While Michael and I wait, I'll be doing speech therapy with him. That way, I know both children will get at least 90 minutes of therapy a week. I've been busy preparing some materials for Michael.
I did a brief screening with Michael last week. At this point, his /f/ and /v/ production are almost 100% correct at the word level, but he still produces them interdentally at least half the time in conversation. So essentially, his /f/ and /v/ are produced as a /th/. This is ironic, because he substitutes an /f/ for the voiceless /th/ even at the word level. He also substitutes /d/ for the voiced /th/. Those are his only errors. So in summary, his only errors are on /f/, /v/, and /th/ and he often substitutes /f/ for /th/ and vice versa. So, with some encouragement by our private speech therapist we're going to use a minimal pairs approach to working with these sounds.
I made a voiceless /th/ - /f/ minimal pairs set and we're going to begin working with those. Here are the types of activities I'm planning on doing with them. Does anyone have any additional ideas or activities for working with minimal pairs?
Minimal Pairs Therapy Activities
- If child is reading, or has good phonological awareness skills, discuss the letter-sound correspondences of the targeted contrasting phonemes first.
- Play a sorting game. (For this activity you'll have to cut the pairs in half.) Have the child sort the /f/ words into one pile and the /th/ words into another pile. Add some fun to this game by sorting into fun containers or pretending the cards are eaten by a puppet. If your child is savvy enough to "cheat" by looking at the printed words on the cards, hide the text when they are performing the sorting task.
- Auditory bombardment. Have the child put on his or her listening ears. Then read all the /f/ words to the child. Next read all the /th/ words. Finally, read the contrasting pairs -slightly- emphasizing the contrasting phoneme.
- Listen and point game (auditory discrimination). Again have your child put on his or her listening ears. Place one contrasting pair set in front of the child. Hide your face behind a piece of paper and say one of the words. The child must point to the word you produce. To make this activity a little harder, use the word with a carrier phrase ("I see a...", "I like the...", etc.).
- Matching game. (Cut pairs in half.) Shuffle the cards and have the child sort and match the contrasting pairs.
- Memory game. (Cut pairs in half.) Shuffle the cards and lay in grid face down. Play memory using the contrasting pairs and two halves of a match.
- Production practice. Practice, practice, practice. Have the child say the words. Say the /f/ words. Then say the /th/ words. Then say the word contrast pairs.
- Create-a-sentence. (Cut pairs in half.) Shuffle the cards and draw two to three cards. Make up a sentence using those cards and have the child repeat the sentence. If they can, have the child make up their own sentence.
- Create-a-story. (Cut pairs in half.) Shuffle the cards and draw four to six cards. Make up a story using those cards and have the child tell it back to you. If they can, have the child make up their own story.