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Tips for helping your child produce /k/ and /g/

If your child is fronting their /k/ and /g/ sounds (producing /t/ for /k/ and/or producing /d/ or /g/, talk about making a “surprise face” (mouth wide open, tongue tip down) and say “aahhhh”. Then tell your child to keep tongue tip “right where it is” on the bottom teeth, and make the “cough sound” right here, (tapping my throat as a visual). It is more difficult to produce /t/ and /d/ without some degree of lip closure but makes it easy to produce back of the throat sounds. If fronting does occur, it is very visible in front of a mirror with their mouth wide open! Do this at the word level or at the syllable level, pairing with vowels like /a/ so the mouth can stay open wide for the entire word/syllable. If they’re still having difficulty, use a tongue depressor or dum dum sucker to hold the tongue tip down, so that the back of the tongue moves up and makes contact with the soft palate (back of the throat). Slowly reduce the use of the tongue depressor and try to let your child be as independent as possible using it. Eventually, just let your child hold the tongue depressor as a reminder.

Some CVC words I like are:

/k/ initial: cage, cup, comb, kiss, come, corn, king (although they have blends in other sounds, so it depends on your child); car (if the child has trouble with /r/ sounds I won’t use this word). CV words I like are key, cow.

/k/ final: book, shake, bike, back, sick, knock, sock, hike; lick, look, rock, rake (if your child has trouble with /l/ or /r/ sounds I may leave these out)

/g/ initial: go (CV), gum, gas, game, ghost; goal (leave it out if your child has trouble with /l/)

/g/ final: egg (VC), hug, bag, mug, pig, big, bug, wig, jog; leg, log, rag, rug (leave out if your child has hard time with /l/ or /r/ sounds).

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