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Shouldn't my 11 year old DD be able to say the 'th' in 'there' 'this' and 'that' by now?

(8 Posts)
lilivonshtupp Mon 15-Jun-15 19:20:17

Would appreciate your advice.

My DD still says 'v' instead of 'th' when she is saying words like 'those'. (comes out as 'vose')

She can make a 'th' sound if I ask her to, but quickly reverts.
My problem is, we live abroad (DD goes to an American International school) and the only English speech therapist has gone on maternity leave!

Should I be concerned that his speech impediment will stay all her life? Thanks.

Strictlyison Mon 15-Jun-15 19:25:38

The thing is, the more she practices making the right sound the more naturally it will become. So set aside a couple of minutes three times a day and make it a special game, but don't remind her when she is in her natural flow of chatting. Just carry on with the exercises for a few days then make up a 'code word' so that when she talks and says v instead of th, you say (the special secret code word, ours is sausages as DS has problems with S) and she should be able to correct herself. It will come after time and effort!

lilivonshtupp Mon 15-Jun-15 19:29:57

Thank you so much strictly! That is really good advice.

She has been on the waiting list for nearly 2 years now for a speech therapist, only to find out that the only one for a 2 hour drive is going to be off for over a year, so I'm now getting a bit panicked.
Shall i just get her to repeat a bunch of 'th' words, or get her to speak with the emphasis on her pronouncing 'th' words properly when she says one?

Strictlyison Mon 15-Jun-15 19:38:18

Yes, or you can write 'scrambled up' words with TH and she has to decode them and repeat them three times each. Or make up your own tongue twisters like 'the dog throws the ball over there' (sorry that's not a very good one but you know what I mean). Or you can make up snap cards with words with TH. Or word search, etc.

lilivonshtupp Mon 15-Jun-15 19:39:18

You are a marvel.
I will certainly do that. And also perhaps get an appointment booked for next year when we come back to the UK on holiday. That's a good start though.

Ferguson Tue 16-Jun-15 19:47:04

As a teaching assistant this was quite common in younger children, for 'th' to come out 'v' or 'f', but by eleven most children manage it correctly.

The only way to say it correctly, I think, is to put your tongue out between your teeth. I used to tell children this, saying this is the ONLY TIME they should put their tongue out to an adult, and of course, they used to enjoy this.

Somewhere there must be suitable 'tongue twisters' for things like this; what about Dr Seuss, or Spike Milligan nonsense poems?

lilivonshtupp Tue 16-Jun-15 19:55:25

Thank you Furguson.
She's definitely 'able' to do it, but she really doesn't do it unless reminded. I will get her to try some 'th' tongue twisters for sure.

BertrandRussell Tue 16-Jun-15 20:05:37

Not sure whether this helps- but I am of the generation before routine speech therapy and I have always found th tricky. When I was small, I alwqys said an -s sound instead, although if asked I could always say it "properly". What helped me was singing- for some reason I could sing the words properly. And my singing teacher taught me to be conscious of an approaching th so I could get myself ready to say it. She gave me an image of approaching a jump on a horse- gathering myself then saying the word. I still do it with some words- thistle for example! And when dd was doing geography she took an evil pleasure in getting me to try and say isthmus.......

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