The topic of choice this week is again /s/ cluster sounds. Why? Because I am one proud speechy mama. After working with my daughter for numerous months on her /st/ sounds, she correctly sang “Twinkle Twinkle Little STAR” today. And she repeatedly did this throughout the day.
Although this error is extremely common for young children, it is also one that can significantly impact their ability to be understood. It takes quick thinking to know that a “tar” is a “star” and a “tare” is a “stair” when they are speaking quickly. I typically work on this cluster error by stretching the /s/ sound for as long as I can. Like a snake: “sssssssssssssssss” and then add the rest of the word. For example, I might say “ssssssssssssssssssstar”. Sometimes I will make the shape of “S” in the air with my finger and hold my sound as long as I am making the “S” shape. Sometimes I will run my finger up my arm or the child’s arm and have them hold the /s/ as long as they feel the finger. At school, I’ve have children make a large letter “S” in liquid glue and then cover the letter with very fine sand. After it dries, the child can run their finger along the “S” and make that sound while they are tracing.
Hope these ideas are helpful. Here is an audio clip of my little girl with her new /st/ sounds. For privacy reasons there is nothing to see, but hopefully you can hear her little voice. Please ignore her big brother in the background. He’s already in trouble for COLORING all over the walls with his sister this evening…but that’s another story 😉