Your child will learn how to say new speech sounds and develop new speaking habits. The process of developing new speech patterns includes practice, repetition, auditory discrimination (hearing the differences in speech sounds), motivation, and maturity. Children acquire the sounds for speech at different rates and ages. Your child is enrolled in speech therapy at school because he or she had not yet developed certain speech sounds, substitutes, omits, distorts speech sounds, or uses a speech pattern that makes him or her difficult to understand.
Many children who substitute, distort, or omit sounds in their speech have difficulty with letter-sound association. Children who cannot discriminate or produce certain speech sounds have difficulty remembering the sounds letters make when learning how to read.
Many speech sounds will be targeted over the course of the school year. He or she may not readily use all of these targeted sounds in his or her speech by the end of the school year. It takes a lot of practice and time for new speech patterns to become habit.
Remember to encourage your child to use correct speech sounds by being a good model for him or her. Have your child watch your mouth when you say the target sound or have him or her look into a mirror for feedback. Hopefully he or she will show you what was learned with me here in school.
Please remember to be patient with your child. Some children get easily frustrated when learning how to say new sounds. It's hard work! Try to keep conversations natural and don't place too many demands on your child to repeat or correct his or her speech. Instead, repeat what your child said to you emphasizing the sound he or she had difficulty with. For example, your child said "Look at the bod (bird), mommy." You can say, "Wow, that's a pretty bird. That bird has red feathers. Have you ever seen a bird like that before?" You could even slightly exaggerate the "r" sound in the word "bird." This way your child has had many opportunities to hear the correct pronunciation of the word "bird" in a natural way. Good luck and have fun!