids - no way understood him. All my in-laws told me his daddy talked the same way, that he grew out of it and so would my son. He was about 3-4 yrs old at the time. Well when my middle son started talking like him also - older brother teaching younger brother. I really started to worry. My husband and I worked with them as much as we could. I talked to the doctor and he told me not to worry so much - sibblings always have their "own" language until they get in school around other kids. My parents and my in-laws both the same response - don't worry when they get in school and get around other kids they will grow out of it. I let it go but was still very concerned. I homeschooled my oldest for Kinder. The following year when both boys went to school - oldest in 1st grade and middle son in Kinder. The teachers right away told me that the oldest had major speech issues. In fact his speech issues messed up his concept of letter sounds so granted him the need to repeat Kinder. Wow did I feel like I failed. Anyhow they tested him and found he had several speech issues and put him in a speech program. I also went outside the school district to a speech therapist my insurance would cover and had her do testing on both boys. She found issues the school did not and said the younger son was being taught very well by the oldest to talk "his language". So I had my oldest in speech therapy both in school and outside plus my middle son in speech outside the school. I did this until we lost our insurance mid way thru 2nd grade. At this point the middle son was speaking good enough to not need the therapy but my oldest still to this day gets weekly speech at school. He started with needing help in all letters in all areas of speech to just the "R" sounds. SO he progressed good. But that was 5 yrs of therapy with 3 yrs double therapy. As soon as my youngest son started talking I rushed him and had him tested. Luckily he didn't have the same issues. I also had him tested the beginning of Kinder at school. Since I had kids with past speech issues the school had not problem testing him. I wish I had listened to my worry and had my oldest tested way sooner. Now to find out most school districts have a speech program for children under school age. They can test as early as age two. So don't let anyone tell you she will out grow it or any issues you question. Always follow the mom gut and get tests and answers. My sister's youngest son has issues with his legs they turn out like a duck. I've been after her to get him tested by a orthopedic dr (her reg doctor told her the muscles are tight and that he'd "grow out" of it). Well he is now 5 yrs old and his legs one more then the other has a bend in it between the ankle and knee. That muscle stayed tight and isn't letting the bone grow so it is getting bent. He's now in painful therapy trying to stretch the muscle - but they tell her that he will need surgery later. If she had got him in sooner . . . so my point is get everything that brings up any question by you, your spouse, your folks, grandparents, anyone. It's BETTER to know then to question. Get tests, demand tests, get answers - it's your right as a parent to worry. AND GET second opinions to those answers that say "grow out of it".

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J.B.

answers from San Angelo on

i was a kindergarten teacher for 4 years before i decided to follow my hubby in the Army too! i'm not a speech expert so i'm not sure what is going on with your daughter but i will say that sometimes children really can't help it. thir mouth forms in a way that doesn't allow them to make the sounds easily and it must taught and practiced over several years. it sounds like your daughter knows the sounds and wants to say them, but for some reason just can't. i don't know if it's a physical reason but i thought i'd let you know about the possibility. also, keep in mind that some sounds are commonly mispoken at a young age, not to say you shouldn't worry about it or practice them, you should. definately keep practicing and help your daughter SEE how to make the sound in your mouth or if you find that she says it correctly in a different word relate it back. learning phonemes is a much more complicated thing than i realized before teaching. if you are really concerned take your daughter to a speech therapist to see what's going on. speech is something that i think a lot of people think of as purely developmental and not a big deal. sometimes that is the case, but sometimes there is more to it. good luck and hooah (i know, so corny!)

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J.R.

answers from Austin on

While younger children speak in any way that gets them what they want, around 4 years old children begin to learn that there is a specific way to pronounce each word. A great way to help her with recognizing these differences is to correctly pronounce the mispronounced words immediately afterwards, not in a way that feels like correction, but emphasize the word in a way that feels like a natural part of the conversation. Example: "Mommy, I made my ded!!" "You made your BED? How wonderful - let's go see your BED!" Happy teaching!!
J.

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C.M.

answers from Houston on

A.,

I didn't have trouble with those particular letter sounds with my daughter. It took a little extra practice with the TH blend but it was just about getting the tongue behind the teeth. She would say TING instead of THING but she could say THAT with no problem.

Leap Frog makes some AWESOME videos. They are cartoons so the kids love them and they are very entertaining. They have The Letter Factory, the Talking Word Factory and several other related titles (counting too). The Letter Factory is about a factory where they make letters and then send them to school to learn to say their sounds. WONDERFUL!!!!! Catherine new all of the letters and their sounds before she was 2 because she watched the video everyday. She is 5 now and in Kinder. She still says some of the sounds using the more playful spirit of the DVD. You can get them at Walmart or Target.(SAMS too, I think...several packaged together.) I know for sure that the Walmart and Target in Kemah sell them, and the SAMS at Eldorado and 45. I hope this helps.

Have an AWESOME Friday!
C.

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J.L.

answers from Austin on

Sounds like my son when he was three years old. Contact your local school district. She would qualify for speech services in pre-school. My son did. He worked with a speech therapist in school on articulation and after a year or two was speaking just fine. At four years old, I wouldn't let it go when there are services you can get to help. Pre-school didn't cost me anything either.

J.
www.livetotalwellness.com/janislanz

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L.R.

answers from Corpus Christi on

Hi A. - I have a 6 1/2 year old son who had the same problem. He started speech therapy thru ECI at 2 and continued through the local school district for 2 years. We had to practice the way sounds are made and not so much the sounds themselves. He is in kindergarten and learning to read and still has some problems with sounds, but is doing great. I recommendation is to have her tested by a speech pathologist and try to get her into a speech program before she starts school. It is well worth it and like my son, he never had any ear problems and had no hearing problems. I now have a 3 year old daughter who speaks paragraphs and pronounces everything correctly for almost a year. I also have a 13 year old who also went to speech classes in kindergarten. Your daughter may grow out of it, but it may be something you want to check now. My 13 year old was very frustrated in kindergarten when all other kids were reading and he couldn't pronounce his sounds so couldn't read as soon as the other children.
Good Luck - I am a SAHM also with 4 kids ranging in age from 3 to 20 and my husband is currently deployed and now stationed in North Carolina - so can totally relate to being a single mom!!!

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D.N.

answers from Houston on

It sounds like she is mixing up quite a few soiunds but there are also a few sounds that at 4 she is not expected to be able to say correctly. She may be strggling more now that her language is growing and the sentences are more complex. When you say 'most' or 'some', I wondered if it is when those sounds occur with other consonants (such as b with r as is bring, etc.) as these occur later than the sounds on their own. It may be worth having her speech assessed by a Speech Therapist just to re-assure you. Also there is a great book called Baby Talk by Sally Ward which gives terrific and practical advice about what to expect and how to help with speech and language at all ages of baby/toddler to preschool age. The more you push without knowing what is happening here, the harder it may be if she actually does need therapy to get her to co-operate. She is afterall not quite four years old yet, so these sounds are not expected for her to be able to say correctly : 'v', th, z, s, sh, ch, j (as is juice), r, l, ng (as in sing), and an even longer list only expected by three and a half for 75% of kids! As to blends, where two or more consonants occur next to each other, less than 75% of kids master any by three and a half, so she is really just coming into the age where they might be expected to be right some of the time. The trouble with 'b' is a concern because it is an early sound, but if the trouble occurs when it is next to an'r' for instance, then it is less worrying. You can find a lot of this sort of info on the net if you want to research more yourself. I think an assessment would ease your worries and maybe give you some good tip to help out as well.
Good luck,
D.
(I am a speechie back in australia, pre-babies)

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A.F.

answers from Atlanta on

I've been blessed with a daughter with Autism. Learning how to deal with her has made life a lot easier with my experience with neuro-normal kids. One of the most important things I've learned with DD is to push, but not to push too much. Figure out when your daughter is most receptive to communicating, her peak, and use that time to "manipulate" her to get what you want. Keep a chart if you need to because it really does help once you get definate pattern. Once you have that time frame picked out, make it fun. Make it a game to see how many of the different sounds you want/need her to make. Laugh a lot, if she is shutting down and it becomes a power struggle (i.e., "when she wants to") you've lost. Make up silly games like dancing to a certain sound "Ba Ba Baa Ba Ba Ba Ba BAAAAA" Try singing scales using those sounds for the notes. "Fa Fa Fa FA FAAAA" Get silly and let her immitate you. One of the therapies we use for DD is with straws. You'd be suprised how much everyday oral activites effect our speech. Get a big fat McD's straw and blow bubbles in the bath tub (This one is still hard for us. DD wants to drink out of straws only LOL) Take the time to conciously figure out what muscle shapes go into the sounds you want her to make and get creative with ways to make that shape. Then, be patient and be happy with what you get. If you have 5/6 successes, celebrate. If you get 2/6 successes, celebrate with lots of positive reenforcement. Really play it up when she gets it right. What really helped with my friend's DD was when I would say "OM! You said it correctly! It makes me SOOOO PROUD OF YOU when you say it correctly. GREAT JOB!" we would do a happy dance together and soon she would say "CC, I said it! I said xxxxx!" I gave her more positive reinforcement and soon it was a habit. So...

Figure out when she's most communicative.
Laugh a lot while doing the activities.
Pour on the positive reinforcement.
Patience!

Sorry it was so long, HIH,
CC

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J.C.

answers from San Antonio on

All three of my Kids have what they call an articulation disorder which may be what your daughter has ( Speech disorders run in families) My oldest was very mild just her K and G sounds, which are related. My middle child was more severe, almost 80 % of her sounds were swapped for another sound. my youngest is also showing signs but he has been in speech since 18 mos. Speech disorders are very common and most all kids have trouble with some words but the worry is that they will get frustrated and it can affect their social skills and tend to become more introverted. My middle child still has slip-ups but she is correcting herself, which is one of the milestones. She started at 3 yrs and just stopped speech a few month's ago. Almost 2 years worth of 1-2 times a week. Other good news, we are also military and everything is covered. We go to BAMC but they can refer you to Civilians if needed. You can also check with your school district, they are required to test and treat all children that qualify. It is under the Early Childhood Intervention, My experience with that though was they are overwhelmed and the most severe cases get priority, My daughter was not far enough behind to get intensive therapy, and BAMC provided 2 times a week. I do urge you to seek help sooner rather than later because it becomes habit and the longer they do it wrong the longer it takes to correct. Which is why my youngest has started so early. I hope this has helped. If you need anything further please get in contact with me. It seems overwhelming to think of little ones in therapy but mine see it as their own personal play date with an adult who occasionally asks them to talk.

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K.G.

answers from Odessa on

Hi A., I've had a similar experience with my 5 year old little boy. No one could understand a word he said and it was extremely frustrating to say the least. We had his ears checked and I even talked to his Dr about it. He started kindergarten this year and I spoke with the speech therapist there. Once he started school his speech improved tremendously! The school also tested him and he is starting speech therapy also. You may just have to keep working with her and once she starts school I think she'll be fine! Hang in there.

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J.N.

answers from Corpus Christi on

She will not "grow out of it"... Please have her evaluated by a Speech-Language Pathologist for services.

I am an SLP and see many children that have phonological processing disorders (t for d, g for k, d for everything, etc.). I use many picture cards with games to help with this in a cyclical approach. I also suggest singing songs that contain the desired sounds... songs are you can play in the car, etc. and they aren't "work" for kids.

Email me if you would like more information at [email protected]____.com

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K.C.

answers from Austin on

I agree with Janet! Prompt guidance is the best way to help her correlate what she's saying with how other people hear her. You had a GREAT idea about working with her and making the process a fun and positive event verses 'YOU NEED TO PRACTICE YOUR SOUNDS, RIGHT NOW'! She may be feeling the pressure, no matter how you fluff it up, though. Having a conversation with her and using the correct enunciation is the best way to help her.
Don't enunciate words the way she says them! When I was little, my parents thought it was cute the I called the color MAROON, RAMOON and everyone in the family started calling it that. Needless to say I STILL have to think about the correct way to say it! Keep up the hard work and again THANK you and your FAMILY for what you do for me and our Country!

K.

ps I was in speech therapy for 5 years through my grade school. I couldn't pronounce my "r's" which was horrible since my name has two "r's" in it! My family, mom inculded, used to get me to say things for people - like "K., say Roy Rogers" - don't do that either :)

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K.J.

answers from Austin on

Your local school district is required by the state to provide free Speech therapy assessments and classes to children 3 yrs. and up. It doesn't matter if they attend school yet or even if you home school. My Sister-in-law take 4 of her children to speech 2 times per week and she home schools them. nother of her children was assessed, but they felt he did not require services at this time. They did ask her to have her younger children screened as they came of age because speech difficulties run in families.

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K.J.

answers from San Antonio on

I would get her hearing checked anyway. You don't have anything to lose. She will be starting kindergarten soon and so you need to find out the source of this problem now. Don't wait until she starts school. She'll really be frustrated, not to mention her teacher. I have a relative whose daughter failed kindergarten because the teacher couldn't understand her speech. This can damage your daughter's self esteem. Act now and get her into speech therapy if necessary. Good luck!

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G.B.

answers from Houston on

Get her to a speech therapist before she starts school and the kids tease her about the way she talks.

Cathy

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T.C.

answers from Sherman on

It is not a bad idea to have her hearing checked. You might also check with the local school and see if they have a speech therapist. My daughter started when whe waa 4. It takes time but it works. If they are in the PK program they will usually take them out of class for about 15-30 minutes a couple of times a week. If she is not in school you can probably make arrangements to take her a coulple of times a week. They play games and play with toys and do other activities so it is not boring or scary to the child.

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J.H.

answers from Houston on

Don't worry so much about it. Every parent wants their child to be perfect (it makes "showing them off" so much fun). Let her develop at her own speed. If the younger one pronounces everything perfectly, for goodness sake, don't compare them. Don't ever make the older one think the younger one is smarter. If she still has trouble when she enters school, they have speech therapists, and six won't be too old to start with one. My grandson, now age six, had problems with the "th" sound. The word three always came out free. Being the mother of four adult children and seven adult grandchildren, I relished all of those little "frees" I heard because I knew that one day he would outgrow it and I wouldn't get to hear it anymore. These pronouncations are the ones you will carry with you all of yor life...just ask your own mother.

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T.H.

answers from San Angelo on

i would get a referral to a speech therapist from the base. If there is a problem, then she will receive the help she needs. If she doesn't, then after the evaluation, your fears will be eased :)

I wrote you a longer response, but when somehow it was deleted. I had a similar problem with my almost 3 year old. He's currently being seen for articulation problems b/c he drops the ending and beginning consonants of words. He can make the noise if he's concentrating on it. But if he's stringing 8-10 word sentences, he will drop the ending and beginning consonants. I know what he's saying, but he isn't always understood by our relatives when they come to town I have to "translate" for my son, which is a pain.

I just want for him to be understood by his classmates and teachers come preschool time, in about a year. So, for right now, he goes has speech once a week.

Hope this helps,
Kristina

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A.E.

answers from Austin on

Talk to your pediatrician about your concerns. If your doc doesn't think it is anything to worry about and you are still worried,contact your school district's PPCD/EC (early childhood) department and ask them what the procedure is for a referral or testing.

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C.A.

answers from Houston on

When my twin boys turned 3 and went to their 3 year check up, my pediatrician recommended I contact my local school to have them tested for speech therapy. I contacted our school, and they were tested and both needed speech therapy. We went twice/week for 30 minutes. We also had a little bit of homework to reiterate what they had learned in therapy that week. They thought it was a lot of fun-- they really enjoyed it. Good luck

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M.W.

answers from Houston on

Hi there. I know how you feel. I had the same problem with my now 5 year old. People had a hard time understanding her by age 4 1/2, even her dad. Her doctor even suggested to me by the age of 3 that I take her to get tested for her speech. But I would always say "she is to small, she'll out grow it." She would get so frustrated and would just say forget it when people did not understand her. I felt so bad. So I had her tested for her speech because I was affraid that when she went to kindergarten the kids would make fun of her . The therapist told me that yes she had a speech delay, but nothing that could not be fixed. Her problem was also substituting the letter H for the R and other consonants. She went to speech therapy for about three months and they told me that's all she needed. The therapist said that the letter R is the hardest letter for kids to pronounce so she would out grow that on her own. She also told me that there are kids as old as 8 yrs old that still have trouble with the letter R. Needless to say she is now in Kindergarten doing great. Yes they do out grow the problem but it is hard to see them get upset when people can't understand them. I contacted the school district and they gave me the info I needed to get her tested. Good luck and just be patient.

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J.J.

answers from Corpus Christi on

Hey, A., I just wanted to say definitely fight for that referral if you want it, and don't let them tell you no. My son (who turns 3 in April) was slow in speaking--at 18 months he only had 4 words. When his doctor--the pediatrician at the military clinic (my husband's in the Navy)--learned he had no words at one year old, she mentioned sending him for a speech therapy assessment, but then decided to wait until 15 months...then 16 months...and then 18 months. And I let her put me off each time, until 18 months when I absolutely INSISTED (she didn't even ASK how many words he had, or look at the note the nurse had already written about it!). Turns out the speech therapist felt he was doing fine, and said he'd probably start picking words up like crazy any day. Sure enough, a week later he'd more than quadrupled his vocabulary--he was just taking his time.

My son is also not great with his consonants--the other day he was saying something and even I (his usual translator) was having problems: "Train? Drain? Brain?" Turns out it was "crane." But for right now we're just letting him go, although I'll repeat what he's saying properly and see if he'll copy me (usually he will) without making a big deal out of it. It's helped some, and being in "school" with his peers has helped more. Hang in there!

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D.H.

answers from San Antonio on

Well...my daughter kind of did the same thing for a while...and I was doing the same thing you were...trying not to correct her at the time...I did not want her to be frustrated...Then one day I heard my husband correct her on the spot...he just said...the word is____ and she said oh...and repeated it...and never said it wrong again. (I guess she just did not know she was saying it wrong.) Since then, I have made a point of correcting her on the spot...kindly and gently. Like with the "d" and "b" sounds...I would say it very pronounced. Most of the time she remembers...but sometimes she forgets and I have to remind her again. If she gets frustrated I just giggle and say..."I know aren't words really tricky sometime?" Our final word that she was having trouble with was Kitchen...she kept calling it Chicken. Now she still says chicken but very quickly says oh I mean Kitchen!
I think that your family is right...it can be something they grow out of. My daughter has a very huge vocabulary and learned a lot of words in a short period of time...which is probably why she had a hard time getting all of them right. I think that it takes time and patience to keep teaching them about language and that it will come along if you keep working with her. I think that the majority of the lesson with these sort of things...is teaching them how to be patient with themselves during this learning process...how to curb their frustrations and not take themselves too seriously...and how to have a love and a fun about learning!

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K.G.

answers from Odessa on

Hi A., I've had a similar experience with my 5 year old little boy. No one could understand a word he said and it was extremely frustrating to say the least. We had his ears checked and I even talked to his Dr about it. He started kindergarten this year and I spoke with the speech therapist there. Once he started school his speech improved tremendously! The school also tested him and he is starting speech therapy also. You may just have to keep working with her and once she starts school I think she'll be fine. Hang in there!

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T.L.

answers from Houston on

Every child is different but I do know that there is natural progression for speech development. My five year old daughter just qualified for speeech therapy through CFISD. She has trouble with /k/, /g/, /v/. I thought she would outgrow it but when her preschool theachers told me that other children were having a difficult time understanding her I decided to have her evaluated. They tested her hearing and vision first and then we had a speech eval. All you have to do is call your local elementary school and they will give you the contact to start the process...and it is all free through the school district! Good luck :)

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D.S.

answers from Houston on

It is common for children this age to not pronounce every letter exact. And there are those who really have trouble.

I have twins who will be five in a few months and they do the same thing. There "TH" is pronounced with an "F"..so three is free. I am not worried about it. At times when they say it will I correct them...not everytime.

Here's what I do most....whenever we are all together...say a the dinner table... we play a game of sounds. Each of us gets to make any letter sound we want and others have to follow. Then each of us adds a word behind that sound and it makes funny words...everyone laughs!!! So, when it's my turn, I make sure we get "TH" in there. In doing this, they also learn rhyming!

This has not worked for us yet, but they are still 4 years old and I'm hoping when they are ready, the proper pronounciation will be heard.

Good luck.

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R.K.

answers from Austin on

My son who is now 29 had some speech problems when he was younger. There are places where they test young children for speech problems and some of them are free. You might want to talk to someone at UT and see if they have a program. Also check out the internet for places that do early intervention for education. Also sometimes the school system will have programs for pre-schoolers.

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A.G.

answers from Brownsville on

I don't see anything wrong with correcting her with the correct sounds. Also, try not to have "work on sounds" time cause it sounds like work to kiddos. Instead, try to make games out of it and reward her when she pronounces correctly (even with pieces of candy at first till you gradually use less and take that reward away). I get these tips from speech therapists, if you don't see an improvemenmt soon, try taking her to speech therapy for a while!

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D.L.

answers from Houston on

I have seen the speech therapist at the montessori I work at use a mirror with the children to have them make thier lips the same shape as hers when they say the word. I had never thought of that until the day I saw it, and I thought it was a wonderful way of "showing" a child how to talk! She also uses hands on stuff. Like if she wants them to say bear she will get the bear, show it to them and then say it for them and then have them look in the mirror and repeat it several times. You can make it fun and sing songs and say silly things and make funny noises aswell!

Don't worry to much though. She might just need a little extra time to start saying the words correctly. Doesn't mean there is anything wrong though!!

Good luck!

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L.S.

answers from Houston on

Your school district will provide - at no charge - testing and speech assistance if it is needed, beginning with preschoolers, even if they are not enrolled in school yet. I suggest you call your local elementary school and talk to the school counselor. That person can direct you. And yes, she probably will grow out of it, but it won't hurt to get a professional opinion and a little help if needed. (And enjoy those little ones - they grow up too fast!)

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H.J.

answers from Houston on

Check with your local school district for a speech evaluation. It sounds like she has a common articulation error where she's substituting one sound for another. This is acceptable as normal up to a certain age, and is acceptable for some sounds more than others. However, by age 4, she should be easily understandable to most all strangers.

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S.B.

answers from Houston on

Hi A., I do in home daycare and have a deaf child who JUST TURNED 3 AND recently got the koklear implant. i HAVE WORKED WITH her speach therapist. I have acquired all sorts of information for her and recently learned that childrens brains are programed to learn certain letters at differnt phases. Some letters they don't learn to pronounce until they are 6 years of age. At your daughters age her brain is not programed to pronounce a lot of the letters you have mentioned. All children are different. I work with my children as a group and kmeep encouraging them to say there words properly. Just keep working with her and she will catch on.

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S.H.

answers from Houston on

The best prevention is to read 2 books twice per day. In addition to you reading, try califone. If you don't own one, try Scholastics. You can order books that come with tapes dirt cheap. OR BETTER YET...check a few out from the library. They are books that come with tapes. This allows your children to hear the author read the book, changing the voice for characters, etc. It really works. Don't speak too fast or too slow with your children. Sound every word out (very proper). I had a child come in that would barely talk because he was always given the reply, "huh? what are you saying? say it again!" or flat out ignored and people just shook their heads as if they understood. 30 minutes of reading and califone daily...Now we can't shut him up! We all understand his EVERY word! Lord, have mercy.

P.B.

answers from San Antonio on

Hi A.,

All three of my sons when three years of age would answer that they were "free years old" when asked! They usually learned to say "three" properly right about the time they turned four, so know that your daughter will learn some of this on her own.

However, if she is regularly getting frustrated that others can't understand her AND if extended family members really have trouble understanding her, you might want to have her evaluated. It is not uncommon for a youngster to benefit from some help in this situation and it is probably easily addressed.

Let me know what you decide!

Good Luck,
J. B
Parent Coach

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P.W.

answers from Beaumont on

I have a friend that just went through this. She wound up calling Early Childhood Intervention. (However her daughter was almost 3.) She qualified (and the service is free.) She now attends the local elementary school every Wed morning for a 30 minute one on one speech lesson. I think your daughter being 4 is too old for ECI, so I recommend you contact your local elementary school and ask them. It is a free service. And the worst they can say is she doesn't qualify, (and that means she is developmentaly on track!) Also, most insurances will not cover private speech lessons or even a speech evaluation, so the public school system is the way to go. My friend was very concerned with her child being labeled "special ed", when she does enter school. I just want to assure you that "Speech" doesn't come with that. First off, there are yearly evaluations, where they will determine if she needs to be in it next year. Also as a second grade teacher myself, I had quite a few that were "pulled out" of my class for a thirty minute speech lesson once a week. The kids that stayed were always jealous of the ones that left, because they would always come back with flavored tongue depressors and things of that nature. I will say if your daughter has a severe speech problem she might be in another class, this would truly be a special ed class. However, if you can understand her, I don't think that is the case! Alot of speech "Substitutions" like you described above are developmental, however, it is worth the peace of mind, to call the school and get her evaluated!

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L.I.

answers from Odessa on

Hello,

I am a speech pathologist in private practice in Midland. You are right to be concerned and it sure doesn't hurt for you to take her to a speech pathologist to have her tested. You might check with your school district to see if they have regularly scheduled "Child Finds". Our district has early intervention programs for 4 year olds. You can also check to see if your insurance would cover an evaluation by a private therapist. They should have a list of providers in your area. Most children work better wtih someone other than their mom and there is a progressions of sounds that need to be addressed rather than just a "hit or miss" process. Good luck and don't give up! L.

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B.L.

answers from Houston on

When my son was three I was told he needed speech therapy for a lisp. We were living in Australia and I noticed almost all the kids sounded like they lisped on certain sounds due to their own way of pronouncing certain sounds.

Then I noticed he was interchanging certain sounds, such as f and s.
I am not a speech therapist, but worked in Special Ed. for many years. One of the things I noticed with many kids - my son as well, was that they can make the sounds, but hearing certain sounds differentation is harder than some of us think.
Once he learned hwo to SPELL the words with a picture association that worked for him making the correct sound, his errors disappeared.
He did receive a very short round of exercises in "speech class" in kindergarden, but the teacher would get angry that he refused to do the homework. His problem entirely cleared up, however.

I would say pressuring a child is not good. Giving associations = teaching a sound's letter and pictures that go with the sound [phonics] may help - but don't just do it by sound.
Even though your child has not had ear infections, other things can definitely cause hearing problems. SO every child should have hearing tested.
Hearing and processing sounds is different - and processing language is again different.

I often lag in hearing due to distractons, but have no hearing problem according to my dr. It is a pprocessing problem [transfer flow and speed].

I am extremely good at reading and identifying and hearing phonics, yet upon taking oral testing for some sounds without visuals can attest to the fact which speech therapists know - b's and d's sound alike without other cues, f's and s's. There is a lot more to combinations of words, and very young children are still organizing at a low information level.
Think about the other side of it - writing. We know that kids scribble and think they are writing. They are making communication marks, so they really ARE writing. The marks represent what they decide they represent.

Later they start to learn a system provided for us to all communicate together in the same way. If they are really creative, they may invent their own code again later!
God luck, and don't sweat this too hrd unless a doctor tells you there is a medical problem. Schools generally test and provide speech therapy where needed these days.
Ask if you feel it may be needed.A speech therapist may show your child how her mouth should look, where to place the tongue, etc. using a mirror if needed.

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D.A.

answers from Austin on

I am a big advocate for early speech therapy. My daughter was difficult to understand and had SO MUCH to say. She worked with a therapist (once a week) for less than 1 year and had tremendous improvement. I was concerned that she would be teased at school if we waited for her to "grow out of it". Hope that helps!

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C.P.

answers from Houston on

Please check with your local school district to see if they do pre-school screening. Your daughter may qualify for this. The earlier a child can get speeck therapy the easier it is for them when they start school.

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D.M.

answers from El Paso on

Ok, I know this might sound silly but, she is having trouble with a "lazy" tongue... When I had custody of my God-Son we experienced the same issue and after a little over $1000 in speech therapy we were able to do it at home, there a ton of techniques, take a lolly-pop and have her do tongue exercises... hold the lolly-pop and have her push against it for counts to 5 do it 10 times, then switch to pushing with the sides the same way, have her hold her tongue to the roof of her mouth for the same routine… it will be fun for her because in the end she gets the candy... try sugar free for your sanity! :) do this twice a day, and make it an everyday thing, it will help strengthen her tongue and it will help her improve her diction! Don’t worry, it really won’t take long before you see improvements…

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B.B.

answers from Austin on

my son is still a little young (3yrs) for me to be worried about this same issue, but he does a lot of the same, like 'thing' is 'hing' & others, as of now I just think it's cute. but, he has tubes from multiple ear infections. Awhile back he started saying 'what?' all the time to us, so we took him to the ENT to have his hearing checked again & it is fine, no hearing loss. But, it was GREAT piece of mind, I highly suggest at least having her hearing checked, it's worth a co-pay. If she goes to school, preschool or MDO, I'd ask her teacher about it & see what they think too. If it is a speech issue, the sooner you can address it & get her some help, weather through you yourself or with a speech therapist, the better for down the road in elementary school. Good luck & I hope it is just an age thing that she will grow out of, most likely the case!

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A.C.

answers from San Antonio on

Some of this may be age appropriate. Although, you should take her for a speech evaluation at your elementary school. If she qualifies it is free through the state. My son had speech therapy from 20 mo to 4yo and now. He had those same issues. Call your school district and ask for an evaluation with the speech pathologist.

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S.W.

answers from Denver on

Have your daughter evaluated by a speech therapist. Call the Director of your a reputable preschool (if your daughter doesn't go yet), your doctor, or even the closest elementary school, or your church to get recommendations. Both my daughter's went to speech therapy and it is much easier to approach any speech delays while they are young because they think it is fun (playing games) and like the attention.

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N.S.

answers from Houston on

I would have a hearing test regardless of the number of ear infections she's had. Also, might consider a speech therapist if it remains a problem when she enters school.

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N.C.

answers from Victoria on

Hi A.,

Contact the Special Services department of your local school district. They begin working with the children as early as three in speech therapy and can avert many social issues the child can face when interacting with family and peers.

Regards,
N. C

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G.K.

answers from Austin on

Although there is always the possibility of some hearing loss with anyone, she will probably grow out of it. When my 35 year old son was 5, he asked his grandmother if he could have some women in his tea. He of course was trying to say lemon but the look on my mother's face was one for posterity! We still get a giggle out of the incident especially now that he has kids of his own.

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A.C.

answers from Houston on

She may not have to be school aged to receive free speech therapy from the school district. You could go to the nearest elementary school and have the diagnostician evaluate her to see if she qualifies. You could also have the pediatrician check her ears and do a hearing screen.
Linda C

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A.R.

answers from Waco on

My son also has some speech problems. He is now in 1st grade and working with a speech teacher at school. I don't know how old your youngest one is, but they suggested to me last year in Kindergarten to let my son lie down on the floor with his baby sister and make baby sounds. They said some of the baby talk is more natural because they're trying to start making words they just don't know it. So try letting her lay down with little sister and make some of those sounds. It also is more fun and a little silly but it helps. My son has improved tremendously thanks to his speech teacher and her advice.

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C.G.

answers from Austin on

Another question for you and your Doc: Does dyslexia run in you or your husband's family? Dyslexia has hearing based issues and thus implications in speech. Tone deafness, problems with rhyming sounds (my brother Reid was Wee-wee as all of us kids were dyslexic! Poor guy.) My nephew (yes, dyslexic) benefitted from speech therapy as he had similar speech issues.

Just another possibility!

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L.M.

answers from Houston on

My almost 6 year old son has the same problems, bottom lip upper teeth letters. I never paid much attention to it because I could understand him. His child psychologist is the one who is more insistant that he have a speech evaluation. She was perplexed that his teacher has not said something about it. He is in Two-Way Immersion, speaking Spanish in his class. The sounds he is having trouble with are pronounce differently in Spanish, so she is not hearing them as much.

I talked with the speech pathologist at my school and she suggested that I show him how to hold his mouth, exagerating, and have him hold a mirrow watching how himself. I have also used the trick of holding his upper lip up so he can't bring it to his bottom lip. This has worked for him.

At first, he would pitch a fit and not even try. The more he is working on it, the easier it is becoming for him and hence less fit pitching!

We also had trouble with the word Look, he would pronounce Lourk. Evertime we would hear him say it, we would say, "what was that word" and make him re-pronounce it. The more it got used to saying it correctly, the more often he said it correctly. Now, we rarely hear him say it incorrectly.

You can request a speech evaluation now, even before she starts kinder, and start the lessons to change it. Since you have military insurance, I would go ahead and do it now.

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T.P.

answers from Houston on

Hi, I had the same problem with my son. At the age of two he was still not talking, I talked to my doctor and we got him in a speech therapy. He is now 8 and in school still doing therapy but with great progress. He no longer replaces b with d or F with H. We are still working on the R sound. I don't think yu have alot to worry about but I would look into speech therapy in your town. Hope this helps you and good luck.

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J.K.

answers from Austin on

Call the public elementary school near you and ask to speak to a Speech Therapist, or the person who is in charge of early childhood intervention. They can set up a free evaluation of your child for Speech problems. That way, you can get a professional opinion and advice on this problem. I am a special ed. teacher (PPCD) and it seems that most of the substitutions sound developmental and will go away with time, but I am not a Speech therapist and an eval will set your mind at rest. Thanks. J. K.

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J.P.

answers from San Antonio on

My son has had articulation issues and we are military also. BAMC has a wonderful children's speech pathologist named Sheri Sparks. I highly recommend getting your daughter evaluated...the best that they can tell you is that is 100% perfect. Besides, there is no out of pocket cost. There is no harm in getting her checked out. Good luck!

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