flowers - Mommy Speech Therapy

I wanted to give you a place to share your thoughts and success stories that might give some of the much needed inspiration and hope to other parents. What made the difference in your child’s speech success? Was it a particular exercise, a great speech therapist, or maybe just time and persistence?

I added this page because I feel that with all of you great parents out there trying to give your children every opportunity possible, others could receive inspiration from reading the experiences that have been shared here.

**Note** The comments are currently closed on this page but I wanted to leave it published for everyone to read the existing comments. There are many wonderful contributions in the comments below and I hope that you’ll find some inspiration while reading them.


  1. Someone like you, helped someone like me. Both of my kids are deaf but speak very clearly thanks to a dedicated therapist like you. Best of luck, keep doing what you’re doing. You can hear my children at our blog they are ages four(just had a b’day, and six) oh, p.s. no they were not post lingual but PRE lingual deafened.

  2. Dear Heidi,
    I wrote to you with a question last October about my son, who is in kindergarten this year. As if you had a crystal ball, you predicted that he would progress quickly with articulation therapy, and he has! He pronounces virtually all of the sounds correctly now, even ones he really struggled with just a few months ago (for example, “sn”, as in “snow” or “snake”.) The “s” sound in sentences is also getting much less “lispy.” His speech therapist tells us his progress is “excellent”, which is the best we could hope for. I don’t know if he will continue to receive speech therapy in first grade – my gut feeling tells me he will be fine without it, although I will happily continue the sessions if there is benefit.

    Thank you for taking the time to maintain this blog. It is just what is needed in this area.

  3. Heather,

    I am so happy to hear that your son has made so much progress in therapy this year. Helping children communicate more successfully and speak more clearly is truly a joy of mine. Thank you so much for your comment and allowing me to celebrate your success with you. It made my day!

    Best of luck in the future,

  4. Dear Heidi,

    I just wanted to tell you what a phenomenal site you have created and how it is the most indepth, hands-on practical website I have come across.

    I love the indepth exercises and detailed explanations you are giving about what exactly is happening with the tongue/mouth. This site is truly fabulous.

    I live in Toronto, Ontario and my son has gone through a crazy last 17 months with 13 ear infections (12 after tubes). His tonsils and adenoids came out just two months ago. Eight months ago he started stuttering at 2.5 yrs quite badly, though an early talker with a great vocabulary. The stuttering has basically resolved and now with the fluency back to normal we can move on to helping correct several speech errors.

    It has been eight months of so much inner stress, anxiety and worry about his fluency and speech, and I finally feel like things are on the up. I look forward to trying out some of your ideas.

    My question is…how do you encourage a resistant boy 3 year old who does not want to sit and work on his sounds…any reward suggestions?

    Thank you!

  5. Julie,

    That is the most challenging part of therapy, figuring out what will motivate each individual child. Let me share a few of the tricks I like to use.

    If using the word cards I will make a snake or train, whatever you want to call it, and then place a treat the child chooses like an m&m or mini marshmallow after every 2-3 cards. This seems to work for most kids. Some kids I have to get a little more creative with. I also use windup toys, bubbles, puppets, poppers or anything else I can think of. The idea is to reward the child for successful attempts. The ratio of rewards depends on the child. The rewards need to be something the child doesn’t get every day so they will be motivating.

    Good luck and let me know how it goes.


  6. Heidi,
    I am a speech therapist in the Atlanta area and just recently came across your blog. I too am trying to balance my “part time” career as an SLP and being the best mommy I can be to my 10 month old son. I have found your website to be absolutely amazing. You are so knowledgeable in so many areas, along with providing encouragement and confidence in all who you encounter. It is really great to see and I look forward to learning more from you. Thanks!

  7. Hi Heidi,

    I love your blog! It is a one stop shop for very valuable information and guidance. Also, your downloads are very useful.

    I am a speech therapist who is growing my telepractice -private practice using web cams, head sets, and on line software so that my clients and I can hear and see each other while interacting with the therapy games on our computer screens.

    It is so useful to hear from other moms who are balancing being a tuned-in mommy with growing a practice. I look forward to connecting with you!

  8. Well, I hope my story can provide inspiration to others who were in my shoes. I have three children. The first two spoke early. My third child, a boy, who is now 2 years and 9months old got to about 14 months old and I realized he didn’t really have a vocabulary like the other children. He hadn’t really missed any milestones and infact at about 5 or 6 months old was saying “hi” and “ma.” It’s just that almost 10 months later he hadn’t really added anything. The pediatrician wasn’t concerned. By 2 years old I had bugged the pediatrician a few more times and even a pediatrician that wasn’t my sons dr. The verdict…..”don’t worry, he’s a boy and he is the third child.” I wasn’t buying it anymore. I immediately hit the internet researching anything I could. I found this site and felt relief. My nagging feeling that he was severly behind was not me being paranoid, he was behind and something wasn’t right with how his speech was developing. Though he was a loud child he did not say much. Mostly vowel sounds and “mamamama.” Words would come out every once in a while, but it was just sort of there and then we didn’t hear it again for a few weeks or months. Talking was hard for my little guy. I started with a straw cup, chewing gum, and the “Signing Time” videos suggested here and he learned 40-45 signs in a matter of 4-5 weeks. It took a while but with the exception to one, he has replaced all of them with words. He is now heading into words with more than one syllabal and has about 70 words. He is learning new words everyday and adds them to his vocabulary quickly. He can count to ten, knows and can say his colors, and even recognizes and says the letters of the alaphabet. It seemed so far fetched to think I could teach him signs and through repition, discipline, and patience (lots of it on his part and mine) that he would be here 9 months later. Now as I embark on ways to help him with two-word phrases it again seems far fetched, but now I know that in time this to will be a reality. This blog, early intervention services, practice, routine, and patience have all led to sucess for my little boy who has just started putting together “I……duv….you!” Music to my ears!

  9. Heidi,
    Thank you so much for your website! I have been inspired to help my 4 year old son. He was a 32 week preemie and is my little miracle. I noticed speech delays at 3 y/o. He was referred for speech therapy, but our insurance company refused to pay. His pediatrician said to just read to him a lot and to do speech modeling. He attended a 3 y/o preschool this year, and I was told by his teacher that he was having trouble communicating. I was referred to the public school system for evaluation. They said he definitely needed help, but that they don’t have the resources readily available! Ugggghhhh!!! I didn’t know what to do. I have been getting nothing but roadblocks with helping him with his speech. My insurance company refuses to cover it. I’m not really sure why they think speech is just something you can do without :(. I have done research and local speech pathologists charge anywhere from $50.00-$85.00/half hour. I was overwhelmed.

    These are tools that I can definitely do at home to help him. You have given me some mommy power! Thank you for that. God Bless you!

  10. Susan,

    I’m so happy to be of help! I’m sorry you have had such a tough time getting the services you need. It sounds like your son is lucky to have a mom willing to put in the time to work with him. You can do it!

  11. hi

    my son is 24 months old and is not saying very many words he can say mama, dada, gaga, yeah, he says hmmm for blue and thats it, do you think i should bring him to a speech therapist he knows all his colours and numbers and gets so frustrated that he cant say them and always puts his hand on my neck for me to say the words for him , i have brought him to my GP and he said noone will see him untill he is at leat 30 months, i was just wondering what your thoughts were on this were as its hurting me so much to watch him struggle with trying to communicate to me and others

    thank you

  12. Claire,

    It sounds like you and your son are frustrated. I would definitely recommend talking with a speech pathologist. I would start by checking to see if there is an early intervention program in your neighborhood. They are generally federally funded and serve children under the age of three. If for some reason that service is not available to you where you live I would try the ASHA (American Speech Language Hearing Association) website to help you locate a professional near you.

    Best of Luck!

  13. This blog is a God send! I thought my 5 year old twin boys were unique with their inability to pronounce the letter “y” (they pronounce it like “l”) and they have problems pronouncing “th”. Now I know that there is help and support for me and my boys. Thank You.

  14. Dear Heidi,

    Thank you so much for this website! It has helped my family so much. For years both of my children had significant difficulty with the “s” sound. Their school said it wasn’t interfering with their education so they did not provide speech therapy. I relied on websites like yours, and other blogs I found online to gather information and worked with my kids at home. I also used a program I found called Speedy Speech Home Edition which was absolutely amazing and finally did the trick. My kids no longer have a lisp and are much easier to understand. Thanks again for all of your help!

  15. I am thrilled to find your site. We have a 2 1/2 year old son from China that has a repaired cleft lip and palate. We have just started speech therapy last week. I look forward to learning techniques via your site to help our little guy communicate with us better.

  16. So happy to have found your website! I am conflicted after the speech screening my son just received and your posts are helping me make sense of the results. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge!

  17. Thank you so much for this very informative site. I am looking forwrad to trying out the exercises with my 5 yr old. I am also looking for assistance to teach the ‘R’ sound to a 7 yr old. Any suggestions?

  18. Hi Heidi-
    I am a “retired” ECSE teacher of 12 years and mom to a 2 year old with cerebral palsy.
    As an “old school” teacher, I am used to speech therapists using oral motor techniques, drill and practice, with kiddos with CP to help them form beginning sounds and words.
    Our sp/l therapist doesn’t have this background and we are going nowhere with our son’s speech.
    He is a smart boy, receptive language and vocab is right on track…. he is FRUSTRATED.
    We have tried a bit with assistive tech (not interested) and he does say words that surprise us on occasion (mom, out, go, ball, kitty, juice, milk) nothing is consistent.

    Anyway, I LOVE YOUR site and wanted you to guide me in anyway possible!!! Thanks! Jennifer

  19. Check out my new post, “Correcting the R Sound a Primer for Parents,” by Christine Ristuccia, author and creator of “The Entire World of R.”

  20. Jennifer,

    Without having seen your son it is difficult to give you any specific suggestions. Children with CP always seem to benefit from oral-motor exercises just as you have indicated. I would recommend that you see a SLP that can look at your son individually and outline an oral motor program for him that will address his specific needs. Make sure they address exercises that will strengthen his jaw, lips and tongue.

    As for his communication goals, you ultimately want to develop a plan where he will be successful in his language attempts. If that means using sign language, pictures or assistive technology to supplement his verbal attempts that will likely be more empowering for him and in the end encourage more language attempts.

    I would also encourage starting an articulation program. Starting with a sound you may already hear him saying and try to encourage him to use that sound on new words he may not be using yet. Start with “auditory bombardment,” this means that you just give him lots of exposure to these words. For example if the /m/ sound is one he does you may try printing my /m/ cards out and glueing them on juice lids. Say the word for him then drop it in a can. After awhile see if he’ll at least say the initial /m/ sound for you before he has a chance to drop the lid into the can.

    I hope this gives you a little direction. Best of luck!


  21. Heidi,

    Your website is awesome and provides lots of techniques to help a child overcome his speech issues. I have a 3 year old son who has very few vocabulary. He gets frustrated and throws things. We started his speech therapy about 3 months ago but no big improvement. When the speech therapist tries to intimidate him with his favourite toy, he walks away from it and starts playing with something else. It’s getting hard as he is not motivated at all. Once in a while he repeats the words heard in the speech therapy at home but its inconsistent. Could you please advise on what other tricks that I could do to motivate him and speak more ?


  22. Hi Heidi-
    I just came across this site, and it is excellent! I’m also a Mommy and SLP, and I will be referencing this site frequently. Keep up the good work! 🙂

  23. Hi Heidi. I’m a SLP that works in early intervention and was interested in using some of your information (like the sippy cup/pacifier essay) to share with parents. Is that possible? If I can print out, what citation would you like me to use to make sure you get the credit?

    Thanks so much.

  24. Amy,

    I’m glad you’ve been able to find some helpful information. You’re welcome to print out and share whatever you’d like. You can just add this line to the bottom of any pages you’d like to share: by Heidi Hanks M.S.CCC-SLP © 2010


  25. Thank you!

    My almost 4-year-old has major speech issues. He needed 6 months of language development class before he had enough vocabulary to get into the articulation part of his problem. My 1st grader’s teacher recently mentioned that he was having issues with his “th” sound, but that it was not “serious enough yet” to qualify him for the on-campus specialist. So, I asked my younger son’s speech teacher for suggestions of what I could do at home. She suggested that I check out your website! I’m finding it is helping me correct my older son, but also help me understand what the teacher is doing with my younger son.

    Thank you so much!


  26. I really don’t have a story YET. I am just so excited to have found your site. I did utilize the turn taking tips you wrote about today, and it worked. I also wanted you to know that my two year old son’s name is Sawyer, and his name sign is “Tornado”, so when I came across this site, I knew I had to put it in my favorites and I am so glad I did. Looking forward to reading and applying more of your wisdom.

  27. Sunni,

    It sounds to me like the best thing for your son is for you to try to become part of his world while at play. What I mean by this is if your son keeps walking away from a communication partner to play by himself you need to follow him, and play with whatever he plays with. Imitate him, interrupt him, get down on his level so you are in his space. Make noises, be silly, do whatever it takes to get him to notice you. Once you get his attention be sure to allow him an opportunity to participate in the play through turn taking. Your goal should be to get as many back and forth interactions as possible. These are called “circles of communication.” If you can increase the “circles of communication” you will begin to see a lot more attempts at communication in general from him. Good luck!

  28. Chrissy,

    Thanks for the nice comments. It’s fun to hear you have a little Sawyer too! Good luck with everything!

  29. Dear Heidi
    Thank you so much for this wonderful resource. My 5 year old has trouble with ‘l’, ‘th’ and ‘r’. With our 4 yr old in speech therapy for more serious speech impediments we were struggklin with what it would have cost to put our 5 yr old into speech therapy also. Using your guides and worksheets is wonderful. HE asks me for a lesson every night, and it’s really working PLUS, we’re having fun. Thank you so much!

  30. This is a fantastic resource. My daughter is 3.5 years old and barely began speaking less than a year ago. She is gaining a large receptive vocabulary and is also expanding her expressive one. She is just starting to practice some articulation with her SLP. With this website and the support of her SLP, I hope she is able to say more words appropriately and clearly. Thanks.

  31. I have a three year old son who has says many single words, but seems to have a hard time forming small sentences. I will be starting speech therapy soon and wondered if there is anything i can do now at home to help him.
    At home we speak Greek, he watches english tv, we read english books. I am wondering iif i am confusing him by using both languages, Should we stick to one language?

  32. my son is 4 but is still at the hard to sit still long stage..he was as you describe your boy as being…
    I use an egg timer for word time and although we have 4 different words sounds to practice we usually do one or 2 and then go play.and we’ll do 10-15 minute practices 3-4 times a day…I don’t give rewards doing the “work” because he then wants to eat and wont do anything also use to be “ammo” to we have moved on!
    placing the letter sounds on the floor and driving a car over them worked, as well as putting them in the back of a dump truck..matching was sometimes good..or playing go fish with them..labelling objects with it’s picture or getting him to find a toy in a prepared box helped too..books with the words in it or good or even just regular story books with you pointing out the words/sounds…
    hopefully this gives you some ideas..i also made up silly songs with the words and wandered around singing them, it gets into their heads and surprise, surprise a few days later i’d hear my son singing the same songs to himeself…i made me sound crazy near other adults worked!good luck.. 🙂

  33. I have just found your website and it is wonderful! I have a 4 year old in speech therapy, but we are not getting very far. He is struggling with the /l/, /s/, and /w/ sounds (among others). Your tips on teaching the /l/ sound have given me inspiration to try to help him at home. I was wondering if you have similar tips for the /s/ and /w/ sounds?

    Thanks for this great resource!

  34. Lise,

    I hope that you will be successful teaching the /l/ sound to your 4 year old using the tips I have shared on this site. You can also find tips on how to teach the /s/ sound in my post, “My child has a lisp, Should I be concerned?” I have not posted any information on how to teach the /w/ sound yet. Check back, hopefully I will get it posted soon. Best of luck!

  35. Gloria,

    Thanks for sharing your great ideas with all of us! Treating articulation can be fun for us and the kids when we are creative.

  36. Anthoula,

    It is true that children exposed to more than one language in the home typically speak a little later than children who come from a home that speak only one language. Simply put, it takes more time for them to sort out the two languages, but you are in no way putting him at a disadvantage. He will figure it out. In the mean time try using language expansion. Language expansion is when you add a word to the word he has just said. For example if he says “car” you would say “blue car.” If he says, “juice,” you would model, “more juice,” or “apple juice.” Doing this will help build his vocabulary while encouraging him to put two or more words together. I hope this helps.

  37. Dear Heidi,

    Hi colleagues. I’m far away in Malaysia, an SLP in Malaysia Ministry of Health. I’m really thankful to get to browse your blog. I’m now starting to introduce iPad, iPod touch and iPhone apps for the speech delayed children to improve their daily communication skills and cognitive functions as well. It is not easy convincing people about the new technology, but, my series of seminars are getting warm responses from special ed teachers, community-based rehab personnel, and professionals. Hope I could share some of the thoughts with you…

    I love AAC the most
    I love Oral Motor (spa for kids and adults ~they love it~)
    I love iPhone and iPad
    I love dysphagia…
    as much as i can….

    It is an honor to be a rehabilitationist and meeting with wonderful parents and clients!!!

  38. Discovered your website and LOVE it. I was talking to a friend this morning about her child’s speech development and when I looked up resources to give her to begin working with her 3 year old, I found your site and it is by far the most appropriate for moms! I am so impressed and if you don’t mind I would like to reference you in one of my posts this week; it would be linked as a resource for moms who might be in the same boat as my friend I was chatting with this morning. I get to help lots of moms at my site and I look forward to sharing this with them 🙂

  39. Thank you Jessica. I would love it if you shared my site with the moms that read your blog (which is so cute by the way, I love it.) I started my blog is to give tips and maybe a little inspiration to other moms who need help with their kid’s speech, and it looks like your doing a wonderful job doing the same, but in your area of expertise, that’s so great. I will be adding your site to my links page as well. Thanks! -Heidi

  40. I just “happened” upon your site and I am THRILLED with the amount and QUALITY of info you convey! I am a mother to a 21 month old boy who was born “tongue-tied”. At 3 wks old the ENT clipped his tongue and he was able to nurse. Much Speech therapy followed and when it ended I was left with a young child who still chokes when eating/drinking. I have just contacted a SLP to have him evaluated again. I am looking forward to working with him to progress in his speech and language development, along with his muscle tone in his mouth. Thanks for all you do. I will keep you posted! Oh, p.s……my sister;s son who is 4 yo just had Cochlear implant in his left ear. We shall see where his journey leads. 🙂 Much joy and peace to you!

  41. Thank you Meredyth. Good luck with your little boy. I’d love to hear an update as you make progress. All the best. -Heidi

  42. Hi Heidi! I am also a “Heidi” and I work as a speech-language pathologist in the public school setting. I want to thank you for the valuable information on your website! I came across it about a month ago and added it to my “favorites!” Also, I really like and appreciate how the overall tone of your site is so encouraging! It really is inspirational. Thank you again for what you’re doing and keep up the awesome work! Take care, Heidi

  43. Hi Heidi,

    I’m desperately grasping for info for my 4 1/2 year old daughter. She is very clearly delayed in her speech. To me, she communicates like a young 3 year old. When she wants something, she’s still referring to herself saying, ‘Hannah, want a drink?’

    There are times when she doesn’t understand what I’m asking her or simply doesn’t know the right words to say, so she’ll just feed me a line from a kids’ movie she’s watched. That’s so frustrating!

    She’s super sensitive too (as am I) so it just makes things tougher for us when trying to communicate.

    I’ve sought info from two local school systems, and have been misled, and treated rudely. I refuse to subject my daughter to that mess.

    My other option so far is to take her to places that are 45 minutes out of our way for therapy. Even so, the one place available has a year long waiting list, and I’m pretty sure we couldn’t afford a private therapist any way.

    I’m dreading her starting Kindergarten because I know the teacher will be all over her because she doesn’t talk much. She’s been in a part-time preschool this year, and has come along way since September, but still not where she needs to be.

    She’s very smart, and does socialize some, but it’s limited because she just doesn’t know how to talk to others. She has no problems with stuttering, pronunciations, forming words, etc. It’s just she doesn’t understand what to say. Can you help me any? I’m so frustrated. Thanks!

  44. Emilie,

    I have to agree that your daughter’s language does not sound typical. Your description of her referring to herself in the third person, repeating back lines from movies when she doesn’t know what to say and only socializes a little because she doesn’t know how to communicate effectively with her peers are red flags that something more may be going on than just a developmental language delay. If it were my daughter I would get her tested by a child psychologist or a speech language pathologist to pin point or rule out what may or may not be causing her language delay. I understand that you may not be able to afford private therapy but if you can at least get some assessments done on your daughter you will have a better idea of what you are dealing with and where to go from there. You may even find out about more options for therapy than you are not currently familiar with.

    I hope this helps and that you are able to get the answers you are looking for. I wish you the best.

  45. Hi Heidi. Thank you for your website – it is a wealth of information. I am an American mom living overseas in Estonia (south of Finland). My son is 7 years old and he is fluent in 3 languages: Estonian, Russian and English. English is our home language. He attends Estonian preschool/schools from ages 3-7. At this point, his Estonian might be better than his English. My husband and I are his only English speaking friends.

    At any rate, we were just visiting the U.S. and I had him professionally evaluated for speech problems. In Estonia, the speech therapist did not find any problems with his Estonian. However, as I had assumed, the U.S. speech therapist did find problems in his English with letters ch, sh, l and r.

    Thank you for your website and the tools that you have provided. I am beginning to work with him on the easier ones – the ch and the sh. And I am seeing what professional American English speech therapy resources there are locally for the r which is quite more difficult.

    Just wanted to thank you for your resource!

  46. Thanks for this wonderful site! I am a mother of three boys ages 9, 5, and 3. My two older boys are in school and doing really well. My youngest child, has difficulty with his speech. (I think….I’m trying so hard not to compare him to his older brothers). It’s hard to remember, but I don’t think that they were this hard to understand at age 3. It seems like he is beginning many words with a “d” sound. He is difficult to understand at times.I was wondering if you could give any advice or have some suggestions on what activities I could use on your website.

    Thanks so much!!!

  47. Hi Heidi. Your blog is wonderful. I too am a speech and language pathologist and mother of four amazing children. I have been working on long island since 1993. Recently I published a book on apples app store called Play Smart! It is a wonderful resource for parents. Most importantly it empowers parents with the tools they need to stimulate language without having to purchase any expensive materials. I’d love for you to look at it and let me know what you think. Continued success with your blog.

  48. Hi Heidi,
    I was wondering if you had any textbook you could recommend for parents on teaching children how to articulate sounds. Someone recommend The Big Book of Sounds by Ann Flowers. Do you have any suggestions?

  49. iam un able to prononce ablphabet L can it be cure please help me in this regard

  50. my age is 30 so how can it be cured any treatment please mention.

  51. Thanks sooooo much for taking the time and energy to develop this website. I homeschool my children and have been searching for a way to help them with pronunciation and articulation issues. Everything out there seems so expensive and unnecessary. Your instructions are clear and straight to the point. Thank You only begins to scratch the surface.

  52. Catherine,

    Thank you so much! That means a lot!

  53. Crystal,

    I can relate very well to you since I have a 9, 5, and 3 year old also. Life can be pretty crazy at times! 🙂 The first thing you need to do is to figure out what sounds he is replacing the /d/ sound with. It sounds like he is replacing multiple sounds with the /d/ sound which is making him difficult to understand. Let’s say for example he replaces the /k/, /g/, /f/, /v/, ch and j sounds with the /d/ sound. In this case I would recommend starting on the /k/ sound since it is typically developed earlier than the other sounds. In my experience children are more successful when you target one sound at a time. While working on a specific target sound children will learn to pay closer attention to their speech and the sounds they are saying. Often times other sounds will self correct as the child masters that initial target sound.

    After you have figured out which sounds your son is replacing the /d/ sound with let me know and I will help you figure out where to start. Good luck!

  54. Audrey,

    I am not familiar with “The Big Book of Sounds.” After looking into it, I may need to add it to my collection of speech materials. It looks like it could be a very useful tool. If anyone has read this book please share your review with us. Truthfully I have not come across a textbook geared toward parents, which is why I began this blog. If anyone has any recommendations they can share with us we’d love to hear them!

  55. Raju,

    Yes, you can learn to pronounce the /l/ sound. Check out my post on How to Teach the L Sound for some ideas on how to get started. Good luck!

  56. hi heidi
    i have been working as an SLP since 1993….i work on Long Island doing early intervention all the way up to school-aged children. I too have four children…..the balance of work and family is challenging and rewarding at the same time.
    First off, i love your site…so helpful and informative…i have been passing it on to the families i work with….one granmother visiting from New Zealand has been working with young woman (that are not native to New Zealand) and are learning English…i was able to pass on your site to her as a resource….
    anyway…my question… i am looking to start a website…and was hoping you would not mind to guide me in the right direction. I have been doing work as a cognitive rehabiliation speacialist with a young girl that has 2 brain tumors….so sad. I was hoping to start the website as a support for this family and many others….
    i am not computer savy… any support would be great…
    thanks again

  57. Kim,

    I loved “Play Smart!” What a wonderful resource for parents. I loved how it described the fundamentals of play in a parent friendly way. Thanks for sharing it with me! 🙂

  58. Kim,

    I love to see fellow SLP’s start blogs. It is such a great way for us to not only share information and ideas with the families we work with but it also allows us to reach out to each other as well as other families in need. I am constantly learning from other SLP’s on the web. One of the easiest ways to get started is to set up a blog with blogger or wordpress. They are both great! Let me know when you’re up and running. I’d love to visit your site!

  59. Thanks again Heidi…
    and much thanks to you again from the grandmother from New Zealand. She is so appreiciate and told me today how very helpful your site has already been. I will let you know when i am finished…so much information to share and pass around…
    thanks again

  60. Heidi,
    I am a speech therapist in South Africa. I was just searching on the web to find some new ideas for therapy when I came across your blog – what a wonderful treasure it is! I’m definately going to use it often. Thank you for being so generous in sharing.

  61. Dear Heidi

    Firstly, thank you for such an informative web site. As a parent I finally feel enpowered to help address my 6.5yr old son’s speech problems. I live in the UK and after pushing with the support of my son’s school will hopefully get him seen by an NHS speech therapist in the Autumn Term. I am keen to spend the 6 week summer holidays working with him to get ahead. He has problems with several sounds, K, G, L, TH (voiced f) and i believe some R sounds to be an issue. He also speaks very quickly and loudly, although hearing tests have come back OK.

    I have started on the L sound following the process you outline and we are already working on the words worksheets. He is delighted with the progress after many tears that he would never be able to speak properly and I feel like I could cry myself to finally see him master it.

    What I wanted to ask is can you work on more than one sound on alternate days, as I am keen to start work on the K/G sounds or should I wait until he has completely mastered the L sound in conversation, although this may take several more months?

    Would really appreciate your feedback and once again thank you .. your web page has been a beacon of hope on the dark days.

    Kind regards

  62. Vikki,

    Thank you for the kind words. I am glad to hear things are going so well! I would recommend you continue to work on the /l/ sound until you master it at the story level. Once you have mastered it at the story level and you begin to work on it in conversation you can introduce a new sound, like the /k/ or /g/. I have found that when you work on more than one sound at a time it can be confusing for a child. Having said that, I have also found that while you work on one sound children will sometimes spontaneously correct other problem sounds as they have learned to pay closer attention to their speech and are trying so much harder. I hope this helps. It sounds like you are making so much progress already. 🙂

  63. Hi. I had a similar experience with my 3 y.o. son. However, I was lucky enough to stumble across the United Healthcare Foundation. They are a non profit that offers grants to parents of children whose insurance doesn’t pay or pay limited benefits for certain assistive therapies. There is an application process and it takes about a month. You do not need to have united healthcare as your insurance provider. The maximum lifetime benefit is 10,000, but that’s a couple of years. The website is Hope this helps!

  64. Hello Heidi,

    Lingua Health and Grupo Lingua recently launched YouTube channels that feature speech-language pathology experts discussing key trends as well as providing insight to clinicians, students and parents. A wealth of information is available from career considerations to the latest research findings.

    Based on the content of your blog, we thought you might be interested in the following videos: “A Parent’s Perspective” ( and “Overcoming Stuttering” ( Please feel free to share these videos with your readers.

    Lingua Health and Grupo Lingua will continue to add new videos every month. A list of our upcoming topics can be viewed on in the Resources section.

  65. Wow! Thank you so much for that info. We have a plan with United health and they are only offering us sessions per child and I have twin 3 year olds. Thank you so much, I plan to apply for this assistance.

  66. Hi there i just stumbled on your site and i have to say i’m so excited! Finally a site where i can turn to, to help my 5year old boy. He just started kindergarden this year and has been falling behind becuse of his speech problems.
    You don’t understand how greatful and helpful your web site really is to me and i’m sure to a whole lot of other parents out there.

    Thank you so much for sharing


  67. Hey Heidi,
    I am an SLP who fairly recently left working for the school system to work privately. Currently I do mostly contract work for a company, and see children in their homes. However, I would like to incorporate more private pay clients into my caseload and perhaps work out a way to see children in my home. Due to my contract work, I have set up my own business through a lawyer and gotten other things done through a CPA. I would love to pick your brain and get some information about how you began seeing clients in your home and anything special you may have done through ASHA or other organizations. Also, thank you for the time and energy you have put into sharing your knowledge. Your blog has been very helpful!

  68. Hi, I have a question. My daughter is 6 1/2 and just started first grade, at a year roound school in Northern California. Her teacher has told me she is a smart little girl who has a good grasp of material and it’s relation but just this afternoon told me he would like her to be accessed by a speech therapist. She pronounces her “th” as d, which I’ve noticed but figured most little kids are in the same boat. Apparently not, and he said she also pronounces “ch” incorrectly as well. What does this mean? Is this something I should be concerned about? Or something her teacher can help her overcome, he said she likely will not qualify for the program because it’s only those two specific sounds, and that most likely the specialist will give him a few tips to work with her on. How can I help her “retrain” her tongue, if that is an issue? Thankyou in advance for your help. It’s nice to know there are mother’s and children out there in the same situation.

  69. Patricia,

    It sounds like your daughter has a very caring teacher that wants the best for her. While your daughter is likely only about a year to a year and a half behind her peers in her articulation I would recommend you start working on it at home. The TH and CH sounds are pretty easy to teach if you take the time to do it. Read my posts “How to Teach the TH Sound,” and “How to Teach the CH Sound” for some tips on how to get started. You may also use my worksheets found on the worksheets page for practice at home. Good luck!

  70. Jennifer,

    I wrote a post for the ASHA blog called “Starting My Private Practice” you may find helpful. I tell all about how I got started in that post. It sounds like you are already well on your way. Good luck!

  71. thank you! i have searched and search for help with my sons “L” words. public school keeps denying him after 2nd phase. i pray these tips will help him. i am very excited and printing like a mad women. God bless you and thank you for posting this. insurance wont cover it and he had large tonsils and fronts and he is trying to spell and read since age 4 and now at age 6 he is reading words that dont have an L. so thank you. i cant wait to get started!

  72. Thank you Alisa, good luck to you and let me know how things go!

  73. Dear Heidi,
    I have had my 3 year 4 month old child evaluated by speech therapist. She is the the 14th percentile and must be under the 7th to qualify for school district help. This is so frustrating to us.

    I asked the therapist who tested her how we could help her and he said practice is the key. The problem is she, can’t say it right and there is no point in practicing wrong.

    We’ve looked into therapy and may end end doing it, but it is quite expensive. Today I felt inspired to look up blogs online. Finding this website was an answer to prayer.

    My daughter cannot say K/C and G initial sounds and she has a frontal lisp. We had discovered on our own that if she puts her finger in her mouth she can say her own name (which starts with a K). But we read your post on how to teach the K/G sound and tried it with her with the tongue depressor. Within about 3 minutes she was able to say the words on your K worksheet with about 50% accuracy- even without the tongue depressor! That is AMAZING since she has never been able to say it before ever.

    We are going to throw out all of our sippy cups tomorrow and buy all straw cups to help strengthen that tongue up.

    When I read your posts I started to cry tears of joy. Thank you so much for this wonderful website. We will be back often and hopefully with your help she will improve quickly.

  74. Shelli,

    You practically had me in tears as I read your comment. Thank you so much for sharing your story! It is sure to inspire many others as well. Good luck and keep us posted.

  75. I am so happy to have discovered your website! I have 3 boys, and my oldest (now in 1st grade) and second son (4, in pre-k) both receive speech therapy. I also try to work with them at home as much as I can, and your worksheets are so well done, and are FUN (it’s got to be fun!) and very helpful. I’m grateful to you for making these available–thank you so much!

  76. just wanted to say “what a great website”. I’ve been searching for additional material for my 4 year old that has issues saying “sh”, “ch” and “th”. its great to see some different material with your “story worksheets” We are currently seeing a speech therapist in perth australia for her sounds and my daughter has been gettng bored of the same worksheets. we are currently working on the “sh” sound. cant wait to do the new worksheets in the morning with her…thank u!

  77. Hi Heidi,

    I have a 3 yr old son and I have been trying to work with him on his speech/articulation. So far he does not say the /f/ sound correctly nor /l/. I see you have a post to help with the L sound can you share any techniques for the F sound? thanks for the info you have on your site this will help me and my son.


  78. Heidi-
    Thank you so much for all of this amazing information. It truly is an answere to prayer to find a place to start. My son just turned 3 and is having trouble talking. He seems to have all the sounds down in their correct places but he talks so fast that he leaves out either the first half of words or the second half. So he just ends up sounding like he is babbling. Do you have any ideas how I can help him slow down and say each word completely? An example is when we do his flashcards he will see a cow and say “A cow says Moo” But it comes out so fast that it ends up sounding like “acosmoo.” Once again thank you so much for this site!!!

  79. Heidi, thanks so much for making this site. I really, really cannot express how thankful I am for all these resources. My son was struggling with clear speech (he’s 4.5 years old). We are from the U.S. but now live in another country since my husband works overseas. So we don’t have all the resources that we normally would if we were in the U.S. Thankfully I majored in linguistics, so I have some background in sound elicitation and such. I’ve been working with him for 2 months now.

    I have used almost all of your worksheets and my son is making fast progress. Thank you thank you!

  80. Thank you for sharing your success! It makes me happy!

  81. Elizabeth,

    There are a few different tricks I use to help kids slow down and say every syllable of every word to improve their intelligibility. One of my favorite ways to practice breaking words into syllables is with the help of a simple caterpillar I cut out of construction paper. Using Eric Carle’s “Hungry, Hungry Caterpillar” for art direction I cut one big circle for the head and several more circles out of red, yellow and green paper for the body. Then I drew a face on the head and attached cute little feet to each of the body circles. With the caterpillar prepared and a list of two syllable, three syllable and four syllable words I am ready to go.

    To start I lay the caterpillar’s head on the table and add two body circles to the caterpillar. Then I grab my two syllable word cards and I show the child that the word apple, for example, has two parts. I tap the first body circle and say “a-” then I tap the second body circle and say “-pple”. I then have the child imitate me. We go through the entire stack of words (about 20) practicing breaking the words into two syllables. Once the child is good at hearing and breaking the words into two syllables then we practice three syllables, then four syllables and so on. You can also practice clapping out the syllables to words in the car, at bath time etc. Helping your child slow down and recognize all the syllables in words will help him to slow down and say all the syllables when he is talking. You may also encourage him to clap or tap his leg for each word he is saying to slow him down.

    Just remember to have fun with it and he will too! Hope this helps. 🙂

  82. Hi Jessica,

    I have been meaning to write a post on teaching the /f/ sound but haven’t quite gotten around to it. Let me share one of my favorite ways to teach the /f/ sound to children. I start by modeling the /f/ sound and then I encourage them to imitate me by biting their lower lip and then breathing out. I tell them it is the “angry cat” sound. Then we both curl our fingers like the claws on a cat and we make the “angry cat” aka the /f/ sound. Kids seem to really respond well to this visualization. After the sound is said correctly I have the child practice saying it in the initial position of words reminding them all the while not to forget to make the “angry cat” sound. You can find words with the /f/ sound in the initial, medial and final position of words on my worksheets page.

  83. Hi Heidi,

    I am thrilled to have found your site. My 4.5 year old son is just starting with speech therapy to (hopefully) correct his tongue thrust and articulation problems. He cannot say /l/ he says /y/ and because of his tongue thrust some of his other words are hard to understand. He has an extensive vocabulary but gets frustrated when some can’t understand what he is trying to say. Our ped would not authorize a speech eval. so I finally changed peds and right away was able to have an evaluation done and our insurance is approving one hour a week, and will possibly cover 2 hours a week if this does not show any change. I will try using your techniques at home, as well, as I would like him to be able to start kindergarten next fall with clearer speech. His therapist mentioned that his tongue thrust is due to macroglossia and that he might need a tongue reduction if therapy does not work. Realistically, does a child with macroglossia have a chance at correcting a tongue thrust with therapy alone, in your opinion? Thank you for you time!


  84. Dear Heidi,
    I stumbled across your site while looking for private therapy options for my 2 1/2 yr old son. He has had ear tube surgery, delayed speech, and issues with consonant sounds at the ends of words and shaping his mouth around vowels. We live in Canada and had a negative experience with the public healthcare options.

    We’ve been asked to leave a group therapy class after one 1 day of bad behaviour, they’ve suggested I take a parenting class and to postpone his therapy until the new year. You can imagine that as the parent of a lovely but stubborn child frustrated by his inability to communicate I did not take this solution well, particularly since the bad behaviour occured only 1 out of 4 sessions and on his first day with a new (less engaging) therapist. It is especially frustrating because I’ve seen a marked improvement in just 4 sessions and we waited ages to get into a class.

    My questions are: In your opinion/s how beneficial are group sessions vs. private for a child this age? How important is consistent therapy vs. a break? What is the American standard of care in a situation like mine? There are private (but expensive) options in Canada, I need help to determine whether the public therapists we have been working with so far are recommending what’s best for my son or what’s easiest for them.

    Just want give him every advantage… He’s a great kids whose twin brother is talking circles around him!

  85. Heidi,
    We continue to work almost daily using these tools. My son enjoys the words and sentences. These are such a blessing. I print them, cut the word cards and we are ready to start! Just want to let you know that the word “margrine” on j medial is mispelled, should be margarine. Thanks for all you have done to help us with speech! Karyn

  86. Thank you very much. I teach kindergarten at a Catholic school. We do not have a speech department. (Although I can refer but it takes a bit of time to process through the public schools.) Your sight is just what I was looking for. Now I can direct the parents of my students to some readily available assistance.

  87. Hi Lauren,

    I haven’t had enough experience with correcting tongue thrusts due to macroglossia to answer your question adequately. I wish you the best of luck with therapy and hopefully it will do the trick. Keep me posted, I am very interested to hear how things turn out.


  88. Hi Jill,

    In the United States 2 1/2 year olds are typically seen in their homes by a speech therapist or an early childhood development specialist as part of our Early Intervention Program. Sometimes they are also seen in groups at the local Early Intervention facility. For most children I think this model works very well. But, there is always the exception to the rule. Some children need more intensive and frequent treatment to meet their communication goals. That is where private therapists often times come in. To answer your question about consistency I think consistency is the key to success. However, there are some instances that warrant a break and break now and then can actually be good.

    You mentioned that your son was making progress in the speech class before you were asked to leave for bad behavior. If I understand you correctly you believe the bad behavior is linked to his inability to communicate which is often times the case. I would recommend you talk with the head of the program and explain to them exactly what you explained to me. You may consider telling them about the progress your son has made in the short time he has been in the class and you would really like him to continue attending the class. Or if you are done with that facility you may want to research local private therapists to see if you can find a fit for you and your son. I know things like this can be frustrating, but I am sure it will all turn out in the end. Sometimes even for the better! 🙂

  89. Hi Karyn,

    I am glad to hear about your success with the worksheets and sentences. Thanks for letting me know about the spelling error. I will get that fixed. 🙂

  90. Hello,
    I came upon this site when looking for answers about my 2.7 year old daughter. She has been in early intervention for about 5 months and is making progress, slowly. She only has about 45-50 words, puts some words together ” Puppy cold” “Da da buh bye” etc. abut cannot speak in sentences. She scored very high on her cognitive understanding and understands everything I am saying. If I tell her to go to her room and bring me the wipes and diapers, she will. She doesn’t seem to have any other issues. No sensory integration, or social problems. How early can they diagnose Apraxia of speech and is it too early to think that is a possibility?

  91. My daughter is 3 about to turn 4 in January. She has been in speech therapy for almost a year. Her evaluation has her labeled with a severe articulation delay with unusual substitutions with K and W, instead of typical sounds. (Example: HOURK instead of Horse, or ABUWA, instead of Beluga) it took 3 months, for her to even warm up to her Speech therapist. That has never happened with another adult authority figure. Normally she is a fun, healthy, vibrant, energetic child. Our Speech therapist told us (in addition to speech issues) she had behavioral issues. We did a complete overhaul, (upon our therapist’s suggestion) in our house hold, rules, discipline, rewards, time out. She seemed to respond to the new system, but still wouldn’t participate in speech therapy, maybe trying 5-10 words, during her 30minutes session 3 times a week. She just seems too self conscience. She gets very shy and frustrated. Even with praise she seems to shut down, having fits and breaking down, and that’s not like her. We were told to enroll her in preschool. We did that, still issues with her participation in speech therapy are on-going. (School is great. No issues with behavior, sharing, participation.) Is there anything I can do, to help encourage her to participate with her speech therapist? I’m at my wits end. I feel like a failure as a mother, nothing I do seems to help her.

  92. Hi Heidi,
    I am an SLP in California. I have a 4yr old client who is fronting his /k,g/. He can gargle and cough when asked, but has been unable to imitate /k,g/ in isolation. I’m thinking of working on /r/ now which I’m hoping will make him more aware of his tongue and will in turn help with the /k,g/. Do you have any other suggestions?


  93. Hi Gale,

    I imagine you have already tried the tongue depressor to push the back of the tongue up while holding the tongue tip down when the child attempts to make the sound. This has been the most successful technique for me when teaching the k and g sounds. If you continue to have difficulty eliciting a k or g sound and you have more success stimulating the r sound I say go for it. Then once the child says the r sound really well you can shape the k and g sound from the r sound on words like rake or rag. Keep me updated. I’m curious to hear how it goes. 🙂

  94. Naomi,

    I am always hesitant to label a very young child as apraxic although it is possible. Symptoms that would be typical for a young child with Apraxia include little if any cooing or babbling as an infant, a child who is late to talk and can only say a limited amount of sounds, difficulty with vowel sounds, a difficult time combining sounds or putting words together, and/or over simplifying words. Even eating can be difficult for a child with Apraxia. If your daughter has symptoms consistent with these you may want to look into further evaluation by a speech pathologist that has worked with apraxia. Good luck with therapy!

  95. Hi Rachel,

    We all feel like “failures” as mothers sometimes. Parenthood is hard! It may be that your daughter and her speech therapist are just not a good fit. Like teachers, every speech therapist has their own style and bring something a little different to therapy. If it were my daughter I would look around to see what other speech therapy options are available. It sounds like she just may need someone she feels more comfortable with. Hang in there. It will work out. 🙂

  96. Hi Heidi,

    I absolutely love your speech sounds in stories! I’ve used it with one of my kids who is not crazy about practising his words but he loved the stories and he was more motivated to practise the words within the story 🙂



  97. I have a 2 1/2 year old son with articulation disorder and mixed expressive receptive language disorder. He is really smart, follows instructions, even several step instructions. We taught him sign and he picked up on it and uses it which has lessened the frustration. We waited 3 months for a speech therapy eval and finally got started with 2 45 minute sessions twice a week. we love the therapist. We’ve only had about six appointments. However, our insurance just told us they will not cover any of the expense. My husband makes too much to meet local state income guidelines for any state based insurance, but we cannot afford to pay for it. Do you know where I might could find assistance or programs to help? I’m so lost. This site is amazing and I would love your opinion. Thank you!

  98. Britni,

    I would start by talking with your therapist to explore what options are available that would fit within your budget. There are several options for speech therapy services to consider. First would be your local early intervention program. This is usually the most affordable. Then look into any local Universities to see if they have a Speech-Language Hearing Department with student clinicians. Private speech therapy may also be an option although usually more expensive. However, they may be more willing to see your son once a week or even every other week, if you are committed to practicing with him at home, which would be easier on the budget.

    Best of luck! 🙂

  99. Hello Heidi,

    Very nice website and suggestions!

    My son is 2.5 years old with cerebral palsy, he is doing well physically (can walk/stairs ), he is mostly struggling with speech. There is some concern about his cognitive delay too. I introduced baby signing very early on, he finally picked up signing at 2 yrs of age, he can do 40-50 signs (mostly animals/vehicles), sometimes he combines 2 signs together too. He has 5-6 spoken words too, but only I can understand them. We are in the U.K. and he gets speech therapy through NHS, she insists on signs/introducing verbs/pretend play/model words but nothing on attempting to speak per se, no sounds formation or oral-motor exercise. My son had initial problem with chewing too (fine with drinking and swallowing) but now he can chew soft things and small pieces of breadstick/cookie etc. He doesn’t open his mouth big or get his tongue out. I have never seen his mouth fully open, he just opens it barely. After I had it with NHS therapist I started private therapy (for 85 pounds an hour which is way above what i can afford), but the new therapist focusing more on naming objects, she thinks he doesn’t know signs/name of very many things. I think he knows the name but not the signs. So she is suggesting naming things a lot, using exaggerated tone of voice for oh dear! horray! types, pretend play, and some whistling/blowing exercises. They all unanimously say how speech is the tip of iceberg where understanding is at the base, dont know if they want to say that my son doesnt understand enough to say anything??? I think he understands me very well, simple commands/requests/stories. For example shut the door, play with your train, give me the cup, keep the book on table etc.

    He is making progress but it is very slow. I am out of my head trying to help him. Why arent these therapist not trying to help him make sounds? Do you have any suggestions?


  100. Hi, I have a 4 year old son who eliminates the c/k and the t sound at the beginning of words. He can do both sounds in the middle and end of words. For example he can say “bike” no problem, but can’t say “carrot”-he says “arrot”. He has a full vocabulary and talks all the time, and has not other delays or hearing problems. I have a 3 year old daughter and she does the same thing, I don’t know if she is just imitating him, or she has a speech problem too. My son has a speech therapist that comes weekly and has him practicing making the “k” sound then the rest”k” “ite”He does this if prompted, but has been stuck on this for a while. The therapist said if he keeps trying to blend them, he will eventually get it. Any other thoughts or ideas?

  101. Hi Heather,

    Keep at it. Your therapist is right, if he keeps practicing blending the /k/ sound with the word he will eventually get it. I know it seems frustrating but it works. Another thing you may want to try is to explain to him that if he leaves the sound of the beginning of words it can actually change the meaning of the word and make if very difficult for people to understand him. Explain that if he leaves the /k/ sound off of the word “cow” it sounds like “owe” and people may think he is hurt instead of commenting on a cow. The clinical term for teaching this concept is called “minimal pairs.” Your therapist may be able to supply some minimal pairs that are specific to the sounds your son is struggling with. Sometimes when kids realize that leaving the beginning sound off of words changes the meaning they make more of an effort to say the sound. Don’t worry. He’ll get it.


  102. I have a 3 and a half year old (he’ll be 4 in May) that used to eat everything we gave him. By the time he was 14 months old, he ate steak, meatloaf, hotdogs, & hamburgers (all in little people sizes).

    When he was 20 months old, I went back to work full time. Over that spring and summer, I saw his variety of foods dwindle down to a frightening number. Now he will eat apples, cereal, bread & peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, soy milk, and water. If junk food is offered (chips, french fries, cookies)- then he might take that also- but not necessarily.

    Over the last 2 years, we have tried and tried to get him to eat. Currently, just seeing little pieces of meat on his plate causes his mouth to fill with drool. He chokes and gags. And, drool begins to just slide out of his mouth. No one has touched the food yet much less put it near his mouth. He will look me in the eye and tell me that he is hungry, but he will not eat his food. He wants to go to bed and wait for breakfast.

    I really think that this is manipulative. But, it has been going on for so long and I don’t know what to do. He has no speech challenges. He speaks very clearly. He plays, sings, colors, and runs around. He just won’t eat anything off of that tiny list (and that was a very literal list).

    Do you have any thoughts that could help me?

  103. I am wondering if you have any advice for me. My son is 4 years old and has been in speech therapy for articulation through the school system for 1 year. The speech therapist that has been working with him is constantly telling us he gets frustrated during sessions and basically shuts down when asked to repeat things several times. As far as the speech therapy goes he is making very little progress. He is such a brilliant child and I am getting so worried that when he starts kindergarten next year he will have a hard time because no one can understand him. I know he is a very stubborn, strong willed child. How can I get him to understand how important this is or better yet how can I motivate him better to want to try harder? I feel like such a failure. Any advice is welcome!

  104. Hi Courtney,

    First of all you are not a failure! Having a very strong willed child myself I understand how difficult it can be at times to motivate them to do something they don’t want to do. My suggestion would be to collaborate with your therapist on ways to make therapy fun again. You might even try working on a sound he can do really well to build up his self confidence and motivation again. Play some games with this sound and let him be successful and have fun! He may be more apt to participate if he gets to enjoy the feeling of sweet success once in awhile. Or you may try having half the stimulus words be words he says well and the other half words you want to target. Play around with some ideas I am sure you and your therapist together will be able to come up with something that will get him working again.

    Good luck,

  105. Surbhi,

    It sounds like you and your therapists are doing a lot of really great things for your son. The signs, the repetitious naming of objects, the exaggerated tone voice on words like oh dear, hooray and uh-oh will all help increase his expressive vocabulary and ultimately increase his speech. I know it is difficult to be patient when you would like to see progress move so much more quickly.

    You mentioned you would like to see them work more on making sounds with your son. I think this would be a very appropriate goal for him. I would simply ask them if they would prioritize working on sounds at some point during each therapy session. If they understand that this is a priority to you I am sure they will happily work it in. There is so much they can do. In the meantime I would recommend you start working on it yourself at home. Start with turn-taking and imitation. Imitate the sounds he makes and then encourage him to imitate you. Make it fun! Then introduce a new sound you know he can say and encourage him to imitate you. Finally experiment with lots of different sounds and work toward increasing the number of sounds he can imitate. Read my post “Using Turn Taking and Imitation to Encourage Communication” for more ideas.

    Best of Luck!

  106. Hi Sarah,

    First of all I want to tell you that I can totally relate. I have a few very picky eaters myself. I really like the “10 Tips for Picky Eaters” on the Mayo Clinic’s Children’s Health page. Hopefully they will help.


  107. hi and thank u for such a wonderful website.i have a 21 months old baby girl who utters the sound /s/ inter dentally since she started speaking.i did n attempt to correct her but i am giving her visual and tactile feedback’s every worried whether this sound error turns into any articulation problem.she also substitutes /s/ for /tf/ and /dz/.kindly give your advice…..

  108. Hi Heidi,
    I need advice and stumbled upon your site (btw, which is super cute). I have twin boys that are almost 6 and in kindergarten. I feel as though they have some real speech concerns that the school is brushing off as not a big deal. The main thing they do is put their tongue out and on the edge of their top teeth with the “s” sound. There are a few other things like the “j” and “ch” sounds, but the “s” sound is what scares me the most. I don’t want them doing it for the rest of their lives. They are ABLE to make the sound correctly if I work with them for a few minutes, but they immediately go back to the old way when we stop. The school “informally” evaluated them and said not to be worried yet and they will “outgrow” it when they lose their baby teeth and the big teeth come in. I know I have a small window to help them and I’m not sure what to do next. Is the school giving me correct information? Any advice you could give would be so helpful!

    Thank you!


  109. hi,
    i have a 26 monts old son,who was born with cleftlip npalate.his hard palate is repaired just 2 weeks concerns are that he is very much speech delayed n we are not getting anywhere with speech therapy.he is otherwise a vety normaly developing child.all he can say is mama,baba, a mix od na or la sometimes or hmmmmm sound when he is playing with his trucks.plz help

  110. Hi Heidi
    First of all as a speech pathologist and mom, your site is fantastaic!
    I need recommendations for book and sites about cerebral palsy and speech therapy/feeding. I have a new client with suspected CP.
    Thanks so much

  111. Hi Constance,

    If it were my boys I would just go ahead and work with them at home instead of waiting until they qualify for speech services through the school district. The fact that they are able to say the sounds correctly when you sit down to work with them at home means that with persistent home practice they should be able to get it. Read my post, “My Child Has a Lisp, Should I be Concerned?” for some tips on how to give them the support they need through home practice to be successful at saying the /s/ sound correctly. You may also want to read my post, “How to Teach the CH Sound” for tips on the “ch” sound. The “j” sound is a lot like the “ch” sound. The only difference is whether the sound is voiced or not voiced. You can also use the worksheets on the worksheets page for home practice or if you have an iPad I have lots of fun activities and suggestions in “Articulation Station” for teaching these sounds. Hope this helps!

  112. Hi Debra,

    In an effort to help you out I called my good friend, the founder of Now I Can and a mother to a daughter with Cerebral Palsy and asked her what good resources she had found to be helpful on Cerebral Palsy over the years. She said she had never read anything or heard mention of anything that had been really helpful to her. Unfortunately I have not either. However in a quick Google search I did find “Cerebral Palsy: Resource Guide for Speech Language Pathologists” that might be helpful. If you do find something that is helpful please come back and share with us what you find. I’m sure there are many others that are looking for answers about Cerebral Palsy as well.

    All the best!

  113. Hi Neelam,

    Thank you for your comment. With your son being 26 months and only have a few words I would say the most pressing issue you must have is communication. While increasing your sons sounds and words is definitely a priority I would prioritize it second to making sure he has a good communication system in place such as sign language, a picture exchange system or the use of an alternative method of communication such as using an iPad with an app like My First AAC (my personal favorite) to help him communicate.

    Once you have an established a means of communication you are ready to start targeting increasing his sounds and words. I would have his speech therapist help you determine exactly what vowels and consonants he is able to say and then I would build from there. It may be that you need to work on making different vowel sounds and then progress to adding consonants to the vowels he is already saying like the /m/ sound or the /b/ sound in words like, “moo” or “bee.” If you have an iPad Mouth Works is a great app that targets vowels and consonant vowel words which would be great for him.

    Hope this helps!

  114. Hi Nila,

    I wouldn’t worry too much about your daughter making substitutions like these at her age. I would just continue to model the correct way to say these sounds over the next year or so and see where that leads her. Best of luck!

  115. Hi Heidi,

    I have a 22 month old son who has had no other developmental delays or issues but he still only has maybe 3 words he says consistently – hot, dada, juice & thank you (which is tank too). I have heard him say many things that sounded like “I love you” “Big Bird”, etc., but its so unclear I am not sure if he is really saying that or if I am just trying to hear something out of nothing. His pediatrician says he is normal and don’t worry.. he’s an only child, never been to daycare, etc. But I am afraid he is behind and I don’t know if I am being paranoid. I have read many developmental sites that say at this age they should know colors and numbers and have like 50+ words so I am just looking for some guidance as to whether he is truly behind and I should look for a speech pathology evaluation or if I am just a first time mom being overly cautious. thank you!

  116. Heidi,
    It has been 6 months since I found your website and sent you the first message about my daughter. I just wanted to let you know that she can now say the K & G sounds 100% of the time- and has been able to for about 4 months. She also has improved so much in other letters too. The biggest letter she misses now is initial S, but this week I heard her stop herself and self correct. It was very slow and hard work for her to say it right, but she did! I know it is because of skills that I learned from you in teaching her. I have sent other people to your site. Thank you so much for your work.

  117. Hi Shelli,

    Thank you so much for sharing your success with us! We are so happy to hear your daughter has done so well.

    Take care,

  118. Hi Tina,

    You are not an overly cautious mom. It sounds like you are a loving attentive mother that wants the best for her son. Your research is correct. Your son should be saying 50+ words by his age. I would recommend a speech and language evaluation. They will be able to guide you down the path of building his language skills which is something I am sure you and your son will appreciate. It is a discouraging thing not to be able to express yourself.

    Good luck Tina! I would love to hear how it goes.


  119. My three year old daughter is in speech therapy, after coming home to do her homework, i realized i didn’t have to final words we were working on, i googled it and found your site. Thank you very much for the information, and help. i then spoke to my daughters speech therapist and mentioned this site, she was amazed and suggested we use the worksheets here as well as the ones she has.
    i would like to thank you so much once again, i’ll be working with my daughter with your help from the site!!

  120. Hi Heidi,

    My daughter who just turned three in March has been stuttering since October. Yesterday we had her assessed and she tested in the Moderate range for stuttering and will begin work with a speech pathologist within the next couple of weeks. I must admit I am a little anxious about having a professional work with her as I don’t want her to feel “different”. She was frustrated with the stuttering back in December to the point of screaming “I can’t talk!” but has since slowed down while speaking. She’s done this all on her own. She is a very articulate child who tested above average on her other assessments. Do you have any suggestions I could begin with her before we see the pathologist? I looked over your worksheets but am not sure where to begin as I cannot pinpoint a word or letter that she is mispronouncing, it is either elongated or repeated. Thank you!

  121. Dear Heidi,
    My son is in the 3rd grade, he has had a battery of test done since November (Pychlogical, Auditory Processing, & Speech). He had mixed receptive & expressive disorder, a central auditory processing disorder (the canal leading from the left ear to the right side of the brain takes 2 minutes longer to get there), and the speech testing, shows that he has problems with the Letters (S & Z), & he has problems with Synonyms & Antonyms. Also, he has good decoding skills when reading, but he doesn’t have very good comprehension. I have been Very Overwhelmed by all of this!!! He sees an Audiologist, once a month, & he listens and repeats the words from the two disks that the Audiologist sent home with us, everyday. He has started seeing a Speech Pathologist, twice a week, which I also, work with him on everyday. I also, have started working with him, on comprehension, & Synonyms & Antonyms. I work with him every night, for a minimum of an hour. I was just wonder if you had any pointers or advice, that might help me.
    Thank you,

  122. Hello! I just found this site tonight and downloaded the app, I’m excited for the kids to wake up so we can play. I have a 5 year old that was a late talker, he is still having enunciation problems and his soon to be kindergarten teacher would like him to take speech so there won’t be delays in his reading. Now, I have a 2 yr 4 m daughter that is still not putting words together and saying about 25 words total. I have my son on a waiting list and got my daughter evaluated this week. She is developmentally above her age in everything but speech. While she will be receiving help do you know what could have caused this? I’m having a hard time understanding why this happened to both of my kids. I had slight speech problems but nothing like my kids. I have talked to them since birth, encouraged speech, I don’t understand. My husband is bilingual and speeks to the kids in Spanish at times, they understand and most of their first words were in Spanish. I have read that being bilingual won’t cause speech problems but I’m at a loss. Any input you might have would be great.

  123. Hi Heidi
    I have a question but first I would like to thank you for your blog it has been such a help to me and my family. I have three little ones who have all had issues with speech. It was through your website that I found out about the Unitedhealthcare children’s foundation, who has blessed us with 2 speech grants.

    My question is regrading an Adenoidectomy. it has been reccomended (ENT doctor) that my daughter have one to correct her mouth breathing, I have also heard that this can help improve speech. Have you ever seen this in your practice where speech intelligibility is improved after a child has their adenoids removed?


  124. Hi Autumn,

    In my experience an adenoidectomy can improve the sound quality of speech. Children with large adenoids often sound like they have a cold all the time and removing the adenoids can correct this.

    Good luck with the surgery if that is what you decide to do.

  125. Hi Valerie,

    Growing up in a bilingual home does not cause speech problems. The initial onset of language is sometimes later than their monolingual peers but in the end they have more cognitive advantages knowing another language. So please don’t blame yourself for your children’s speech delay. Sometimes the reasons behind speech delays are easily identifiable like in the case of hearing loss or cognitive delays. Sometimes we just don’t know the cause or what to expect even with a diagnosis. All we can do is love, support and encourage our kiddos. And most importantly believe in them. If you believe they can do it you will stick with them until they do. Good luck! I am anxious to hear how things go.

  126. Hi Everyone,
    I have encountered a situation I have never seen before and am wondering if anyone has some insights/advice!
    I occasionally babysit a 3, almost 4 year old boy. In many ways he is a very remarkable little guy. For example, he has been reading fluently for over a year and can count to 100 (and beyond) in both English and Spanish.
    However, when he is speaking he communicates in questions. For example, if he is hungry he will say “Are you hungry?” He is saying the question he wants you to ask him. If you repeat the question back to him, he will say “Yes.” This applies to everything he wants/needs; play, go outside, use the potty, etc. That is pretty much the limit of his conversational abilities. If you ask him a new question he will often simply repeat it back to you, although sometimes he answers yes or no.
    My understanding is he gets little (if any) interaction with children his own age. I suspect that this could be a contributing factor.
    I am reluctant to discuss this issue with his mother as previous conversations have led me to believe she does not see it as a problem. However, as he gets older and this pattern continues, I worry about the little guy!
    Any thoughts?

  127. My son will be 3years old in 3months he has a very restricted vocab. He speaks clearly but has not added to his vocab significantly since 18-20months old we just found out he has fluid in his ears which we will be fixing in the next month. I see a lot of wonderful things on your site about articulation but I am wondering about building vocab. He will not repeate words without extreme probing and even then nothing to new. I read to him but he is not really interested it seems like his speech as well as his comprehension is delayed do you have suggestions on how to build this vocab with him beyond reading and labeling?

  128. Heidi,

    I stumbled across your site this evening while searching for help. I have a 5 year old and a 3 year old who both are struggling with speech. I took both of these wonderful boys in a year ago from a troubled home. Their worker said they weren’t exposed to much and attributed the speech to them not being stimulated. I’m new to this and would appreciate any advise you have for me. They use the W sound instead of the L sound. In fact they use it for D and Th also. I could use some advise I love these boys they’re very bright kids and are now learning to live a normal life. I would like to help them be able to express it with more than a smile.

  129. Hi Heidi,

    Thank you so much for your blog!! My daughter has a speech delay and our insurance will not cover therapy. Therapy without insurance in my area is $260/hour through the hospital. She was receiving therapy in our home but her therapist is no longer able to work in homes. I love your worksheets!! I’ll be able to continue to work with her on the homework we use to be given. I’m so glad I stumbled upon your site!

  130. Hello Heidi,

    I would first like to say your website is awesome and super helpful as I am learning about child language development. I will begin a master’s program in speech language pathology (online) this fall and I am really excited. I have been taking courses for the past year to complete the pre-requisites of the program. I am also a newly wed and really want to start a family. I noticed that you are a mother of 4 (don’t know how you do it!!) and I wanted to ask your opinion. My husband and I are trying to decide when would be an ideal time to have children (I will be 34 this year) and I am wondering if having children during grad school is a good idea at all. The program is online and it does require you to be on campus the summer before your second year for the onsite internship and then the second year is basically all your externships plus classes. Everyone I asked has told me something different, but I was curious to get your perspective. I really appreciate it and thank you for creating this wonderful website!!

  131. I am 26 years old, and have a stuttering problem with most of the sounds. I am using your worksheets to improve certain sounds. The list of words in each sheets covers different aspects of a sound. It is very helpful to me to start with.

  132. Hello Heide,

    Thanks for the wondeful website. I have a 2 yr old diagnoised with PDD. I am in process of starting ST(along with other therapies) for him for half a day every day. Apart from the services, I would like to make our evening useful. I am thinking of hiring a SLP. Not sure if its ok for 2 year old to be in therapy even in evenings. Basically how much is too much ?


  133. Hi! Had a question about speech therapy for my 2 1/2 year old who suddenly started stuttering which is quickly worsening over the last couple of weeks. We are concerned and have read general recommendations but would like to help her at home. We are arranging to see a speech therapist soon. Would these activivities be helpful for her? Thanks!

  134. Heidi, I am so impressed with the generosity of your time and knowledge via this site. I have subscribed to Articulation Station for my 4 year old daughter (5 this month!). She was screened in March and I was told she had an articulation disorder by the screening Speech Pathologist. This was a private school screening where that particular Speech Pathologist couldn’t help me any further, and I found it a struggle to get on the right path. While researching the issue online I came across your site. WHAT A RELIEF. We went for a formal evalutation just this last Monday – not even three months after the first identification of the “problem” – and she no longer shows any signs of a disorder. I give a lot of credit to your app Articulation Station because it gave ME something to do WITH her. I am lucky, it just took a little time and focus. She still has some age appropriate issues with “s” and a couple minor things, but overall I am grateful that it is a pretty basic situation. THANK YOU for developing this useful tool to assist Mommies like me.

  135. Thank you Amy for sharing your success with me! It is so rewarding to hear stories like yours. I wish you and your daughter the best!


  136. Hi! I just found your site and have been exploring and I am so excited!! My daughter is 6 years old with bilateral cochlear implants, she talks pretty good I guess though if you haven’t been around her much sometimes you find it hard to understand her. I am working with her this summer to try to clear up her words and to build her sentences. Ex: She will say like “Horse ate apple” so I am trying to help build her sentences to properly say, “The horse ate a apple”. She also sometime will say “kurple” for purple. L’s are the hardest!! Sometimes she confuses M’s and N’s, F’s and V’s. She sees an auditory verbal therapist weekly about 3 hours away from home whom is absolutely wonderful but lately medicaid has been making some changes and it has us constantly having to cancel our appointments and I really need to get her ready for 1st grade. Medicaid is now saying that they will send their appointment confirmation paper to be signed and then after you see your doctor and send it back to them then they will reimburse you for the cost of transportation. That’s fine and dandy for someone who already has money to make the trip but I don’t work. I care for my little girl and my disabled mother who has multiple sclerosis. So until all that mess gets sorted out I have to do whatever I can for her from home. It has been so hard to find anything on the internet to help with speech and how to do it so I was just over joyed to find your site through pinterest. Thank you so much for making this site for parents like myself!! You don’t know how amazingly wonderful you are to provide this!! God bless you Mrs Heidi!!

    Christina from Texas

  137. Hi Miquilaue,

    You are right, with stuttering there is no single sound or group of sounds that need to be targeted. Instead it is teaching your daughter how to reduce the frequency and severity of the stuttering behavior. The speech therapist you are working with will teach you how to modify your environment, and you and your daughters speech to achieve the goal of increased fluency. One of the best things you can do for your daughter is to create a relaxed, comfortable environment in your home. Do your best to give her your full attention when she speaks to you. Be patient and encouraging. Model slow, easy speech in the home for her to imitate. Her therapist will work on slowing down her speech as well. The reason for doing this is the slow, easy onset of speech is one of the best things you can do to reduce the frequency and severity of stuttering.

    I hope therapy is going well!

  138. Hi Cheri,

    It’s understandable that you are overwhelmed but it sounds like you are handling it all very well. Clumping all those diagnosis together can make it seem even more overwhelming. Remember your son is still your son and these names are just there to help guide the path of intervention. Try to just take it a day at a time. Follow the lead of the therapists you are working with. As you continue to do the homework they send home daily you will start to see results. Your son will improve.

    Best of luck!

  139. Hi Carol,

    From what you have described it sounds like he could have some symptoms of autism. Kids with autism often repeat whole expressions as they heard it. This is called echolalia. To let you know they are hungry, they may repeat what they remember hearing when they were hungry. If mom always says, “Are you hungry?” Then that is likely the expression they will use to let you know they are hungry. Kids with autism also have difficulties with social situations and as a result don’t usually play or interact well with other children or adults. This may be the reason he doesn’t play often with other children.

    Check out this autism checklist from or recommend his mom take a look at it (or other available autism checklists on the web) to determine if he has enough symptoms to be concerned. If he does she may want to take him in for a complete evaluation of his development, communication and social skills to determine if he indeed does have autism. Having your child identified as having autism can be very difficult emotionally but knowing can help you access the best services and educational opportunities for them to be the most successful they can be. Helping our children become their best selves is the most we can hope for as parents.

  140. Hi Katie,

    It sounds like we need to create some incentive for your little guy to communicate. I use “communicative temptations” for little guys like yours. Think of ways to create an environment where your son has to communicate to get what he wants. For example let’s say your son loves trains and “trains” even happen to be one of his words. Let’s pretend it is not uncommon for him to say “trains” to request his trains. In order to build his vocabulary even further we create the “temptation.” We get a clear plastic tub that we can put his trains in and then secure the lid on tightly. When he asks for his trains we simply hand him the tub of trains and then wait to see what he does next. He will likely struggle with it for a minute before he hands it back to you. That’s when you act confused like you don’t have any idea what he wants you to do with the container of trains. You just say “trains” and hand it back. Watch him as he tries to figure out a way to ask you to open the box. If he continues to struggle you can say, “Oh, did you want me to open the box?” Then model the sign for open and say the word “open.” Help him to sign his request if he can’t verbally say it and then reward him by opening the container. Do this again and again until he learns to say or sign “open.”

    Other communicative temptations you might try include putting your son in the bath tub at bath time with out any water in the tub, or sitting him up to the table at dinner time without dishing him up first. Have everybody else sit down and start eating and wait for him to request his food. Basically, don’t make it easy for him. Stop anticipating his needs. Create an environment where he has to communicate to get anything.

    Doing things out of the ordinary can prompt more communication as well. For example getting up in the morning and putting a sticker on your nose or making him dig his utensils out of a bowl of rice. There are so many things you can do when you get creative. Good luck, and remember if your having fun your son will too!

    All the best,

  141. Hi Tanya,

    I am wondering if you have had your kids assessed by a speech pathologist. If you are in the United States, and if you qualify, they should both be able to access free speech therapy through the school system. Getting that extra support from a local provider will likely help you to feel like you can get some forward momentum as far as their speech and language development go.

    As far as the /l/, /d/ and th sounds they are substituting with the the /w/ sound. I would recommend starting off by teaching them how to say the /d/ sound. The /d/ sound is the earliest developing sound in the group and will likely be the easiest for them to start with. For tips on how to teach the /d/ sound you can read my post, How to Teach the T and D Sounds.

    All the best,

  142. Hi Claudia,

    First of all, congratulations on your marriage. Deciding when to start your family is definitely a very personal decision. I can tell you that for me I was grateful I waited to start my family until I had completed grad school. However, that was before online classes and I was much younger than you. So it’s hard to compare. Since I started my family I have still had a lot of juggling to do with work and with my sweet supportive husband we have managed to work it out.

    I guess my answer is whatever you and your husband decide to do, you can do it, if it’s a joint decision and you are both willing to do what it takes to make it happen. I love my kids! Having them is the best thing I have ever done!

    Good luck with your decision!


  143. Malar,

    Determining when your intervention schedule has just become too much is really dependent on the child. I would see how things go with your half day of therapy every day before I would add another hour to the schedule in the evening. If you aren’t making as much progress as you would like and you think your 2 year old can handle another session in the evening I’d give it a try. I am all about giving our kids as many advantages as we can.

    Best of luck!

  144. I have just stumbled across this website and I am very excited. I am a stay at home mother of 4 ages 14,12,5,and 1 My 5 yr old boy has a serever speech delay he drops his ending sound and substuites a lot of begining sounds K, g . t. l, f, with the (d) sound and also mubles his words along with speaking very quickly. Strangers and family member other than household members understand less than 30% of his speech. We were in private lessons but insurance has since decided to decline coverage due to it not being a “medical condition” however we have since went to pubic school SLP programs we have been doing this for about 2 yrs progress has been slow especially since during the summer months school is not in session so the only practice we get is what I review with him. He starts Kinderarden in the fall and I am so nervous that he will be in a class room for 6.5 hours with no one being able to understand im. He was in Pre K for 2 days a week last year and socialized fine however there were several comments from his friends about his “BABY” talk so I am very worried about bulling net year so any advise or exercise would be greatly appericated. I also want to point out since thearpy we do have improvement he is no atleast speaking more and household member can understand about 95% of what he is saying so we are greatful for that progress jsut really worried about what will happen when I am not there to translate. so any help would be wonderful

  145. Hi Rosalie,

    I had a similar experience with my 2 year old daughter and it made me really nervous. In fact stuttering between the ages of 2 and 5 is quite common as children are developing their language skills. It is called developmental stuttering. Sometimes it will last anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of years. Most children however will outgrow the stuttering.

    The best thing you can do for her at this time is be encouraging. You can listen patiently as she works through a disfluency (stutter). Then let her know that you heard and understand what she said. If she seems frustrated by the experience you may even acknowledge her frustration that sometimes it is difficult to get words out. Tell her not to worry about it though. You may even tell her it is difficult for you sometimes to say things too.

    All the while you can slow down the rate of your speech as much as possible. Remember the show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood?” Remember how slowly and calmly Mr. Rogers always spoke. As difficult as it may seem, if you can speak in that calm unhurried manner your daughter will likely begin to imitate your speech and if she does, her disfluencies or stuttering behaviors should decrease.

    Hope this helps and I wish you all the best!


  146. Thank you Chrisie,

    I am so sorry to hear about the Medicaid mess. Hopefully it will all work out soon. Best of luck working with your sweet daughter!


  147. Heidi,

    I am an SLP, but haven’t been working much lately because in 2010 I had twin boys. I’ve been doing PRN with a long term care facility, but really miss working with children. That being said, I’m not ready to go back to work in the schools and be away from my boys all day long. I’ve been seriously considering the idea of working from home and would love to have your input on how to go about doing that. I know you’re very busy, but if you could send me an email, I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks so much.


  148. I have a 6 year old son. He was diagnosed with PDD-NOS at 21 months and last year he got the diagnosis taken off because he doesn’t “fit the diagnosis by his accomplishments”. A little about my son: he didn’t start to even talk, let alone give a nod at age 3. We heard his first words at age 3 1/2 after being in speech since age 2. It seems we have been in a battle trying to get him the right services because there isn’t a diagnosis to “fit his difficulties”. Everybody says “he is rare, unique and makes his own charts”. Needless to say, because he is very bright, he knows that therapy means drill time and he will do his best to impress. When he isn’t in “drill” his real character comes out. He lost his IEP this last May because he tested above State standards, but yet in private speech, he is still around the 4 year old speech level. I’m very bitter about this because you can hear my son talk in conversation and he is hard to understand at times. I found your website today for the first time and I printed off every worksheet you had. I am now going to start from the beginning and take matters into my own hands. I won’t allow my son to struggle. I just skimmed the sight as I had 2 other children needing my attention. One question, how do I do the “blend” sounds. /kw/, /br/, /dr/, /fl/ etc. I don’t know how to do these without worksheets! Thank you for setting this site up for us “MOMS”!

  149. Hi Heidi

    im so happy ive found your site, i have read most of the inspirational stories, which were great to read but i didnt come across any similar to mine…my 4yr old daughter (one of twin girls) i noticed was suffering with her speech i noticed around 2ys old. after many hospital appts she was diagnosed with glue ear, she had antibiotics for 3 months and after a hearing test her hearing was then perfect, so im guessing as she was slightly deaf she pronounced only what she heard. She speaks very nasely, like a deaf person would, she has a great vocabulary and i have no worries at all with that, i was hopin then her speach would get better now she could hear , but is still the same, It is usually on words with 2 syllabls, like, ‘mummy’ will sould like ‘muee’,with the ‘ee’ noise comming from her nose! although she can pronounce the 1st letter, she cannot pronoune it again in the middle or end, this is the same with most 2 sylable words. Also she says for ‘boy or toy’, ‘bay or tay’ In UK they wouldnt start therapy till she was 3 1/2, then we moved to australia(it is to cost a small fortune, this is when i found your amasing site) i can usually just about understand her, but she gets frustrated when i dont and this upsets me for her, she is starting kindy next jan and i dont want her to be made fun of.. please would you give me any ideas where to start!!!
    thankyou so much….

  150. Hi Christina,

    Four kids really keeps you on your toes doesn’t it! I’m always hopping. ;). If I were you I would take note of the sounds your son can say well. Then I would work on putting those sounds on the endings of words. For example you said your son substitutes a lot of sounds with the /d/ sound. Does he say the /d/ sound at the end of words? If he doesn’t then that would be a great place to start. You can print the final /d/ worksheets from my worksheets page to practice with.

    When I work with kids that drop off the last sound on a word I chooses one sound to target first (d for example).Then I write that letter on a piece of paper and have them say the sound for me all by itself. Then we get out our practice words (all ending in the d sound) and I put the letter d at the end of all the words. When I have the child say the word I point first to the picture card and then I point to the letter d. So if we were practicing the word “food” and the child says “foo” when I point to the picture, I follow by pointing to the letter “d” for him to finish the word with the /d/ sound. We do this with all the pictures.

    As soon as I get him saying a /d/ sound at the end of words I add in another sound he is successful with at the end of words (b for example). I do the same with the final /b/ words pointing to the letter sound following the picture. But I continue to mix in final /d/ words so he has to be sure to add not only a final sound but the correct final sound.

    As you add more sounds continue to shuffle them with the previously learned sounds. Before you know it you son will catch on that words need an ending sound to be complete. He will then likely start adding endings to words you haven’t even worked on yet.

    Hopefully this will give you some direction during the summer months until school starts again.

    All the best!

  151. Hi Tiffany,

    Home based private therapy has worked so well for me while raising my little tikes. I have four now and they require a lot of time and attention. Two of which are not school age yet. I wrote a post for the ashasphere blog called, “Starting my Private Practice” that outlines how I got started. Hopefully it will help you as well. The hardest part is just believing you can do it. Once you determine that you can it’s just about doing it. Tiffany, I am telling you that you can! So go do it, I know you will love it!

    Good luck!

  152. Hi Kim,

    I have not had time to get worksheets up for those blends yet. If you have an iPad I do have the br and dr blends in the r program on my iPad app Articulation Station as well as the fl blend in the l program of Articulation Station. I do not have the kw blend anywhere yet. I will see what I can do about getting that added. Thank you for your interest and suggestions.

    All the best!

  153. Hi Dona,

    It sounds like you have two different concerns about your daughter’s speech that need to be addressed. The first concern is that your daughter’s speech is hyper nasal and the second being that your daughter is leaving out medial and final consonants on multisyllabic words. Both of which are making her difficult to understand.

    To decrease hyper nasal speech you need to increase your daughter’s ability and inclination toward more oral phonation (sounds that resonate in the oral cavity instead of the nasal cavity). A good way to do that is to do a lot of activities that require more oral air flow. For example blowing bubbles and horns. My favorite for hyper nasal speech is the kazoo. The kazoo is so helpful because it requires both good air flow and phonation through the oral cavity (the mouth) to make a sound from the horn. Lots of daily practice on the kazoo should help reduce some of the hyper nasality.

    Deleting final consonants from words is a phonological process called final consonant deletion. Deleting the consonant sound from the middle of words is called medial consonant deletion. It is good to separate the two and target one of them at a time. I would recommend starting with final consonant deletion since it is typically easier to master. To do this start with a specific sound your daughter can say in the beginning of words but is not saying at the end of words. Then find a list of words that has that sound at the end of it. You can refer to the worksheets on my worksheets page for words lists organized by the sound and position in the word they occur. For example if your daughter can say the b in “ball” but can’t put the b on the end of words the b phoneme would be a good one to start practicing at the end of words.

    You would then print off the b final words worksheets from the worksheets page. Cut them out and place them one at a time on the table. Then place the letter b (I usually use fridge magnets) after the card on the table. Point to the card and have your daughter say the word. If the word is “cub” and she says “cu” point the the letter “b” and say the sound “b” makes, /b/. Repeat this with all the words on the worksheets page until she starts to say the sound at the end of the /b/ words independently. Then introduce another final sound she can say in the already say in the initial position. Work on the next sound until she masters that sound at the end of words. Then try shuffling the two sets of word cards to practice both sounds in the final position.

    Hopefully this will give you a few ideas of where to start.

    Best of luck!

  154. Hi Heidi,

    You have a very nice website! I am a speech pathologist in the school system serving the preschool population. I have a 4 1/2 child who’s only problematic sound is the /k,g/ in all positions of words. She is not stimulable for the production. I have tried your suggested techniques with no success. She has a very sensitive gag reflex so it has been very difficult to do much oral manipulation. Would you have any other ideas for facilitating these sounds?? Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

  155. Hi Sharen,

    I appreciate your comment. I am sure we have all had times in therapy when none of our ideas work and we have to get creative. My thoughts would be for you to try shaping the sound from another sound she says well. Any chance she says the R sound with a humped R? If so, I was thinking you could try going from “er” to “irk.”

    If that doesn’t work I would recommend you take a break and try again every month or so. I’m sure you have found like I have that sometimes a little time makes all the difference. In the meantime I would do lots and lots of oral motor activities that require lots of tongue retraction like drinking thick liquids through a straw, or blowing horns or bubbles. Are you ready to introduce the recorder?

    I would love to hear how things go. We could all benefit from your experience!

    Thanks for sharing,

  156. Heidi,

    I had my first parent/teacher conference on Friday with my son’s Kindergarten teacher. He’s doing great, with the exception of not being able to pronounce the “Kk” or “Gg” sounds correctly. I never notice it until she pointed them out. It sounds like he’s pronouncing “Tt.” I googled it and I’m so happy I found your website first. I’ve read it and downloaded a few worksheets. It sounds like a lot of parents have had great success. Wish me luck!

  157. Hi Heidi,

    I am a new graduate speech pathologist in Australia. I came across your website the other day through pinterest! I just wanted to encourage and thank you for being humble in sharing your resources, experience and thoughts to the world at no charge at all!

    You are amazing and gorgoeus! Super MUM!



  158. Good luck Cindy! You can do it!

  159. Hi, I just wanted to say thank you for your wonderful webiste and app.

    My daughter Leona was born 14 weeks early weighing just 790g (1lb 12oz) defying all the odds she is here with us today and healthy although we have speech problems due to her prematurity.

    She is 4 and a half now and after 2 years of NHS (we are in scotland) speech therapy I found your app. It has been a huge turn around for us, for the first time ever Leona actually wants to do her homework and is no longer frustrated by the boredom of it all. I have the app on my Ipad and using apple TV can put it on the TV screen for her which is fantastic. The innovative app keeps her interest when all other ideas from the speech therapist have led to her being bored and me being stressed! I found it very stressful getting her to sit still and repeat words on black and white flashcards printed out. She would lose interest very quickly and refuse to do any more. Now she can do it all herself and my only problem is getting her to stop so I can get her to bed. Features such as the voice record and right or wrong buttons are fantastic. She has realised by listening to her recordings that she is not speaking properly which is motivation to do it properly. She hates it if she gets it wrong and I hit the cross button, all she really wants is the ping of a tick!!

    I cant rate your app highly enough – My only wish is that I had found it sooner as it is doing wonders for her, both her speech therapist and her nursery teachers have commented on how well her speech is doing.

    If i had to sum it up I would say “Articulation Station, helping children with their speech therapy – helping parents with their stress levels!”

    Thank you so much for developing such a wonderful app. I am starting to see the light at the end of what has been a very very long tunnel, we still have a way to go but at least we now seem to be moving!

    Lisa Carle

  160. Hello!
    Thanks for your fabulous website! It is awesome! I am amazed sometimes by the selflessness of others sometimes – thank you.

    I do have a quick question. My daughter is having trouble with her “S” and “Z” Sounds primarily – lisp I guess it is called. She has a TON of words at 4. And is otherwise uneffected. She is not in speech therapy. Her school referred me to your website (cool huh?!) to assist her and I honestly have no idea how to do it! I am telling her to put her tounge behind her teeth but it is hard for her. I am trying to get her to put put her tounge on the bottom pallette but she really is having a hard time. Should I invest in some speech therapy to help her? Her school will not offer it to her until the age of 7.

    Thanks so much for your time. GOD BLESS YOU!


  161. Hi Candy,

    If you haven’t already, read my post, “My Child has a Lisp, Should I be Concerned?” Hopefully it will give you some more ideas on how to work with your daughter. Also keep in mind that there are two different ways to make the /s/ and /z/ sound and both are correct. Some people put their tongue tip down behind their front teeth and some people put their tongue tip up on the alveolar ridge behind the front teeth. It sounds like putting her tongue down has been difficult for her. Why don’t you try having her put her tongue tip up behind the front teeth and see if that is any easier.

    I like that you are motivated to help your daughter and that you are not going to wait until she is 7 to get her help. I have found that correcting a lisp is a lot easier when you start working on it at a younger age. If you want to try your hand at working with her yourself at home that is awesome. Just be careful to make sure you are able to get an accurate production of the /s/ and /z/ sounds all by themselves before you start practicing them in words. Try the suggestions I recommend in my post “My Child has a Lisp, Should I be Concerned?” If you are still having difficulty teaching her to say the sounds all by themselves you may be interested in the S Speech Buddy from Articulate Technologies. I have tried it and it works great with some kids. If she is still having difficulty saying the /s/ and /z/ sounds accurately in isolation I would recommend you contact a private speech pathologist by the time she is 5 for additional support.

    Once she can say the sounds correctly in isolation you can use the worksheets I have on my worksheets page for free home practice or if you are interested in a more interactive experience you may be interested in Articulation Station for iPad and iPhone (coming soon to iPhone). I hope these suggestions help.

    All the best!

    All the best!

  162. Heidi,

    My son is 5 and we have known for years that he has trouble with his speech and he has been going to speech therapy at our local public school twice a week for two years. My husband and I don’t see too much profess. Recently we took him to a psychologist because his doctor thought he was autistic. The doctor said he is not autistic but that he does have severe receptive-expressive language disorder and needs intensive therapy that the public school can’t give him. She recommended that we go to a speech clinic downtown. We went there and they tested him. To my surprise, they did not seem to feel his language issues were as bad as the first doctor said. They said he does need therapy, but they seemed to have a more layed back approach. My two questions are

    1. Is is normal for speech professionals in this field to have completely different diagnosis? Can two professionals see the same kid and test him and have such different reactions?

    2. If my son has receptive-expressive language disorder (which I believe he does) and he is only getting help for articulation of words and letters, will his language improve? Doesn’t he also need help learning to speak and express himself rather than just how to make the /z/sound ?

  163. Hello, thank you for the wonderful information. I wonder if you have encountered this type of situation…

    We have a 13 month old who has NEVER put (or allowed) any type of table food into his mouth on his own (or from us), and will only occasionally eat a small amount of smoothly pureed baby food that we spoon-feed him. He resists any attempts at a sippy cup, straw, or regular cup, as well as resisting us brushing his teeth. He also drools excessively. I have (since age 6 months), and continue to try to offer a variety of foods and cups, but there has been little progress. (He is otherwise meeting most milestones – was term, has a good pincer grasp, can hold the cup, walks, etc).

    Our pediatrician’s advice was to limit his milk to 16 oz per day and cut up whatever we were eating, saying, “He won’t starve with food in front of him”.

    Needless to say, we are seeking other advice. I have an electric toothbrush and am trying to research oral-motor activities, but he fights me terribly, and I don’t want to create a negative experience. Any ideas on where to start?

    Thank you for any input!

  164. Hi Amanda,

    It sounds like your son may have oral hypersensitivity. I would start by contacting a Speech Language Pathologist to help you set appropriate goals and guide you through the process of helping your son become more familiar and comfortable with different foods and textures. If you are in the United States I would call the Early Intervention Program in your area. They are trained to work with kids just like your son. In the meantime I would suggest you see how he responds to playing with, touching or feeling different textures with his hands. Some kids with oral hypersensitivity also don’t like to get messy or touch certain things. If this is the case then I would suggest you slowly introduce new textures through play that he can experience first with his hands. Get out the play-dough, bury some treasures in a bucket of beans, play in the sand box or you may even try finger painting with pudding. Go slowly, if any of these activities are upsetting to him then try something a little different. You want these to be positive experiences. You may also want to try massaging the hands, then arms, feet then legs moving slowly up the body. Eventually after he becomes comfortable with you touching/massaging his body try moving to his neck then cheeks. Try tapping his lips with your fingers before finally moving in his mouth. Activities such as these will help you build his trust and broaden his experience with different textures in a less threatening way which will should lead to more success when introducing new foods orally.

    Good luck!

  165. Lisa,

    You ask hard questions. Let’s think for a minute about how different the diagnosis’s really are. Your doctor suspected autism likely due to his severe receptive-expressive language delay which is characteristic of autism. The psychologist determined that it was not in fact autism but that it was a severe receptive-expressive language disorder instead. The doctor may have been wrong saying it was autism but he was right to identify that your son has a severe language delay and to refer him for further testing. Now at the clinic the SLP’s you are seeing don’t seem to be as alarmed. That’s likely because autism has been ruled out and knowing that it is a receptive-expressive language disorder the prognosis for swift improvement is much better. They are also well trained in working with children like yours and likely project very good results.

    To answer your second question, I would say yes, he does need to work on language goals alongside his articulation goals. If you don’t feel the SLP’s you are working with are targeting language enough just ask them if they would please make language priority number one.

    Don’t be afraid to talk with your SLP’s. Just like you they want the very best for your son but you know your son better than anyone. Working together with them will help your son be the most successful.

    Good luck. I know your son is going to do great!


  166. Firstly wanted to start with congratulating you on such an informative and motivating website. I have a son who will be 3yrs in December and has an articulation delay. He drops the initial letter off virtually every word he says and can drop letters from the middle of words also. My concern is that he could previously label words clearly now these words are said with errors. He speaks using 5-6 word sentences and has a good vocabularly but he is so hard to understand. I have had his speech assessed but have not gotten any answer as to why his speech is regressing since he started to use sentences to the point every word is missing the first letter. Any idea what could be going on???

  167. Heidi,

    Thanks for your insight. I am having a meeting with my sons slp tomorrow. Our biggest decision right now is whether to have my son continue with his current therapist or to switch him to clinic that the neuro-psychologist recommended a private clinic). My son has been at his current therapist (local public school slp) for 2 years and I have to admit I don’t see a lot of progress. My husband want to switch him. It’s a longer drive for me but I’ll do what’s best for him.

    Is is reasonable to expect significant improvement after 2 years. How long, on average, would a child who has a severe language disorder take to recover completely?

  168. Hi Heidi,

    I love your website. My five year old son has problem with language development according to his kindergarten teacher. I took him to a language therapist and his score of first assessment was 64. The normal score for his age is 85-110. He started talking when he was 14 months old. He was born in Canada but we speak a different language at home. He was introduced to English language when he first joined kindergarten at age 4.5 years. Is this normal? What can I do to help him? I did print all your work sheets.

  169. thank you for sharing your blog.could you provide some exercises that help practise PH sound?
    thanks a lot!

  170. Hi Miao,

    If you are looking for activities to practice the “ph” sound as in “phone” or “photo” you can use the /f/ worksheets on the worksheets page since the /f/ and the ph make the same sound. You may also be interested in reading my post, “How to Teach the F and V Sounds.”


  171. Hi Jo,

    Your son is using a phonological process called initial consonant deletion to help him simplify the adult speech he is trying to learn. This pattern of simplifying speech is not very common and may indicate a phonological delay. A phonological delay is a speech sound disorder where kids use patterns to simplify speech.

    Why his speech has regressed could be contributed to a number of different factors. I recommend you talk with your speech pathologist about this since she will be able to give you a much better answer given she has all the facts. Working with a speech pathologist is highly recommended.

    Wishing you the best!

  172. Hi Lisa,

    Every child is so individual that it is difficult to say. Having said that, every SLP can be different in their approaches as well. If you aren’t happy with the progress your son has made over the past two years I think switching to a new SLP is a good idea. That’s not to say the SLP you have been working with is not good but a new perspective on the situation may be refreshing for everyone.

    All the best!

  173. Hi Fatima,

    I’m a little confused. Is he fluent in his first language or is he delayed there as well? Learning a new language can be difficult. I would recommend you take advantage to whatever speech therapy services are offered through the school to give him every advantage possible. Then be sure to be involved with his assignments making sure to communicate frequently with the therapist always asking what more you can do at home. Be diligent in home practice and I am sure you will see marked improvement.

    Hope this helps!

  174. My 4-year-old daughter is having trouble with her speech. She talks in sentences, but it is sometimes hard to understand what she is saying. Watching her mouth as she speaks I’ve noticed that she often doesn’t move it much (kind of like a ventriloquist). I have pointed this out to her in the mirror. For example I have shown her that when she makes the “M” sound her upper lip needs to come over her front teeth and touch her bottom lip. “M’s” at the start of a word aren’t a problem, it’s the “M” in the middle or end of the word. Other problem letters include “N”and “P” and some others — especially when they are in the middle or end of the word. A couple of questions: Why isn’t she moving her mouth correctly? Why doesn’t she know (hear) that she isn’t making the right sound? We have not had her evaluated as I thought maybe I could help her at home. But perhaps an evaluation would be best? Thank you.

  175. My husband and I have acted as speech therapists. My sweet unusually bright boy just never got the speech and to date the therapists have been awful for 2 reasons, they don’t get his non speech intelligence, they are not playful and they don’t use meaningful speech. Do you have suggestions for tools to use for grammar drilling. I think my son would respond well to software. He is 7. His vocabulary is decent, reception decent but his expressive language is very poor for his age. Errors, pronoun reversals (inconsistent too- he speaks for us as younger kids do) not being able to form longer sentences with any ease. Thanks!!

  176. Hi Heidi,

    My daughter is 2 years and 4 months. We have seen the state program speech therapist and a private speech therapist. I was very unhappy with both as both seemed to be telling me things about my little girl that I knew were not true. I am very realistic about my child. I am not a mom in denial about where she is developmentally, but feel that I am constantly defending my daughter against people who don’t understand her.

    Her main source of communication is to scream (going on for over a year now). She has said some really complicated words perfectly articulated (such as alligator). She will say these words once and never say them again. One of the therapists we saw said, “that fits with her personality” (she is very stubborn and strong-willed). We have started withholding luxuries from her (not necessities) until she says words that we know for sure she can say. But she will only sometimes say them. We’ve also started demanding the word “please” which she will only say after about 5 minutes of trying to obtain the wanted object herself (once she gets frustrated enough, she’ll come back and say it). She has said about 150 words and phrases combined, but only about 10 of those words and phrases are consistent. And she will not say yes or no (which is hugely frustrating). That’s the first problem: stubbornness and refusal.

    There are some words that she’ll say perfectly the first time (ex: green) and then the more she says it, the more it gets poorly articulated (ex: green becomes gweweweween). That’s the second problem: she digresses on almost every word that she initially says correctly.

    She has said almost all sounds and combinations of sounds that I can think of with the exception of the “h” sound at the beginning of a word (she’ll say “Shhhhh”), the “f” sound, and when “l” is the second letter of a word (ex: black or blue is back or bue).

    I’m upset and want her to learn and be able to communicate. I’m to the point where I’m not willing to go back and see another person misunderstand or diagnose my child incorrectly or put her in situations where I know she won’t learn (ex: one therapist put her in the “play” room at the therapy center and then told her to count the stuffed animals on the floor. My girl LOVES to play on jungle gyms likes ones in the play room and does not like stuffed animals. After she refused to play with the stuffed animals, the therapist declared that she had an attention problem. I was so fed up and done at that point and I never went back).

    Do you have any advice? I have only browsed your website, but it looks like something I can do from home. Do you recommend that I work through your solutions as it would take a LOT of persuasion to ever get me to go back to another therapist in person. I’m a highly motivated mom and from what the therapists said, my daughter is a highly motivated “talker.” She babbles incoherent words ALL the time. Do you have any other advice?

    Thank you so much for any advice and direction you can give me. You are my last outside hope.


  177. Hi Jodi,

    You have a lot of great questions. There are a lot of different things that could be contributing to her not being aware of her speech errors. The first one that comes to mind is she may have a history of ear infections that has made it difficult for her to hear all the sounds. Without evaluating her I cannot say what is causing her difficulty.

    It would be a good idea to have her evaluated though. By the time a child is 3 they should be 100% intelligible even if they do have some speech sound errors. Also, she should have mastered the /m/, /p/, and /n/ sounds in all positions by now. I would recommend having her evaluated so you have a better idea of how delayed she actually is and how to better help her. In the meantime you may be interested in my posts, “How to Teach the P Sound,”and “How to Teach the M Sound.” You may also be interested in “Articulation Station” for the iPad and iPhone. It comes with the P program loaded on it for free. You can download the N and M programs for $2.99 each.

    Wishing you all the best!

  178. HI Lara,

    Some of my favorite apps for targeting language for school age kids are developed by the Mobile Education Store. Some of my favorites that might be helpful for targeting grammar, sentence structure, and conversation include “Rainbow Sentences,” “Preposition Builder” and “Conversation Builder” but I think all their apps are pretty great. I also really like “Bitsboard.” It’s a free app that allows you to create your own boards with thousands of images to choose from. I use their “action words” board to work on pronouns. I say, “Who is jumping?” The child responds,”He is jumping…” Hope this helps!


  179. Rasangi Weerasekera

    Hi Heidi,

    Your website is simply fabulous!!! Thanks a lot for sharing these wonderful resources. I’m a Speech and Language Therapist from Sri Lanka. Your collection of ideas and the creativity is very impressive. I’m learning a lot. Looking forward to read more. 🙂



  180. Hi Elizabeth,

    I am so sorry to hear about your frustrating experiences with therapists. It sounds like you have a very bright little girl that is doing the best she can to communicate with the resources she has. Mom to mom I would say that your first priority should be to help her find a meaningful way to communicate her wants and needs consistently. I am so impressed with how hard you’ve tried to teach her, holding things back until she verbalizes the word or says please. That takes a lot of strength! So I know you have what it takes to help her be a successful communicator.

    I want to introduce you to a communication concept called the Picture Exchange Communication System. It will be so empowering for your daughter as you provide a way for her to communicate while she continues to work on developing her speech. The basic concept behind the Picture Exchange Communication System is teaching children who are struggling with effective communication to initiate a communicative act by purposely handing a picture of a desired item to their communication partner (that may be a parent, loved one, or friend). After the child has been taught how to communicate with pictures they can independently locate their communication book when they want something, select a picture and hand it to the desired recipient. This system also works on putting these words into sentences while providing visual prompts and auditory prompts from the parents or communicative partners to help them learn to say the words verbally.

    Introducing a communication system like this one or another one will give your daughter a more meaningful way to communicate, while still supporting and encouraging her verbal speech development. I think something of this nature will really help to reduce the screaming and frustration on her part when trying to communicate and speed up her speech and language development. However, to be the most successful with the Picture Exchange Communication System you will need the support of someone who has been trained in this area. Meaning, if you have it in you I would recommend you find a new Speech Pathologist that could support you in this.

    Take some time to think about it, read about it and if you have any more questions I am happy to help.

    Best wishes!

  181. Hi Heidi,

    I am at my wits’ end. My 3.75 year old son is still non verbal, although he makes a lot of sounds, and sound combinations. I also hear him humming of late, but no words. I worry so much about him.

    Do you have any advise for me on how to bring the words out ? I am terrified about his language development prognosis.

    – Gayatri

  182. I am a Speech Pathologist who recently went with my husband on a medical missions trip to Kenya. While there I was asked to “evaluate” a 5 year old boy adopted (at age 1 yr) from China. He has a repaired lip and palate cleft (with a small anterior fistula). His parents are M.D.’s volunteering at a mission hospital in western Kenya for two years. They had had him in speech therapy in the States before heading to Kenya in 2012 and are now wonderng how to help him with no speech pathologists available. I was able to give them a list of some sounds he needs to work on (as will as some ideas for some minor langauge things he seems to need) and am now trying to find them help in the form of programs for the ipad that they could use to help him develop some of the sounds he needs (fricatives, affricates, blends, /l/). He also has nasality/mild nasal air emissions issues but I didn’t address this. Any suggestions you may have would be wonderful! They are home schooling and the child is very bright and loves technology!
    I also wondered if there are “virtual” speech pathologists available somehow to perhaps consult on skype with this family??
    Thanks so much for any help!

  183. Hi
    do you have a newsletter??? I am not on twitter and would love to follow your updates.
    (Torquay, Australia)

  184. My child is 2 and a half and knows lots of words but has trouble telling me what is going on when I ask. He will repeat what I say often instead of giving me an answer. Is this normal or does he have a problem. He will be three soon. It seems that he should be able to answer simple questions at this age.

  185. Elizabeth McBarnet

    Hi Heidi
    I am a speech and language therapist from the UK. I have recently moved to Doha and am setting up an independent practice over here. I was looking on the web for proper resources, as I left much of my therapy material at home in the UK! I can’t believe what I have found here – your therapy is exactly in line with my thoughts and principles, and your material is absolutely beautiful! Thank you for your generosity. I am wondering if I have any material you might be interested in in return, but you have so much of it covered here.
    May I share your web site on my Facebook page? (Lismenary Speech and Language Clinic). with best wishes and thanks, Elizabeth

  186. Dear Heidi,

    I am also a speech, have been one or.42 years, and appreciate what you are sharing with families. I have already started letting my Facebook friends (clients ) know about your resources. I have included one of three you tubes I have created on teaching the r ound. They are free and hold help many.

    I hope this will reach you. Never did figure out how to respond to blogs. Alida Engel, CCC-SLP, BRS-FD

  187. Hi Elizabeth, Thank you for your wonderful comment! I’m so happy that you have been able to find some helpful information on my site. You are of course welcome to use anything you find here here in your own therapy sessions. I would also love it if you shared Mommy Speech Therapy on your Facebook page. Thanks again, and best of luck on your new adventure! -Heidi

  188. Hi,

    Thank you for all of the great tips on your site! I am having trouble working with my 25 month old and wanted to see if you have any advice. He has been in Early Intervention for about seven months but it doesn’t seem to be helping. He has only said “mama” and “no” a couple of times but nothing consistently. When he babbles, it’s mostly just open-mouth, vowel-type sounds, unless he’s really frustrated and then he tries to babble more sounds. We’ve been working on the “more” sign, and although he clearly understands it, he doesn’t use it unless it’s something he REALLY wants. He just doesn’t seem interested in language at all. He’s also not really good at following directions but if we work on him with a specific direction for a few days he seems to pick it up (if he wants to listen). He mostly takes us by the hand to what he wants, or uses eye contact to show us. I’d appreciate any ideas/tips you can provide. Thanks!

  189. Hi!

    I am a mother of a wonderful, beautiful and smart 20 month old little girl. She is the light of my life. She has hit and exceeded most all of her developmental milestones thus far except for speech. She is only saying verbally maybe 5 words but can sign about 6-10 more. She has great receptive skills but her expressive just isn’t there and I am about to go crazy trying to figure out why and how I can help her. I took her to early intervention at 18 months but at that time didn’t qualify. I seeked out private pay and she recently is being seen for OT for attention issues. E speech therapist said she has a mild expressive language delay but without a diagnosis insurance wouldn’t cover the therapy. I’m at a loss and just want to help my baby girl talk. She is starting to get upset and throw tantrums now and I feel part of that is due to her language. I am a special education teacher so obviously I am always looking for something wrong when most likely nothing is. I need ideas, help and suggestions. I try to repeat words, get on her level, maleit fun but I think she knows what I am trying to do and will ignore me. Se isn’t repeating words but will repeat actions and some signs that we started to use.

  190. Hi Heidi!!!

    I have a question… I have a 3 1/2 yr old boy who is my youngest. My oldest (5 yrs old) talks a mile a minute and my youngest has always been with me or family while I work and has never been around people who doesn’t know his wants or needs. Because of this his vocabulary is VERY delayed, he’s never really HAD to talk. He understands language and follows direction great, just doesn’t talk. I have heard him say words like “birds” “ball” even “i want to go bye-bye” once when he was really mad, but normally he just babbles. I try to start with words I know he can say, but he babbles and laughs. How do I get this stubborn 3 yr old to talk??? I know he can, he just is hard headed and won’t take speech seriously. How do I get him to focus and try???




  192. Hi Jade,

    It sounds like it is time for you to take your son in for a speech evaluation. There may be more to it than you think. If he’s had a history of ear infections or fluid behind his ears that could contribute to his delayed talking. He could have apraxia of speech or a phonological disorder that is causing his delay. Or it could be that he just needs a little more incentive to talk. Getting an evaluation from a speech pathologist will help you identify what is causing his delay. The speech pathologist will be able to set up a treatment plan to get him talking as much as his big brother. My advice, don’t wait any longer. Get him the help he needs.

    Good luck!

  193. First of alll a very big thanks to you, Heidi for this website!!!!

    My son was dignosed with modeate hearing loss (sensorinueral) a few months back ,he was lagging in F, S and S blends Your worksheets have helped him enourmously even though he went through them only couple of times. Today when he is turing seven, I want to say a big thanks for creating those worksheets and giving me some tools to improving his speech ….


  194. Hi Angela,

    I don’t have a newsletter but I’m flattered you’d like to follow my updates. Just check back once in awhile.

    🙂 Heidi

  195. I’m so happy to hear they have helped. All the best to you and your son!


  196. Heidi I wanted to also comment on the message from the parent of the little girl who has significant speech delays.

    I definitely agree that the PECS system would be a great starting point for her and her family. I think it will give the child a more productive way to communicate. It sounds to me like she may have developmental verbal apraxia. Elizabeth if I were you I would look for an experienced speech therapist who has worked with children with developmental verbal apraxia. There is a great website called “’ or something like that. Sounds like she has motor planning difficulties.

    Be persistent in searching for a provider. Not many therapists are comfortable diagnosing apraxia (some insurance companies prefer a diagnosis from a physician or a neurologist).

    All the best to you and your child.


  197. Hi Gayatri,

    I would recommend you see a speech language pathologist for an evaluation. The most important thing for your son right now is to experience the power of communication whether it be with pictures, signs or words. Then you can begin to explore what may be causing his delay. I would recommend a hearing screening, an oral-motor evaluation as well as speech and language assessments that will not only evaluate what he is saying but also be able to measure what he is understanding. I am sure with some guidance your son will be on the road to successful communication.

    All the best!

  198. Hi Nancy,

    I apologize for the late reply. I have been a little swamped lately. I would recommend “Articulation Station” for the iPad and iPhone. I think it would be just what they need for home practice. I don’t know any speech pathologists personally that are doing therapy over skype but I know they are out there. You may check the ASHA website. If anyone reading this does virtual speech therapy feel free to comment.

    All the best!

  199. Hi Marshall,

    It sounds like your 2 1/2 year old may in fact be delayed in his expressive language. Most kids his age are answering simple questions appropriately. I would recommend you take him to a speech pathologist for an evaluation.

    Best of luck!

  200. Hi Christy,

    It sounds like your son needs to learn the power of communication. Check out my post, “8 Ways to Get Your Child to Speak” for some suggestions on how to “tempt” your child to communicate. I would also recommend you try pictures as a means for communication if he doesn’t seem to be responding well to signs. Ask your speech pathologist to tell you about the “Picture Exchange Communication System.” There are also some great apps available created as communication tools that also support language development. I like, “My First AAC.” It is great for toddlers that just need a temporary tool for communication as their language develops.

    Hope this helps!

  201. Hi Megan,

    It sounds like your little girl is very lucky to have a mom as motivated and committed as you are! It sounds like you are doing all the right things to help her by teaching her signs, getting on the floor and playing on her level, repeating words frequently, and making speech fun. I would recommend you give therapy a few more months to see what kind of progress she makes. If you are still discouraged and concerned that she is not making the kind of progress she could be making I would recommend talking with your therapist and seeing what else you could try. Maybe you could try a “Picture Exchange Communication System” or an app on the iPad like, “My First AAC” to increase the frequency and breadth of her communication. In the meantime keep doing what you are doing. She is learning a lot, even if she’s not talking about it.

    All the best!

  202. Hi,
    I just stumbled on this. My son is 21months and was diagnose as being severly hearing impaired a few months ago. He just got his hearing aids.
    We live in ghana,west africa and there are not many paedriatric speech therapists here.
    I needed a few tips on helping him catch up. He has no vocabulary as yet but is now trying to say ‘bye’.

  203. Hi Angela,

    The good thing about a diagnosis is it gives you direction in which you can look for help. My recommendation would be to start signing with your son right away so he can have a meaningful source of communication. You might try the “Signing Time” videos to get you started. Then I would talk with your audiologist to find out what your son’s aided hearing levels are. Knowing this you can set your communication goals. It sounds like you would like him to be able to communicate verbally. If this is the case I would recommend you always say the word with the sign as you teach him sign language. I would also keep looking for a speech therapist. Maybe you could find one that does virtual therapy if you aren’t able to find a speech therapist in your area.

    Wishing you the best!

  204. Have you considered that he might have a food intolerance that is causing all if these health issues? Try eliminating gluten and dairy and see if there is an improvement. 🙂

  205. I came across your site while researching speech apraxia. I felt compelled to share my story with you. My son Devin has been diagnosed with speech apraxia and selective mutism. He sees a speech therapist and attends early preschool but I have been putting together a presentation project to help him overcome these issues.

    So far it has been working really well. I have put what is essentially a rough draft up on my blog. The program may help other kids and I am looking to make it available to others for free.

    For a long time we were in denial about what was going on with him, thinking kids just learn to talk at different paces. We used a number of other programs both pay and free. Quick Artic was among the best but I felt I could personally do better than their program. I started out with 10 slides for F and hard E; these were two sounds he really struggled with. His brother’s name is Ethan but he could not say his name, he called him ach-cha or hotshot. Devin liked my slides better and wanted to do them again and again and again, so I added more and more slides. After about 2 weeks or so he said “E”than. I knew I had something good – I knew I had to make this project.

    When we went to a Devin’s preschool assessment there was another girl there he was sort of playing with. She also had speech issues but just not as bad. He mom was trying to get her in to preschool on either the speech issues or their low income. She was turned away and did not qualify for either, because of recent budget cuts they could only take so many kids. I knew then this project had to be “free” so parents like hers had another tool to help. This inspired me also. There are many great programs out there but many are expensive and out of reach for people who need it.

    My calling at the moment is to make Devin’s speech project available to as many as it can help.

    I have worked hard to put the project together and it has and a huge impact on Devin. We spend hours on working on letters and he makes up stories and asks a lot of questions. I expanded each letter from 10 to 15 to eventually 25 slides. I have seen a profound impact. We often work on the tablet which the animations do not work on because they require flash player, Devin does not mind. We usually do three letters at a time sometimes more in a day. Eventually, we expect to add audio and make the program completely self directed by the child, but that is still a few months away. Devin’s speech project is constantly being updated.

    While this project likely will not be perfect for every child, we look to share the project because it has had a big impact on him. It is not intended to replace speech therapy just to be another tool to help.

    I would appreciate and feedback or ideas you might have on improving the project or sharing this effort with others.

    Please take a look at the program it and our story is online at:

    Thanks for your time,

    Michael Ramsdell
    Devin’s Dad

  206. Heidi,
    My four year old son Cameron,who is an only child and he doesn’t talk yet. He has atrophy in the left brain and he babbles and says moma and dada. What can I do to encourage him to talk more? He goes to ppcd at school what are some techniques I could use to teach him to talk? I also want to mention Cameron was a preemie at 24 weeks.
    Mandy chan

  207. Hi Michael,

    What an inspiration you are to all parents! I have long been impressed with the overwhelming impact parents can make in their children’s development. As a parent myself I have learned that no one is more vested in your child than you are and that ultimately their success is largely dependent on you. Your program looks wonderful! I am so happy to hear what a success it has been for your son. I think it is incredible that you are willing to share your hard work with others for free so that their children might be as successful as yours. God bless you and good luck with your son, your family and your program!


  208. Hi Mandy,

    If Cameron were my son my number one priority would be to give him a means of communication. You could use a Picture Exchange Communication System, an iPad with an AAC app like Proloquo 2 Go, or many other Augmentative Alternative Communication devices that are available. I would recommend working with a Speech Language Pathologist that can guide you toward meaningful communication for your son. After you have achieved meaningful communication then you can work toward more words.

    All the best!

  209. Jessica Perellada


    My son is 4 and currently going to a speech pathologist. She is very far from my house but the only one covered through my insurance. He was evaluated and it seemed to be articulation and his tongue postioning. He is currently working on S…for example, he says uperman instead of Superman. I haven’t seen much improvement, is there anything I can do to help? Thanks so much!

  210. Any advice on getting a 23 month old to talk more? He has said about 20 words and uses maybe only about 8 on a regular basis. He won’t mimic sounds or words unless he wants to. He understands and can point out things when asked and follows commands. He likes when I show him flash cards and describe the pictures but refuses the say anything.

  211. I have a speech therapist come over to my home for 30 min. twice a week and I noticed that he will have my son repeat five words and then let him play on his Ipad for a while. Then he gives him five more words and it seemed odd to me. Its only 30 min. thats he is here and my son has a good attention span. Is this normal for speech thereapy? The game on Ipad has nothing to do with speech.

  212. Hi. I have a 3 year old daughter ( almost 4 in Sept. ) who was diagnosed 5 months ago with an expressive and receptive speech disorder. She’s in a special ed. preschool program and has private speech therapy 2X a week. She has always been very full of life, expressive, happy. Unfortunately her behavior at times can be hard to handle due to her obvious frustration. She has exceptional artistic abilities for a child her age, and relaxes a lot when coloring/painting. Since school is on break for the summer her behavior has gotten worse, probably from the change in routine. I worry very much that she won’t have a “normal” life and blend in, and feel “different.” I am concerned her speech will only go so far – that she will continue to improve but it’s possible ( this could be my own fear and not reality ) she will never have complete speech. I realize she is not even 4 years old, is still very young, and she has improved in the past 5 months, but when I see a behavioral setback, or don’t see “enough” speech or understanding at times, I get so worried for her. I go online and it constantly says her diagnosis is a life long condition – and I want to hear stories of it NOT being life long, of it being totally overcome. Just feeling very overwhelmed and wondering if I am doing enough. I am meeting with a behavioral psychologist very soon, and having her go there 1X a week for 50 minutes a week – to work on certain behaviors ( sharing, better social interactions, etc. ).

  213. Hi Jen,

    First of all, let me start off by saying it sounds like you are doing everything you possibly can to help your daughter. Good for you for seeking help through early intervention and getting her in the programs she needs to be successful. I know that can sometimes be a difficult process and you are a wonderful mother for sticking with it and getting her the help she needs. It sounds like she does well with a lot of routine and structure. So, you will want to make sure you carry over anything they are doing at preschool into your home environment. I am sure they would allow you to come in and observe the strategies they are using with her at school so that you can do the same at home. Having good communication with her teachers and speech therapists is very important. The more you practice at home what they are teaching at school, the more progress you will see.

    It sounds like maybe she is getting frustrated because she is struggling to communicate. This is very common in children with communicative disorders. The best thing you can do is to find a way to help her communicate until she is able to do it on her own. That can be by using pictures, sign language, a communication device, or modeling the correct language for her when you see her getting frustrated. With her artistic abilities it might be a good idea to give her the option to draw what she would like to say. Anything to help her communicate without becoming frustrated.

    My best advice would be to reach out to her current SLP and ask her for some ideas on what you can work on at home. I am sure she would be more than willing to give you some ideas as it will help your daughter progress towards her goals the more you practice at home.

    Best of luck!

  214. Hi Irma,

    You will find that a lot of speech therapists will use short reinforcement periods after having a student practice some words. “Drill and kill” as we call it can get really boring as it is just repeating words over and over so we try to keep it fun for the child by adding in some reinforcement. If you think your child can have more repetitions of the words without losing interest before the reinforcer I would suggest mentioning that to your speech therapist. I have found that most of my students will work really hard for 25 minutes for 5 minutes of play time at the end. Always feel free to share your concerns with the speech therapist. We are there to help and love input from the parents.

  215. Hi Krys,

    You may want to take him to Early intervention and have him evaluated by a Speech Language Pathologist. Typically by the age of 2 children have about 50 words and are starting to put 2-3 word phrases together. As far as suggestions to get him to talk more make sure you are modeling correct language usage when he is requesting something. If he says “Milk” when he wants milk try to expand that by modeling “Milk please” and having him say that. Once he has that down, try for “I want milk” and then “I want milk please.” Requesting is a nice place to start expanding their vocabulary. You are doing great by continuing to show him flash cards and talking about them. Even if he is not saying anything right now, he is hearing you use the vocabulary and learning it that way. Keep up the great work and just keep talking to him and providing a good model!

    Best of luck!

  216. Hi Jessica,

    My first suggestion would be to make sure you are attending speech therapy with him and observing what the SLP is doing. Ask her what she wants you to work on throughout the week at home and follow through with what she gives you. For additional practice you can go to the “Worksheet” section on the blog and print out the /s/ worksheets to practice. Another great resource if you have access to an iPhone or iPad is our Articulation Station app. You can download the lite version for free and then purchase just the /s/ sound to work on. This will have flash cards for /s/ in all positions of words and blends, in sentences, and in stories. It also has a matching game that makes practicing more fun. Kids also love the record function because they can record themselves saying the word and then listen to it to see if they said it right.

    I would suggest starting with /st/ blends. I like to run my finger down the child’s arm as I say the /s/ sound and then tap on their hand for the rest of the word. Like ssssssss…top for “stop” You can have him break it up at first and as he gets better make the break between the /s/ and the word smaller and smaller until it is no longer there. I will also have them run their finger on the table for the /s/ sound and then tap the picture for the rest of the word. Putting the kinesthetic movement along with saying the word usually always helps my students.

    Best of luck!

  217. Thank you so much for making all this information available to parents. You are God sent!
    My daughter is 5.5 yo and bilingual n English/Spanish with Spanish being the first language. I as wondering if you have any info on what to do when children skip the first syllable of words. My daughter’s does that when speaking Spanish with several words, even though she knows how to say the whole word. I tried correcting her and having her say the word again, but I have not been successful at having her use the words properly in conversation. Same goes for incorrect verb conjugations, she knows how to say it, but in conversation she always miss-conjugates. I am also wondering if you have any info on learning how to pronounce the Spanish “r” and “rr”. I will be using your info for the English sounds. Based on the articulation test she is speaking English like a 3yo, this may be to some extent due to the fact that she has not been speaking English that long (may be 2 years). Any feedback is much appreciated.

  218. My comment may not be useful at all, but just in case (you never know). My own daughter was very difficult around 3yo. Eventually we discovered her tonsils had gotten very big and while the doctors keep telling us this wouldn’t have an impact on her speech we noticed a huge improvement right after we had her tonsils and adenoids removed (they were both very large). The poor girl was so tired from sleeping poorly that it was affecting her desire to communicate properly and was always very cranky. She was snoring pretty bad at night, so we knew something was wrong but doctors had told us she would grow out of it…. not so. Anyhow, something to keep in mind. Things to keep in mind: lack of sleep, hunger, dehydration (not drinking enough specially when it is hot can make you cranky too). Best of luck.

  219. Hi Laura,
    Sorry for the delay in response. Thank you for your nice comments, I am glad you have found the blog helpful. When children leave the first sound of the word off it is called, “Initial Consonant Deletion” So for example the word “baby” would come out as “aby” If this is what you are describing you would work on this by picking a few easy words beginning with sounds you know she can produce. I usually start with /p,b,m/. I like to pick 5 target words to work on and just practice them over and over with different activities at the word level. Once she is able to do that you can have her practice the words in a short phrase. I like to start with “My _____.” Once she can do that try a longer phrase and then move on to sentences. The same would go with practicing with verb conjugations. Take it back to the word level just practicing the words and then use them in short sentences and with enough practice you will see it carry over into everyday conversational speech. I am sorry, but I do not have any experience with teaching the spanish /r/. Best of luck with everything and let me know how it goes!