After nine months of working with the Kaufman Treatment Kit 1, Jake has finally graduated to new sounds. Although I love these cards and fully understand the importance of repetitive practice, I was more than ready to move on. As I mentioned in recent posts, we are now practicing /l/, /f/, /s/, and /z/ words. We are practicing these sounds using the Artic Photos Fun Deck cards and Ms. Kelly printed out some words from Super Duper that we can work on at home.
Out of all these sounds, Jake is having the most difficulty with the /l/ sound. Many important words start with this letter … specifically his brother’s name and “love,” the four letters I’ve been waiting patiently to hear for quite some time now. I want this liquid consonant to flow out of his mouth beautifully and perfectly.
I looked on the Speech Sound Acquisition chart that I keep handy and was happy to see that most children start saying this sound at three, but do not master it until age six.
/L/ is difficult for him because he struggles to put his tongue behind his top front teeth. Hand prompts seem to really work for him, but we’re not doing them that often in speech therapy right now. At home, I’ve been getting him to practice the /l/ sound a lot with the lizard Zoo Phonics prompt.
I’ve also started using the Speech-EZ hand prompt … form a L with thumb and pointer finger and bring hand to mouth while saying the sound. (Speech EZ Apraxia iPad Program) We’ve already done this prompt today and Lil’ Man thought it was way cool that he could make a capital L with his hand.
Another tidbit of advice I got from the Chicago Speech Therapy website was to practice the /l/ sound by singing songs that have “la, la, la” in them. Also, after looking at the manual that came with my Kids’ Express Train Ket Set 1, I found out that track 4 on the Vocalocomotion CD is “Tongue Tip Time,” which “emphasizes tongue movement through consonant-vowel imitation of the t,d, and n sounds.”
This week my other two kids started school and Jake’s going to be spending a lot more time in the car. So, I put the Express Train CD back in the mini van and also made my very own CD with songs that have the words “la, la, la” in them.
Here’s what I came up with:
- “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison
- “Tonight Tonight” (La, la, la, whatever) by Hot Chelle Rae
- “The Rainbow Connection” by Kermit the Frog
- “Lola” by The Kinks
- Deck the Halls (When you have a child with apraxia, you can never start practicing Christmas songs too early)
- “Sha la la” by Manfred Mann
- “Sing” by The Carpenters
- “Elmo’s World” (Seriously … if I can tolerate it)
- “Goodbye Earl” by The Dixie Chicks (I know the lyrics are not politically correct, but it’s still got a catchy tune and it makes me smile.)
- “We Danced Anyway” by Deanna Carter
I can’t wait to listen to these new tunes in the car and I’m curious to see if Jake takes the bait and tries to sing along to the lyrics.