8 Basic Steps to Great Speech Sounds! - Step 1 - Isolation Level

Do you wonder why your child can say "s" "s" "s" but then when you are talking about his sunglasses it doesn't sound like an English word at all? More like "thun-glath-ith" or maybe "tunglatit."

Or maybe she can say her "g" sound when you have her repeat "g" "g" "g" but then when she asks for her "goggles" there is not a "g" sound in there!

Speech sounds develop in stages or steps. Going from "g" to "Mom! I can't find my goggles" would be like trying to step up 5 stairs at once! Yikes!

So, here are a the steps, one at a time!

Isolation Level

Isolation is the step where you say just the speech sound. Don't add a vowel yet!

Some sounds are easier to say in isolation. The stretchy sounds like "ffffff" or "sssssss." The explosive sounds are a little harder but you can do it! "B" not "buh." "K" not "kuh" or "kay."

We want to make sure placement is correct. Lips are where they are supposed to be. Tongue parts are touching where they are supposed to go.

I love to act this step out! And the kids do, too!

There are some therapists who follow programs that indicate a good action for each sound, which is fine! But I find that if we just think about the sound and what we associate with it, we can come up with some very motivating motions! And very personal to the child!

The "K" can be the Stomping Sound.  If you bring your flattened hand down to the table to make a dinosaur stomp that would be a great action! But if your little one doesn't like dinosaurs, you could stomp like an elephant. Or stomp like a polar bear. Or stomp like a large alien. Or anything else that stomps!!

Use your imagination! Say the sound in isolation over and over and over to yourself while you figure out what actions are associated with it!

(a few more hints: "sh" reminds me of sprays out of a spray bottle, "f" reminds me of the sound of wiping a cloth on the table or ice skates scraping on ice, "k" reminds me of the sound of a light switch flicking on and off)


Go through the alphabet eliminating the vowels and you'll end up with most of the sounds we work on in Speech Therapy... but there are a few more!