Last blog post, I talked about generalizing speech sounds using “My Special Five” (go here). In this post, I’ll talk about three other ideas to help with speech sound generalization.
Change where they are doing therapy
This can be challenging in already tight schools, clinics, during covid times and privacy requirements. If it is possible, move to different areas and change up the activities. The idea behind this is the idea of “studying where you take the test,” but in reverse. Instead of priming children to produce good speech where they are used to practice, changing the environment will make it slightly more complex and help “prime” them to have better speech in a new environment.
Talk to someone different
Again with privacy laws, this can be challenging in a school setting. If possible, have the child tell the secretary, principal, school staff member a joke, a story, or read part of a book. The idea here is to have them concentrate on their sound and say them correctly to another person. This is a version of changing the environment by changing the environment and changing the child’s conversational partner.
If this doesn’t logistically work, then you can send this home as homework. Have the student call a family member, order take out, or phone and ask a question. In these cases, the parent is monitoring their speech.
Set up times where the child needs to use their good speech
This one is best done at home, but you can do this at school with some creative thinking. Set up a specific time, and have the parents monitor the child’s speech. The parent then corrects the child’s error for a particular amount of time. This activity is different from “My Special Five.” Instead of only correcting five words throughout the day, you set up a time and correct every mispronunciation of the sound(s) they are working on to improve for that set of time. I usually recommend that you keep it relatively short, say 15 minutes to start. Try and change up the time you are correcting their speech.
What are your favourite activities for generalizing speech sounds?
If you are not ready for generalization activities, here are some great posts about artic therapy from a few of my friends: