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Why is my child unable to pronounce words correctly?

Thursday, 22 March 2007
Answered by: Dr. S. Anandalakshmy
Consultant in Child Development & Education,

Chennai
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Q. My son is 3 years 4 months old. He has started speaking very late, about 4 months back. Before that he was speaking only few words like papa, mummy, etc. Now he can make sentences. But the problem is that he is unable to pronounce words correctly. This problem is especially with words like ‘L’ and ‘R’; he pronounces it as ‘D’. Please advise what steps should we take in-order to correct this problem.

A.  If your son understands his parents and expresses his wishes even approximately, that is the first step. Talk to him and give him a chance to speak about what he wants. Do not force him to speak. Pronunciation will get corrected as he grows up. Get some children's music on CDs or cassettes and let him listen to them while he is playing or drawing. If you live in a place where there is a Speech Therapist, you could consult him. If not, just increase the child's play hours with you and keep talking to him about everything that you do or that he sees. Many children start speaking late, but catch up by the time they are 5 or 6 years old.

A.  If your son understands his parents and expresses his wishes even approximately, that is the first step. Talk to him and give him a chance to speak about what he wants. Do not force him to speak. Pronunciation will get corrected as he grows up. Get some children's music on CDs or cassettes and let him listen to them while he is playing or drawing. If you live in a place where there is a Speech Therapist, you could consult him. If not, just increase the child's play hours with you and keep talking to him about everything that you do or that he sees. Many children start speaking late, but catch up by the time they are 5 or 6 years old.

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