Is my child's speech therapist doing the right thing?
Q: I have a 5 years old son in kindergarten. There are some articulation problems in his speech. He substitutes 's' for 'f', 'l' for 'r', and 's' for 'v'. For example he will say 'sour' instead of 'four', 'led' instead of 'red'. But he says words like 'drive', 'drum' properly. Also, he will say 'van' correctly but for the word 'have', he will say 'has'. I took him to a speech therapist and after three sessions with him, the therapist told him to substitute 'b' for 'f', i.e. to make him practice 'bour', 'bive' instead of 'four', 'five'. Also she told to substitute 'w' for 'r' i.e to say 'wed', 'wock' for 'red', 'rock'. She says she has never tried this method before in her practice and this is the first time she is doing these substitutions. I feel this is not the right solution as this is in anyway not teaching him to say words correctly. I feel that the therapist has given up on my son and stopped trying to use the proven methods to correct his speech. Please advise?
A:I guess your speech therapist is trying to first get him off the 's' substitution by using 'b' which is a bilabial sound so involves use of lips rather than tongue. Since 'f' is a labio-dental sound (involving lower lip and upper teeth), it might make it easier for the child to move from 'b' to 'f'. Have faith in your therapist and keep up with the practice sessions. It will help him get over this minor misarticulation in his speech. The most important thing is not to take this problem as a big handicap. Handle it coolly.