Parents can facilitate pronunciation of speech sounds by providing many opportunities for the child to hear and say the sound correctly. Some practical suggestions are as follows:
Use speech that is clear and easy for your child to follow.
Repeat what your child says, using correct sounds. Never imitate incorrect speech.
Avoid baby talk that uses sounds incorrectly.
Make a picture book of interesting pictures containing a misarticulated sound. Have fun looking at the book and talking about the pictures. Be sure to say the words with the target sound frequently. Stress the sound ever so slightly, but keep your production natural.
Sing songs and recite poems and nursery rhymes that contain the target sounds.
Select 4-5 common household words containing the target sound and use them frequently during the day.
Show your child how to make the sound, especially if it is a visible sound like 1, s, ch, j, or th. Use this method sparingly to avoid frustration.
Encourage talking. If the child is unintelligible, try to determine the meaning from context. Whenever possible, avoid asking the child to repeat what he or she has just said. This will reduce frustration.
If your child has many misarticulations, focus on 1 or 2 sounds for a few weeks at a time.
Since hearing affects sound acquisition, be sure to have your child’s hearing screened regularly.