Quick Tip: Avoid Repeating a Child’s Errors

Janine Shapiro, CCC-SLP, BCBA

Most people would agree that it’s important to model the speech forms we want a child to produce and to expose a child to correct speech forms as much as possible.  That said, there’s a tendency when correcting a child’s speech error to repeat the error.  For example:

Child: Look, mom, it’s a doddie.

Parent: That’s not a doddie.  It’s a doggie.

In the example above, the child heard the error form twice- one time when producing it himself and the other time when the parent repeated it.  The correct form was heard just once!

Instead, either simply acknowledge that the language was accurate, by stating, “Yes, that is a doggie!” Or, preferably, after acknowledging the correct label, encourage the child to say the word correctly, and then once produced, again repeat the correct form.  For example:

Child: Look, mom, it’s a doddie.

Parent: That is a doggie!  Let me hear you say doggie.

Child: Doggie

Parent: Great job!  What a cute doggie!

In the example above, the child gained much more auditory exposure to the correct form of the word versus the incorrect one.

Watch the quick video below to learn more about this speech tip!

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