Comment aider un enfant à bien articuler

Beaucoup d’enfants éprouvent des difficulties à articular les sons de la parole. Les sons les plus difficiles à produire sont le /s/, /z/, /ch/, /j/, /r/ et /l/. Ces sons se développent plus lentement chez certains jeunes enfants, et peuvent rendre l’enfant difficile à comprendre. Ceci peut être très frustrant pour l’enfant, et également pour la personne qui essaie de le comprendre. Voici quelques suggestions qui pourraient l’aider :

  • Ralentissez votre parole à vous, pour que l’enfant ralentisse lui aussi. Ceci pourrait l’aider à mieux placer la langue et les lèvres, ou pourrait simplement vous donner plus de temps à comprendre ce que l’enfant dit.
  • Placez-vous en face de l’enfant et à son niveau physiquement pour leur permettre à voir les mouvements de votre bouche, et à les reproduire.
  • Faites des activités qui facilitent votre compréhension de ce que l’enfant dit – où  on comprend ce que l’enfant dit grâce au contexte. Par exemple, regardez ensemble un livre où  il y a une image sur chaque page.
  • Si vous ne comprenez pas ce que l’enfant vient de dire, demandez-lui de répéter, de le dire plus lentement ou de le montrer.
  • Si vous avez compris une partie de ce que l’enfant vient de dire, répétez la partie que vous avez compris.
  • Si vous avez compris ce que l’enfant vient de dire, répétez le message correctement.
  • Pratiquez les sons suggérés par l’orthophoniste à tous les jours. Pratiquez pendant une courte période de temps.
  • En général, on pratique les sons en isolation, ensuite en syllabes, ensuite en mots, ensuite en phrases et finalement en conversation, mais ceci varie dépendant des difficultés de votre enfant et de ce que l’orthophoniste suggère pour votre enfant.
  • Rendez la répétition amusante. Si vous pouvez, intégrez la répétition dans des jeux pour que l’enfant continue à vouloir pratiquer. Travailler la parole peut être un processus assez long. Il est important de garder l’enfant intéressé et motivé.

J’espère que ces renseignements soient utiles. Si vous avez des inquietudes concernant la parole ou le langage de votre enfant, vous êtes prié de communiquer avec un orthophoniste. Si vous habitez à Winnipeg ou proche de Winnipeg, nous serions contents de vous aider à SpeechWorks. Bonne chance!

Working on Articulation

Lots of young children have difficulty with speech sounds. The most difficult sounds to produce are /s/, /z/, /sh/, /ch/, /j/, /r/ and /l/. These sounds often take longer to develop, and can make it hard to understand some children. Imagine how frustrating this is for the child and the person they are talking to! Here are some things that may help:

  • Slow down your own speech, so that your child slows down too. This may help them to place their tongue and lips in the correct position, or it may just give you more time to figure out what they are saying.
  • Face them and place yourself at their level physically to allow them to see the mouth movements you are making, and eventually to produce them.
  • Do activities that support your ability to understand your child’s speech – where the context makes it easier to figure out what they say. For example, look at a book with one big picture on each page with your child.
  • If you do not understand what they just said, ask them to repeat, slow down or show you. Sometimes it helps to ask them to say it a different way.
  • If you understand part of what they just said, repeat the part that you understood.
  • If you understand what they just said, repeat it correctly.
  • Practice any sounds that your Speech-Language Pathologist suggests daily. Practice them for a short period of time. Sometimes it helps to practice easier sounds such as /t/, /d/, /n/ or /l/ in order to get a more precise position for the tongue – this will help to develop more difficult sounds such as /s/ and /z/.
  • In general, you will practice sounds in isolation, then in syllables, then in words, then in sentences, and finally in conversation, but this will vary according to your child’s difficulties and what the Speech-Language Pathologist suggests for your child.
  • Make it fun. If you can, integrate drill into games so that your child keeps wanting to practice. Working on speech may be a long-term commitment. Keeping your child interested and motivated is important.

Here is more information about what to do when you don’t understand a child’s speech, some suggestions for practice and integrating movement into speech practice.

I hope this post was helpful! If you have concerns about your child’s speech or language, please contact a Speech-Language Pathologist. If you live in or near Winnipeg, we at SpeechWorks Inc. would be happy to help. Good luck!

When you don’t understand a child’s speech

Some children are so difficult to understand that even their parents have trouble understanding them. They may ask “What can I do when I don’t understand my child’s speech?”

It may help to ask your child to repeat what they said. You can say “I didn’t understand. Tell me again, please.” This gives you another chance to hear the message. If you understood part of it the first time, you can repeat the part that you understood to your child and pause for them to continue. If you did not understand a single word the first time, you can still ask for a repetition. Watch your child carefully to catch any gestures or facial expressions that may give you clues to help figure out what they mean. If you still do not understand, ask your child to show you. They can take you to something to support their communication, or draw or gesture part of the message to help you understand. Having pictures of some of the things your child often talks about may also help.

Some children have unusual ways of making themselves understood. One little boy I know cannot name some objects, but he can say all of his colours. His parents encourage him to tell them the colour of the object he is asking for! Encourage your child to use whatever they can to tell you their message. Tell other people they spend time with what works for them. Sometimes it can be helpful to have a chart saying what the child says or does, what it means, and how you should respond to it.

Once you do understand, always repeat the message slowly and clearly, so that they hear the correct way of saying it. Don’t ask children to repeat your correction – just model it for them to hear. Most children find it frustrating to be constantly asked to repeat.

It is important for children to have lots of success communicating. It may be helpful to play with toys selected to make what they say more obvious. For example, puzzles with one picture per piece make it easier to figure out what a child is saying. Songs, nursery rhymes and simple books can also provide a chance to speak without the pressure of making a message understood. To encourage your child to sing along, sing slowly and use lots of gestures. To encourage a child to participate in a familiar nursery rhyme or book, you can stop every so often and let them say the next word.

Children do get easier and easier to understand with time, but if you understand less than 50% of what they say by age 2, 75% by age 3 or 100% by age 4 (although they may still make some errors with later-developing sounds such as “s”. “r” or “th”), please consider consulting a Speech-Language Pathologist.

If you live in or near Winnipeg, Manitoba, we at SpeechWorks Inc. would be happy to help! SpeechWorks Inc.  provides services in English and French for children and adults to help with speech, language, swallowing and memory.