Understanding three key words | Elizabeth Gunner

When speech and language therapists assess younger children’s understanding of language, we often talk about “key words” or “information carrying words” – ICW’s.  ICW’s is a term originally used by the Derbyshire Language Scheme, 1982, Knowles, W and Masidlover, M. What both of these terms refer to, are the number of words in a sentence you need to understand to follow it correctly.  For more information about ICW’s read our posts about ICW’s,  1 ICW and 2ICW‘s. You should read these posts first to understand the structure, unless you know your child needs to be working at a three key word…

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Teaching the ‘s’ sound – part 2. | Elizabeth Gunner

This is the fourth in our series of posts about teaching sounds.  You can read the post about teaching the “k” sound here and the “f” sound here.  A few weeks ago, Helen wrote about the “s” sound.  As Helen explained, there are more common errors we hear with the “s” sound, but there are also a number of more unusual errors.

So today, I am going to write about some of the other errors that can come with the “s” sound.  If your child is making any of these errors, please seek out the advice of a speech and language therapist.

When should a child be able to say the “s” and “z” sounds?…

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How to use Mr. Potato head in speech therapy | Elizabeth Gunner

We have written a few posts in this series, explaining how we use ‘normal’ toys to target specific speech and language skills.  You can read our posts about using dinosaurs, toy animals, Lego, and Nerf guns. Many younger children find Mr. Potato head very motivating. They also now make a whole range of extra parts and clothes as well as special edition ones. So here are some ideas about using it in therapy.

I find that Mr. Potato head is a great tool for encouraging early interaction and requesting skills in younger children.  It is often a motivating toy, so I am mean and keep…

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s photo cards | Elizabeth Gunner

We have just published a set of 90 photo picture cards for the ‘s’ sound.  We also have packs for the ‘c/k’ and ‘f’ sounds as well.  ‘s’ is another sound that we work on frequently.

This pack comes as a pdf download.  Add it to you shopping cart, check out and pay, and then you will be sent a link via email to download the pdf file.  You will then need to print this yourself and laminate if required.

This pack contains
6 pages with ‘s’ at the beginning of words.  This starts with simple words such as sea and sew and extends through CVC words to 2 and 3 syllable words.
4 pages with…

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Attention and listening for school aged children | Elizabeth Gunner

Last week Helen wrote about attention and listening skills in younger, preschool children.  You can read that post with some great ideas and strategies here.  When children get older and start school, good listening skills are a key factor in academic progress.  If you can’t listen to information and instructions, learning is much harder.

By the age of 6-7, most children have developed their attention and listening skills to the point where they can switch their attention from a task to a speaker easily and can attend to group or class input for a longer period of time.  If you want to…

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Teaching the “f” sound | Elizabeth Gunner

Does your child find the “f” sound hard?  Now let’s be clear, we are talking about the sound ‘ffff’ not any rude words! This is the second in our series of posts about making specific speech sounds.  You can read the first post about teaching the “k” sound here.

When should a child be able to say the “f” and “v” sounds?

These sounds are known as fricatives meaning they are made with a long stream of air.  It is normal for a younger child to mispronounce these sounds.  The normal error is for the “f” to become a “p”, so fish becomes pish.  The “v” sound normally becomes a “b” so van…

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Mumbling | Elizabeth Gunner

Mumbling or unclear speech is something that we come across most frequently with school aged children. They normally have all the expected speech sounds, but when chatting are just harder to understand.  Some may speak quietly, others may speak too quickly, but overall they are just mumbling!  This reduced intelligibility can stop children participating in class and socialising – so what can we do to help?

Firstly, we need to make the child aware of how their talking sounds.  We can’t expect them to correct anything if they don’t realise they are hard to understand.  An easy way to do…

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