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misswebb
misswebb asks:
Q:

How can I help my daughter's speech?

She needs to work on clarity and pronunciation.
In Topics: Speech and language issues
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Louiseasl
Dec 18, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk!

You don't mention how old is your child, so I will answer this question on more generic terms.  If your child is not yet attending public school ( under kindergarten age) then you can call your local school district and request (in writing) for a speech and language screening from their group of early intervention professionals.  This screening/evaluation is geared to compare your child's language and speech skills with others her age.

If your child is of school age, then please request from her school for a formal screening and possible evaluation through the multi-disciplinary team that handles such issues. You also can seek out more information about speech and language on the website I have listed below.

Please also consider asking your pediatrician for a hearing test for your child, too.

Good luck!

Louise Masin Sattler, NCSP
Nationally Certified School Psychologist
Owner of Signing Families
http://SigningFamilies.com

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Additional Answers (3)

bob
bob , Parent writes:
Both of my daughters had this problem and I'm not sure it completely goes away.  I took speech lessons as a child and still, decades later, I have trouble with certain sounds.  But progress can be made.

First place to look is in your school (if your daughter is school-aged), specifically with your daughter's teacher.  My girls took regular speech therapy lessons in elementary school.  It's a slow process - don't expect dramatic changes in weeks or even months.  It takes time to develop certain sounds when our mouths and tongues aren't formed correctly for them.

If your daughter is not in school, then you're probably looking at private speech lessons.  Look in your Yellow Pages under "Speech Lessons" or something similar.  It's worth checking out.

About.com has some tips on common speech problems and some practices for overcoming them, but these might be more oriented towards adults.  Link is below.

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dgraab
dgraab , Parent writes:
Hi, You didn't mention the age of your daughter, or how severe her speech challenges are, but I thought I would share our story, in case it could be helpful to you.

Our daughter had some minor, sporadic difficulty with clear pronunciation of certain letters and sounds in English in preschool, kindergarten and first grade (such as the letter "r" or a few vowel/consonant combinations). She had spoken three languages at age 3 (while we lived abroad), and had a strong accent from that experience, in addition to the typical or 'normal' speech challenges for early learners (which can be compounded for those learning more than one language at once).

After discussing the pronunciation clarity issues with her pediatrician (as well as her teachers and two speech therapists), her father and I opted not to put her in speech therapy, because we and others (including her doctor) didn't feel the extent of her difficulties merited professional therapy. Instead, we worked with her at home, doing more reading aloud and helping her with pronunciation on those letters and sounds she was struggling with (saying it aloud and having her say it back multiple times -- sometimes making a game of it by coming up with silly phrases and songs). And with each well visit to the pediatrician's office, we re-visited the issue, and confirmed each time that she was progressing normally in her speech learning, and not in need of therapy.

In second grade, she participated in two plays -- including as a narrator in a musical. I noticed that these experiences really helped advance her speech, and she has largely overcome the issues she had in previous grades. We're going to continue with the drama classes and having her doing lots of reading aloud, to keep up the progress she's made and support her ongoing learning.

Talk to your daughter's pediatrician, teacher, and the school's or district's speech therapist to see if your daughter would benefit from therapy. In addition to following their advice and recommendations for things you can do to help your daughter, you might also peruse the learning activities on Education.com for your child's grade, and do those focused on speech learning at home (link below).

All the best to you as you explore your daughter's challenge further and help her progress in her speech development.

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HappyLearner
HappyLearner writes:
I don't know how old she is, but she may benifit from reciting sort of rythmic 'cheers', sorta like the cheerleaders do. Just set the speed to fit her ability.

This is where they pronounce all "all the syl-a-bles, one at a time, in a ry-thm". You could have fun together doing this, designing sorta like a foux rap song with rhymes.

An hour a day should be fine- the last hour or so would be best, around 8pm. Studies show that when you try to learn a thing it dosen't get absorbed, or digested, into the appropiate knowlege centers of the mind untill you sleep on it.

That would be a great time of day to get away from the TV too. Much fun!
> 60 days ago

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