Children who have trouble pronouncing certain words or sounds correctly may have articulation disorders, according to Psychnet-UK.com. Problems with articulation can frustrate kids with speech delays, because their disorder makes it difficult for other people to understand them. Any child with an articulation disorder should have a hearing test done to rule out hearing loss as a cause of articulation problems. Speech therapy can help kids to overcome articulation problems so that they can be understood and develop more confidence in their abilities.
Talk in Front of a Mirror
Many kids with articulation problems don't understand how to move their mouths to make sounds correctly. Talking in front of a mirror can help a child to see how her mouth moves when she makes particular sounds. A speech therapist can articulate each sound correctly to give her an example of what her mouth should look like and point out differences in the way she's moving her own mouth.
KidsHealth.org says that articulation problems often stem from weak mouth and tongue muscles. A child can use simple exercises to strengthen the muscles of his mouth and tongue and help improve his articulation. Chewing gum or food that requires extra chewing is a great way to strengthen the muscles of the mouth; many children with articulation problems tend to avoid chewier foods. Sucking through a straw can also help strengthen mouth muscles. Encourage kids with articulation disorders to chew a few things that are harder to chew every day and drink through straws of varying widths as often as possible to strengthen their mouths.
Flash Cards for Speech Therapy
Flash cards can help kids in speech therapy to focus on the sounds that they have difficulty with. Parents and speech therapists can make flash cards more entertaining by providing an activity for kids to do along with them. Younger kids can place a bouncy ball through a small hole cut out of the plastic lid that goes on a #10 can. Let them do this each time they say a sound correctly. Older kids can have a small piece of candy (preferably a chewy candy) after saying a certain number of sounds on the flash cards correctly.