preschoolers mispronounce certain sounds
Find a Conversation
|Tue, 04-27-2010 - 2:51pm|
I just read an article about Preschoolers mispronouncing sounds... and Logan definitely does this... especially for "L"s. (sometimes his name comes out as "Yogan" - not as much as it did before though) Just thought I'd put it out there for everyone else to read too :)
Don't worry; certain sounds are tough for a preschooler to pronounce. For instance, producing a "t" instead of a "k" sound, such as "tate" for "cake," is a common substitution and is nothing to worry about unless your child is approaching age 5 (in which case, talk to her pediatrician, who may refer you to a speech-language pathologist). Most 3- and 4-year-olds can say "p," "b," and "m" sounds easily because they can watch your lips and see how the sounds are formed. Consonants such as "k" and "g" are hard for preschoolers, because they're produced at the back of the mouth, and your child can't actually see how to make the sound. Other sounds that your child may struggle with at age 3 include
* "f" pronounced as "p," such as "pish" instead of "fish"
* "g" pronounced as "d," such as "dame" instead of "game"
* "ch" pronounced as a "sh," such as "wash" instead of "watch"
* "sh" pronounced as a "s," such as "sip" instead of "ship"
* consonants in the middle of words left out, so "baseball" becomes "bayball"
* words with more than one syllable become shortened or simplified, so "Emily" becomes "Memmy" or "Emmy"
Sounds that may present difficulties for 3- and 4-year-olds include
* "l" pronounced as a "w" or a "y," such as "yeg" instead of "leg"
* "r" pronounced as a "w," such as "wabbit" instead of "rabbit"
* "s" often lisped as a "th" sound, such as "thun" instead of "sun"
* "v" pronounced as a "b," such as "ban" instead of "van"
* consonant blends, where two consonants are right next to each other, such as bl, dr, th, tr, dr, sl, sm, sn, and st, mispronounced by leaving one of the sounds off("stop" becomes "top" or "sop")
Sometimes the difficulty in pronunciation has less to do with a particular letter sound than with the construction of the word itself. For instance, your child says "Daddy," so you know she can make a "d" sound, yet she pronounces "dog" as "gog." In fact, she's mispronouncing the word because the "g" sound comes right after the "d" sound. Since the "d" is pronounced in the front of the mouth and the "g" is in the back, saying "dog" requires some tongue gymnastics that may be hard for a 3-year-old. By age 4, she should be able to make them.
By around age 3 1/2, your child's speech should be understandable most of the time. Some tip-offs that she may not outgrow her pronunciation problems include drooling when she mispronounces words or difficulty eating or swallowing. In such cases, there may be a physical component to your preschooler's difficulties, and she may need professional help. Talk to her pediatrician, or, if she's in preschool, with her teacher. Her school may refer you to an early speech and language intervention program (usually coordinated through the county or public school system) that will provide a free speech and language screening. Or her doctor can refer you to a private speech-language pathologist for an evaluation.