Speech problem?

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lynbrown | 22:55 Tue 31st Jan 2012 | Family
14 Answers
My 4yr old chatters away quite happily but cannot say the letter V. She describes something as 'lubbely'or calls her friend 'Ebe'. We know what she means but what about when she goes to school? Will this right itself?


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I think this is quite normal, most children have a hiccup on certain words or letters, it will rectify itself with some careful encouragement and help im sure.
I wouldn't worry about it.

My youngest struggled with loads of words at that age.
I wouldn't worry about it, just gently make sure she knows how it should be said. I had trouble with B at her age - I remember calling it a Botato.
I wouldn't worry either Lyn. My now 8 year old used to do similar things and my 3 year old pronounces the sound 'sh' as 'f' so her brother is now called Jofua.
I wouldn't worry to much.

I was 9 years old before somebody explained to me that 'th' is pronounced differently to 'f', and showed me how to put my tongue between my teeth. I still went on to win public speaking competitions, and present radio programmes, so a minor speech problem at 4 years old is unlikely to be of great concern.

However you might want to invent some games where you and your daughter have to make different sounds, including the 'v' one. (i.e. just have fun, without putting any pressure on her to speak properly). Then, later, (when you're confident that she actually knows how to make the 'v' sound, without being under any pressure to do so) you can gently point out how words including the letter 'V' should be pronounced.

My lovely youngest boy is having speech therapy at the moment and from what I have picked up the best thing to do is just repeat the wrongly pronounced word correctly. Don't tell your little one that they have said it wrongly though.
My son cannot say "th". if he says there it sounds like vere. yet if he says thistle he says fistle! all very odd. He has seen a speech therapist who says he can pronounce every letter, just not in the right words sometimes!!
Please see my post.

Your son is obviously in good company!
Hi Buenchico, yes we have practised saying the words endlessly - he just cant do it, he got so frustrated that I have left it.
There are certain letters that speech therapy will work on at certain ages. My eldest couldn't say his R's before he started school which we were concerned with as his name contains and R and his teacher was called Miss Ruth - we were told however that it would likely right itself in time but that they can't work on R until kids are about age 7. Our younger son who was 3ish at the time couldn't pronounce the K sound - again a sound needed for his name, but they took him straight away as this is a letter that can be treated at a younger age - it only took one session and he was fine :o)

I am sure that it'll probably right itself too lyn, but just keep an eye on it. You can self refer to speech therapy if required.
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Thank you for so many helpful and encouraging replies. I shall follow your advice and stop worrying.
I wouldn't worry about it at all, but if you are, ask your health visitor or GP for a speech therapy referral.
They will do an assessment and offer help if they think it necessary.
The son-and-heir couldn't say 'c' or 'y' or 'l' properly when he was about 4, just before school. About 4 or 5 sessions with a lovely speech therapist was all it took to sort out.
Don't forget, our own Quen Elizabeth couldn't say her own name when she was small, and was always called Lillibet, because of it. Your little girl will eventually say words as you would expect.

My own (now nearly 44 year old) daughter couldn't say "windscreen wipers" and we still call them "windscreepers" for fun. She also used to have orange flavoured antibiotics for ear infections, and we called it "orange medicine". The best she could manage was "nongie mendooz". You'll be pleased to know she speaks normally now!!!
2 men were arguing over the pronunciation of Hawaii. One said it was with the 'w' and the other said it was with a 'v' sound. They agreed to stop the next fellow they met and accept his pronunciation. He said "Havaii", they thanked him and he said "You're velcome."

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