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Stage 1- Auditory Discrimination

The first stage of speech sound therapy is to learn to hear the difference between speech sounds. Children need to be able to hear that every sound is different before we can expect them to use new sounds.

This stage is in 3 parts and supports the development of sound awareness (hearing the difference between sounds)

  • Hearing the difference between sounds on their own - you say one of the sounds and your child has to listen and find the matching sound.
  • Hearing the difference when the sound is before/after a vowel. For example, if your child is working on the ‘p’ sound, you might say ‘eep’ or ‘pee’. 
  • Hearing the difference when the sound is at the beginning/end of a real word. You say a word and your child has to find the sound picture for the sound they heard at the beginning/end of the word. Gradually add new sounds as your child starts to find this easier. Only move on to the next stage when your child can get 8/10 answers correct on 3 different occasions.

  • Run - Stick the sound pictures on the wall. Your child has to run to the sound they hear. 

    Jump – Lay the sound pictures on the floor and jump on the sound you hear.

    Drive – Lay the sound pictures on the floor and drive a toy car to the sound you hear.

    Post – Make a post-box (you could use a cereal box) for each sound you are working on. Your child posts the picture into the correct post-box.

    Tower – Lay out the sound pictures with one brick on each picture. Give your child a pile of bricks. Your child adds another brick to the sound they hear.

    Skittles - Put a line of skittles next to each of the sound cards. Your child knocks a skittle down from the line that matches the sound they hear.

    Games – Find a game with lots of pieces (e.g. Monkey Business, Pop-up Pirate). Split the pieces between the sounds and take a piece from the sound you hear.

  • If your child is finding the activities difficult, try using the action cue when you say the sound. This will give your child a visual clue. You could also reduce the number of sounds you are working on, so your child is only listening for 2 different sounds.

Who Can Help?

You can contact the Norfolk & Waveney Speech & Language Therapy Service by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

You can speak to other Norfolk parents and carers by clicking our online community forum below. 


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