Sometimes kids magically take that last step to carrying over their articulation sounds into conversation and they are ready for dismissal. Other times it seems they can be very accurate during their weekly speech therapy session but can’t jump to the step of using their new production most of the time outside of therapy.
Well, I am working with a second grader who falls into that second category. We play all kinds of games, talk about many subjects, read and explain “how to’s” but he STILL doesn’t carry over this /s/ outside of therapy. I have repeatedly given home practice ideas so finally resorted to a chart (made by him) which seems to motivate him. We put 3 circles for each day for him to fill in the three times he practices throughout his day–before and after school and before bed. I talked to mom about an inexpensive but rewarding prize for him. Of course when I told him to write “prize” at the end of the chart, he said, “It would be really good if it could be a dog!” Oops, wasn’t thinking quite that big. We’ll let mom deal with that.
Then we brainstormed activities he could do for practice and he came up with 9 ideas: play I spy for /s/ words, describe a picture, tell about his day, play a game, tell about a school activity, call out things in the room beginning with /s/, read out loud, practice lines from a play he is in, and then he added singing.
I asked him to sing a song from the play he is in and he completely forgot to use his /s. I was shocked because he is Mr. Perfect in all the activities we do in the session and he completely forgot his /s/. What a perfect place to practice! Certainly it’s hard to remember the words and tune to a song as well as your /s/ production so now we have some effective homework!