Son Needs Help with Phonics

Updated on July 06, 2009
H.S. asks from Ypsilanti, MI
8 answers

My three and a half year old is a sweet little boy, but he needs some help with the way words sound. When he says fishy, it comes out as pussy. :/ I nearly died of embarrassment when he said, "Look mommy, pussies!" in Meijer. If anyone has any ideas of what I could do to help get his words to sound how they should, I would be really grateful to hear them; I am waiting on an application to YPS to get him enrolled in pre-school with their "special ed" area.

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So What Happened?

His hearing has been tested; his hearing is fine. A speech therapist was recommended by early on after his evaluation. I'm waiting on an application for preschool through YPS ... they have a speech therapist in the special ed program. He's a very smart little boy; passed a Kroger truck the other day and he said, "Look mommy, kroger. They sell groceries." We never shop at Kroger.

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answers from Detroit on

This is developmental.. it is not a problem with phonics.. it is a speech problem.

he might qualify for speech therapy if his speechis that bad.

he will probably outgrow it l

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answers from Detroit on

My oldest is 4 and I noticed started having pronouciation issues. I had her hearing tested and she failed three tests and ended up needing tubes, and a tonsilectomy and adnoidectomy in May. I already notice a difference in her speech. I'd get his ears checked for sure just in case. I am giving my daughter the summer to check on her speech, but I have her signed up for speech in preschool just in case this fall. HTH!!!



answers from Detroit on

Try the leap frog phoenics series-- start with the letter Factory.



answers from Grand Rapids on

This is not a problem with Phonics. Your son is experiencing difficulties with his oral expressive language (speaking). The first step is to make sure he is understanding what he hears because developmentally this comes first. If there isn't an issue with his hearing or understanding what he hears, then it is in his own ability to form the sounds in his mouth. This is very normal for two and three year olds and he will probably develop past this. My suggestion to you is 1. wait a little while before panic. 2. Don't ever say "no, say FISHY" this will raise the anxiety in your child and may actually stall the progress you are hoping to achieve. Instead, when he says a word incorrectly and you know what he means, just simply say, "right Elijah, Mommy sees the fishy". This way you are reinforcing his oral expression and encouraging him to share with you and you are also properly pronouncing the word so that he is able to hear the differences and begin to self correct. Hope this helps.



answers from Lansing on

Hi H.!

I am a preschool teacher and sounds to me like this might age appropriate development! His muscles in his mouth and his tougue are still developing and need to strengthen! In time it will happen! If you are really worried I know lots of little boys (and girls) who see a Speech therapist at this age! No worries.....he will most likely grow into good speech and articulation!



answers from Detroit on


As the mother of a seven year old girl who goes to Occupational Therapy I would suggest you get him evaluated by a speech therapist. My daughter's speech was delayed due to numerous ear infections so we received speech therapy. Now you would never guess she ever had a delay in speech (she currently goes for her fine motor delay).

They can help teach you how to help your little guy. I know for me I knew there was a problem but didn't know how to "fix" it. They're great at giving you the tools to help your little one succeed.

If you truly think phonics are the real issue I would suggest the Leapfrog Letter Factory DVD. I picked mine up at Target for $10. It's a great way for the kids to learn their letters and the letter sounds. It's a great teaching tool and the kids love to watch it...over and over and over. ;)

Good luck and hang in there as things will get better.

Take care!




answers from Detroit on

I'd get his hearing checked. That's what it sounds like to me, more so than a need for special ed! I mean he's only 3 and lots of kids are mispronoucing words. But why put him in special ed if it's a hearing issue? Look into it. And then check out the Fun with Phonics program.



answers from Lansing on

My number 3 child, who is a boy, had a speech impediment, he would pronounce his "r" as a "w" (ruby red would sound wuby wed). He attended preschool from age 3 with speech impediment, entered public school prekindergarten w/speech impediment, kindergarten same issue and when he was in 1st grade it was finally realized he was not going to grow out of it and the public school had a speech therapist work with him for the whole school year three times a week. No cost to me. He is 23 years old now and speaks clearly, w/o speech issues. He's a charming delight. You probably have a couple years yet to see if he will grow out of it or if speech therapy is needed. Best to all.

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