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My Child is Struggling to Learn Letter Sounds

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Children’s Speech Therapy Center

Dear Children’s Speech Therapy Center,

My preschooler is currently attending speech therapy for help with articulation. Her teacher reported that she is struggling to learn the letter sounds. Can her speech-language pathologist help with this?

— Concerned Parent

Dear Concerned Parent,

Yes, your speech language pathologist can definitely help your daughter learn her sounds, letters, and other phonological awareness skills like rhyming, identifying initial and final sounds of words, and counting syllables, along with her articulation work.

Speech Language Pathologists are qualified to address literacy skills along with speech and language skills due to the strong connection between spoken and written language. Language is the foundation for reading and writing and each skill builds upon the other. Since children with language difficulties often have weaknesses in reading and writing, and in reverse, children having difficulty learning to read and write often have language difficulties, it makes sense to target both areas at once. In addition, it’s easy to combine speech and/or language lessons with reading/writing activities in order to encourage growth in all areas.

Here are some examples of ways to address speech and reading goals simultaneously:

1. While working on the production of initial or final consonants, your child can also work on listening to words and identifying initial and final sounds. For example, if your child is working on the production of the /s/ sound, she can color all the pictures that start or end with the /s/ sound.

2. If your daughter is working on the /s/, “sh” and “ch” sounds, she can sort a group of pictures by their initial sounds, while also working on saying those words.

3. If /k/ and /g/ production are a struggle, your daughter can practice writing the sounds in sand while saying them. She can match pictures of the /k/ and /g/ letters to pictures of words that start with those sounds. By completing these activities, your daughter is practicing reading, writing, and saying the sounds.

4. If rhyming is a struggle, your daughter can work on identifying or naming rhyming words that start with her target speech sound. (i.e. What rhymes with bit? “sit”)

5. In order to address syllable counting, your SLP can use multi syllabic target words and have your daughter identify the number of syllables in addition to practicing saying those words.

These are just a few ways that reading, writing and speech goals can be addressed together. Please feel free to contact our office if you have further questions.

Kristen Jones M.A. CCC-SLP, CSTC Co-Director


Children’s Speech Therapy Center (CSTC) is a well-known private practice specializing in pediatric speech therapy and conveniently located in Ashburn, VA. When your child needs a speech and language professional, navigating all your options can be time-consuming and frustrating!

Let Children’s Speech Therapy Center help! Their team provides diagnostic and therapeutic services including screenings, evaluations, and therapy for all ages, from infancy to adolescence. From more routine challenges to complex conditions, their team of licensed and accredited speech language pathologists are prepared to help with your child's unique speech and language needs.

Learn more, including what insurances they accept, by connecting: Online | Facebook | Services | FAQs | Contact.

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