Speech Sounds

When should I choose this area of focus for my Gabadoo?

Speech sounds are the individual units of sound that make up words in a language. Children learn to produce and distinguish between different speech sounds as part of their language development.

It is important to note that as children acquire speech sounds, they go through a developmental process, and there is a range of normal variation in speech sound production. However, some children may have persistent difficulties with producing certain speech sounds beyond the expected age range, which may indicate a need for support from a speech therapist.

Parents may seek support for their child through Gabadoo if they notice any of the following:

Articulation errors: Your child consistently substitutes, omits, distorts, or adds speech sounds in their words. For example, they may say "wabbit" instead of "rabbit" or have difficulty pronouncing specific sounds, such as "r" or "s."

Limited sound inventory: Your child's repertoire of speech sounds is limited, and they have difficulty producing a wide range of consonant or vowel sounds appropriate for their age. They may rely on a small set of sounds to substitute for others.

Intelligibility issues: Your child's speech is frequently difficult to understand, and listeners, including family members and peers, have difficulty comprehending their spoken language. Your child may need to repeat themselves often or use gestures to compensate for communication breakdowns.

Speech sound patterns: Your child exhibits consistent error patterns in their speech. For example, they may demonstrate difficulty with final consonant sounds, cluster reductions (e.g., saying "top" instead of "stop"), or fronting (e.g., saying "tat" instead of "cat").

Speech sound awareness: Your child may struggle with phonological awareness, which refers to the ability to recognise and manipulate the sounds in language. They may have difficulty rhyming, segmenting words into individual sounds, or blending sounds to form words.

Impact on communication and social interactions: Your child's speech sound difficulties significantly affect their ability to communicate effectively and participate in social interactions. They may become frustrated, withdraw from conversations, or experience challenges in academic settings.

It's important to rule out any hearing issues prior to completing a Gabadoo if you have any concerns in relation to this. 

Our Gabadoo Team are experienced at working with children and families to support the development of their communication skills. Get individualised strategies and support today through our platform here. 

Important to Note:

There is a separate 'Area of Focus' for expressive language which you can learn more about here. If this is more appropriate for your child, you should select expressive language when completing your Gabadoo.  .  

What information do I need to include in my Gabadoo?

As our Gabadoo Team have never met your family before and know nothing about your child, they can only provide strategies based on the information you provide so be very detailed!

After you have filled in the relevant information in your Gabadoo, go through this checklist to make sure you have included the following:

Family & Home Life:

Description of your family & the structure of your family including siblings, pets or any extended family who are living in your home. Also include if there is any family history of speech or language difficulties. 

Your daily routine including school hours, child-care, free-time in evenings and weekends and who your child communicates with on a daily basis. 

Strengths and Interests:

What does your child like to do?

What games, toys, T.V. programs, characters do they like?

What type of activities do they enjoy?

What school subjects do they enjoy?

What daily activities do they enjoy doing with a parent or family member? e.g. cooking, baking, jobs, walking the dog.

Do they respond to praise from adults? 

Do they enjoy playing with other children?

Additional Information:

What class is your child in at school?

What type of schooling do they receive? i.e. homeschooling, mainstream N.S., gaelscoil, preschool, ASD class, Special School. 

Have you seen any professionals in the past in relation to their communication or language? Or has your child ever had a medical review in relation to their hearing? If so, what was the outcome?

How does your child currently communicate? E.g. speech, Lamh, PECS, AAC, gesturing etc.

Make sure to include:

  • Describe the specific speech sound errors you have noticed in your child's speech. Note which sounds they have difficulty producing accurately, and provide examples of words or sounds.

  • Observe how often the speech sound errors occur. Do they happen consistently in different words or contexts? 

  • Provide information about your child's speech sound development over time. Share when you first noticed the speech sound difficulties and whether there have been any changes or improvements. If possible, compare the child's speech sound production to their same-age peers or any previous speech assessments they may have undergone.

  • Describe how the speech sound difficulties impact your child's communication skills and daily life. Discuss any challenges they face in understanding and being understood by others, their social interactions, or academic performance. Providing insight into the practical implications of the speech sound errors can assist in developing targeted intervention strategies.

Very Important: What would you you like to gain from this Gabadoo? What are some of your goals? E.g. I would like to get strategies to support my child's ability to..

Next include videos of your child: 

  • A variety of video-clips where your child is speaking and communicating. You may need to collect these over time but they are invaluable for the therapist to review your child's communication. 

Remember: The more information you give our team, the more individualised and relevant your plan will be. Videos are vital when reviewing a child's communication. 

What support will I receive for my child?

Your information will be reviewed by one of our Gabadoo Experts who is experienced in the area of speech and languge. They will detail individualised strategies, activities, next steps and helpful organisations and products that you can use at home to support your child. 

So, I'm ready to do my Gabadoo, what's my 'Area of Focus'

Speech Sounds- Click Here to Get Started

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