Generally speaking, most people can recognize when a child “doesn’t sound right”. They may not be able to describe what it is that the child is doing, but they know something just doesn’t sound right. At SACS, through our annual screenings and referrals from teachers and/or parents we are able to identify these children and test for their stimulability for speech sounds generally acquired by students their age. Articulation stimulability refers to whether a child can imitate the correct production of a speech sound. If he or she can correctly imitate that sound the SLP concludes that he or she is stimulable for that sound. This means that the sound will likely develop on its’ own without direct intervention. If he or she cannot imitate that sound, the SLP may conclude that the student is not stimulable for that sound and recommend that direct intervention with the SLP may be required.
When testing for stimulability, an SLP uses repetition tasks asking the student to repeat a sound after being instructed in the correct placement of the articulators, (tongue, teeth, lips, etc.). Several attempts are offered along with syllable and word repetition to determine the ease with which the student is able to produce the sound and use it in words. The SLP considers these factors along with chronological age and developmental norms for sound acquisition in determining whether direct intervention is needed.
Handy Hints for Helping at Home
If you have concerns about your child’s speech development, contact the SLP at your school. He/shewill provide guidance as to activities specific to your child’s speech sound development needs and which sounds you might target at home. Practicing speech sounds at home doesn’t necessarily require a set aside time for “speech practice”, but can be accomplished throughout your daily routine. Some fun and natural opportunities which may arise could include:
Practice saying the sound: