What are metaphonological skills?
The ability to manipulate speech sounds auditorily. Meta = thinking about. Phonological = speech sounds. This includes rhyming, segmenting, blending, and more. Metaphonological skills are critical for speaking intelligibly and acquiring phonics skills necessary for reading. Metaphonological skills require the child to organize the speech sounds system in his brain.

Why target metaphonological skills?
1. Children with speech delays tend to have reading delays later. Get them on track to pick up phonics on time.
2. Working on metaphonological skills has been shown to improve progress with speech intelligibility.

When should I begin working on metaphonological skills?
Now. If the child has a speech disorder impacting intelligibility, you should work on metaphonological skills beginning at age two or three years. Sure, there is a chance that child will not have a reading disability. But there is a much greater chance that he will. Plus, remember that working on metaphonological skills is going to improve his speech intelligibility. I can think of no reason not to work on them as soon as the child begins therapy.

Please see my slides for more information, including how much time to spend on this.