Care Speech Pathology

Weak Syllable Deletion

When learning to talk, most children use ‘patterns’ to simplify the sounds in words, making them easier to say. These patterns, or phonological processes, are a normal part of language development; they are usually temporary and typically disappear as children get older and their speech becomes clearer.

Understanding phonological processes can help parents to better understand typical speech developmental milestones. Speech Pathologists in Australia are specially trained to help parents with this knowledge and improve the speech development of children who have not reached typical developmental milestones.

At Care Speech Pathology, we know how to help.

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what is Weak Syllable Deletion?

What is Weak Syllable Deletion?

When we speak, we don’t emphasise all syllables in a word equally. For example, in the word ‘telephone’ we usually place stress on the ‘te’ and ‘phone’, leaving the ‘le’ syllable in the middle unstressed. In ‘computer’ we stress the ‘puter’, leaving the ‘com’ unstressed and weak.

It’s common for young children to leave out these unstressed sounds in words. We call this “weak syllable deletion”. Most children grow out of this by the age of approximately 4 years old.

How can we help kids with Weak Syllable Deletion?

Speech Pathologists have extensive training and knowledge about phonological processes. There are a number of intervention strategies that we can use to reduce weak syllable deletion in a child’s speech.

Step 

To ensure that children feel as comfortable as possible, we will generally recommend that therapy takes place in a familiar environment. At Care Speech Pathology, we deliver all of our therapy sessions online over videocall (also known as “telehealth”) which allows children to attend sessions from the comfort of their own home (or even bedroom!). From there, we will start by completing a comprehensive assessment to determine if your child has speech difficulties and how it is impacting their ability to communicate. This assessment may include standardised tests, informal assessments, and observations of their speech in different contexts.

Step 

We can then plan individualised therapy for weak syllable deletion and any other speech difficulties based on your child’s presentation. Therapy will involve a lot of repetition but we can cater this to your child’s interests and attention abilities. Sessions might work on showing your child where to put their mouth/tongue and making the new sound in words or phrases, while incorporating games, rhyming and hand actions to make the learning more interactive. Therapy will always incorporate family education so that the all-important practice can continue during the week at home.

Step 

We will also consider your child’s communication as a whole, across various contexts, and if there is anything else we can be doing to support them. For example, it might be suitable for us to provide support and training to education staff, to help improve academic performance and success in the classroom.

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