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Speech Sounds Checklists and Record Sheets
A Checklist and recording sheet for speech sounds
Children with Down syndrome usually have considerable difficulty with speech sound production and delay in being able to say initial sounds will lead to delay in saying first words. Sound production can be encouraged from the babble stage in the first year of life and speech sounds can be specifically practised from 18 months of age or earlier. Speech sound work is often neglected in therapy programmes in favour of language work, that is, learning to understand words and to communicate. The language work is equally important - speech and language work should be given equal weight at all times. This checklist contains two lists, the 44 single speech sounds (phonemes) that English speaking children master and the more difficult clusters and blends that are used in English. The clusters are often not fully mastered until 6 years of age in typically developing children and later for children with Down syndrome, sometimes not until teenage years. The importance of speech sound work for children with Down syndrome cannot be over-emphasised - research shows that it is effective. At present, the majority of adolescents and adults are difficult to understand because of poor speech clarity and this affects their social lives and opportunities.
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