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Encourage Speech Sounds Through Reading
by Keri Brown, M.C.D., CCC-SLP
What's a great way to encourage a child to pronounce sounds correctly? It's simple! Expose him/her to early developing speech sounds before he/she can even talk by reading books loaded with these sounds.
Have you ever talked to a child who substituted /w/ for /r/ (i.e., saying "wed" for "red")? If so, you may have responded, "What's 'wed'?" For this you received a funny look and the reply, "Not wed. Wed!"
Speech therapists commonly use a strategy with children with articulation and phonological disorders called "auditory bombardment." This technique repeatedly exposes the child to the correct production of mispronounced sounds. This increases the child's ability to hear incorrect sounds in his/her own speech. Reading sound-filled books to your child when he/she is a baby increases sound production and the opportunity to hear early developing sounds pronounced correctly.
Early developing sounds include p, b, t, d, k, g, and m. Often children will naturally omit these sounds from the ends of words or in the middle of multi-syllabic words. This is a common pattern in articulatory development. Just provide a good speech model by over-emphasizing the target sound. Below is a list of books packed full of early developing sounds to read to your child. The number of times a sound occurs is listed under each book.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, by Judith Viorst
  • p - 25
  • m - 22
  • g - 8
  • d - 40
  • b - 29
  • k - 50
  • t - 59
Cat in the Hat, by Dr. Seuss
  • p - 19
  • m - 20
  • g - 7
  • d - 25
  • b - 15
  • k - 32
  • t - 50
Dr. De Soto, by William Steig
  • p - 40
  • m - 38
  • g - 17
  • d - 80
  • b - 26
  • k - 23
  • t - 98
The Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter
  • p - 22
  • m - 30
  • g - 16
  • d - 42
  • b - 29
  • k - 40
  • t - 59
Fish is Fish, by Leo Lionni
  • p - 17
  • m - 22
  • g - 13
  • d - 37
  • b - 11
  • k - 23
  • t - 44
White Snow, Bright Snow, by Alvin Tresselt
  • p - 42
  • m - 34
  • g - 14
  • d - 66
  • b - 33
  • k - 47
  • t - 105
There are many ways to give your child a head start to great speech and language skills. Reading books filled with early developing sounds is a wonderful way to learn while spending quality time with your child.
Resources
Borsch, Jennifer. Artic and Lit: Materials for Carryover Using Children's Literature. ECL Publications, 1994.
Children's Books
Lionni, Leo. Fish is Fish. New York: Pantheon Books, 1970.
Potter, Beatrix. The Tale of Peter Rabbit. New York: Scholastic, 1985.
Seuss, Dr. The Cat in the Hat. New York: Random House, 1968.
Steig, William. Dr. De Soto. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1982.
Tresselt, Alvin. White Snow, Bright Snow. New York: Mulberry Books, 1988.
Viorst, Judith. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. New York:Atheneum, 1975.
 
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