Homework (Families)

Production Homework
Your child's production homework is to say the words at least once daily, spending a minute or two on it. First you say the word clearly but not terribly loudly, and then your child tries to say it. If he says it wrong, you give him feedback on what he said and again give a good example of the word. "You said boo, but you meant boom. Try again, boommm."

Ear Training Homework
The most important homework is just for mom and dad (and grandma, and the daycare teacher, and so on). Your child does not do anything for this homework. It is called ear training, which is where you train your child to notice his own errors. If he does not notice the errors, he cannot fix them. When he says a word wrong and you know what he meant, you say, "Tee? You are not old enough to drink tea. OH, you meant tree." You let him know what he said by copying it exactly as he said it. You try to show a difference in meaning, if possible, such as tea/tree. Then with a relaxed, "silly me" smile, you let him know how the word is really said. He may ignore you, forcefully tell you that he did NOT say tee, look puzzled... It is okay, just keep training his little ears so that as he learns how to say the words correctly, he will begin to correct himself. The day he responds, "Yeah, tree," will be one for celebration.

Note: never do ear training when your child is upset. No need to frustrate him further. Again, we never want him to have negative feelings about communication.

Metaphonological Skills Homework
Your child's metaphonological skills homework is to practice the current skill at least twice each week. Your speech pathologist will direct you on what to practice. As your child's speech improves, metaphonological skills will become a more prominent part of therapy and homework, and you will do this homework more frequently.

Adult Learning
If your child is three years old and still very hard to understand, I encourage you to purchase Barbara Hodson's book at www.phonocomp.com. It will help you understand not only the speech disorder but the strategies that have been proven to work and the pitfalls that need to be avoided. This book is written with speech pathologists as the audience, but it is not super dense. The reason I encourage families to learn about their children's speech disorders is because you are your child's first advocate. You need to know what to advocate for.

Teaching Specific Sounds