Therapy for Speech Sound Difficulties – Using Rhymes and Jingles
It is hard to say how long it will take for speech sound difficulties to resolve. Some difficulties can resolve in four to six weeks of therapy, others can take over a year. Speech therapy for speech sound difficulties will focus on helping a child to:
- hear the difference between the sound they say and the sound they want to say, e.g. they want to say the speech sound ‘k’ but they say the speech sound ‘t’
- make a speech sound correctly, e.g. put their tongue in the correct position
- practise saying the speech sound on its own, in words, in sentences and in their talking
Using rhymes and jingles can be very effective in speech therapy. If a child needs to have speech and language therapy for a long time, they can get bored with practising speech sounds, and this can be a challenge for speech therapists! If the child does not want to play the games and activities in sessions, it is much harder to bring about change and resolve speech sound difficulties.
I started using rhymes, or jingles as they are called in my books Playing Games with p, Playing Games with k, and Playing Games with s, to make fun and interesting activities for children in speech and language therapy sessions. I wanted to create activities that are familiar for children and the adults working with them, so that they would be easy to use. Carers, nursery practitioners and school staff read rhymes to children on a regular basis, and I have used these to develop age appropriate use of speech sounds in a child’s talking.
How to Use Jingles
Click on the jingle resource picture below to download and print it as a PDF
There are more jingle resources to download at the end of this post.
1. Read the jingle to the child as you would read any rhyme or short story, so that they have opportunities to hear the speech sound they are working on in words, e.g. the attached jingles are to help children say ‘p’ in short words.
2. The jingles have pictures to look at when you read them, but you can provide more visual support by using:
- Makaton signs www.makaton.org/aboutMakaton/
- Cued articulation, a system of signs to show where speech sounds are made and how you say them. Visit www.cuedarticulation.com to see pictures of the signs. There are also videos showing you how to use the signs on YouTube.
- Acting out the Jingles with toys.
3. When the child is familiar with the Jingle, leave a pause for them to finish your sentences when you read them, e.g. “Who wants a ____ (leave a pause for the child to say the word, e.g. pea)?”
4. Read them as Round-Robins, e.g. you say the first line: ‘Who wants a pea?’ The child repeats it, then you say the next line, the child repeats it, and so on.
5. See if they can remember the whole Jingle using pictures, sign, etc. to help remember it. Try recording them on a phone, or an ipad or a Talking Tin. (A talking tin is a tool you can use to record your child talking and play back to them to help develop their ability to monitor their talking).
6. Older children will be able to read the Jingles aloud.