My child can’t say the TH sound

Today’s parent question is one that I hear all of the time:  “My child can’t say the TH sound.  He needs a speech pathologist.  Can you see him?”

If the TH sound is the only error that your child makes, you may be able to fix it on your own.  The TH sound is a late developing sound that is not mastered in some children until age of 7 or 8.  But, a lot of children can learn this sound earlier and without my help. 

Since the TH sound is so visual, it is easy to teach.  See if your child can imitate you saying the sound, which is made by putting your tongue between your teeth.    If they can, try using it in words.  Practice words with the TH sound daily for at least 10 minutes a day.  You can also practice using TH while talking.  Ask your child to use his best TH, if he misses, give him a reminder to use his good TH sound.

This approach is not research based, but it has worked for many of my family and friends.  I would do anything to help my nephew, but he didn’t need my expertise.  He just needed a little practice that my brother and sister in law were happy to complete. 

If your child is struggling with more than just the TH sound, consult your speech pathologist for a screening or possible assessment.  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.


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