At the beginning of 1st grade, all students will be informally screened for articulation errors. If a student meets the criteria, he or she will be eligible to receive speech improvement services.
Students, who have been receiving speech improvement services during the prior year, will also be re-screened at the beginning of the school year to determine if continuation of services is warranted.
There are several steps that need to be mastered before you can expect your child to produce his/her target sound correctly. Below is a brief explanation of what he/she will do.
Articulation Therapy Process
STEP 1: ISOLATION
The child must first master the ability to produce the sound in Isolation, which means saying the sound all by itself.
STEP 2: SYLLABLES
Next, the child must be able to prouduce the sound in syllables, which means adding each vowel with the target sound.
STEP 3: WORDS
After mastering syllables, the child will produce the sound in the beginning, middle, and final position of words.
STEP 4: SENTENCES
Once the student can produce the sound in all word positions (beginning, middle, and end), then he/she will produce the sounds in sentences.
STEP 5: STRUCTURED CONVERSATION
After the student is able to produce the sound in sentences, we work on producing the sound in structured conversation. This is a conversation that is led by the Speech Language Pathologist and the student is prompted, or reminded, to correctly produce the target sound when repsonding to a question, adding to a conversation, asking a question, etc.
STEP 6: CONVERSATION
This is similar to Step 5: Structured Conversation, but the prompts, or reminders, are faded during the conversation. The student is expected to self-monitor his/her target sound production.
STEP 7: GENERALIZATION
Once the sound has been mastered in words, sentences, stories and in conversation, the student will work toward using his/her target sound in all communicative settings, not just during speech sessions.
If your child seems to be having difficulty generalizing the target, he/she may have to go back and practice the target sound in structured conversation. Visual reminders also help with this process (i.e. a picture on the desk, a picture on his/her mirror at home, etc).