Tuesday 24 May 2016

Speech sounds developing with Toy Story

David has for a while now been using Makaton sign language with some speech sounds to communicate. We've been concerned that as well as autism, David may have some other speech difficulties because he has never really said more than one sound for a word. He'll say 'p' for 'up' or 'da' for down. He can ask for a yogurt 'gu' or an apple 'pul'. But this has rarely extended beyond this one syllable or easy syllable shapes.

Syllable shapes refer to the way that we put consonants and vowels together to make words. Without wanting to be too much like Countdown, speech therapists think of syllable shapes as putting consonants (sounds) and vowels (sounds)  together. So David's 'da' would be CV (One consonant + one vowel).  A CVC word would be his version of apple 'pul'. The more complicated the more advanced the shapes.
  • Easiest Syllable Shapes VV like 'uh oh', CV like 'he', VC like 'odd', CVC and CVCV with the same consonants like 'dad' and 'mummy'
  • Harder Syllable Shapes CVC and CVCV with different consonants as in 'dog' or 'belly' , and CVCVCV words like 'banana'
  • Hardest Syllable Shapes Words with two or three consonants in a row like 'basket' or 'doctor' and longer words like 'pronunciation' (which even I have to think about saying)
David has today jumped into the 'Harder' syllable category.  We've been trying to help him with this and today he requested Toy Story by asking for 'Woo-dy' and signing the letter 'w'. That's CVCV with different consonants.

Jane, Davids younger sister is only three years old and already says banana. But this doesn't take away from his achievement. Whilst Jane reminds us of how far he is behind and has to go, we're still very pleased with his progress. This only gives another set of targets to help him expand more into the 'Harder' category.

Can you spot which categories your kiddie have conquered?

Our blog - So happy my son has echolalia
Our blog - Why all forms of communication are awesome

Autistic child's Woody doll

As listed on:

You Baby Me Mummy  Little Hearts, Big Love   TAT
The Reading Residence “Our


  1. That is wonderful that he is improving and using things like toys to help him.
    My son (who is now 6) didn't speak until he was 4. We don't know why. A speech delay of sorts but with no diagnosis.
    After some speech therapy, and lots of help at home, he's out the other side now. He said Mummy when he was 4yrs 3 months and I remember it like it was yesterday. No matter how small the milestone, it's significant and you should rightly be proud of your son. What super parents you are.
    Fingers crossed the improvements keep on coming. Gem.x

  2. Well done to David for managing to say "Woody" and jump into the Harder syllable category. I've never thought much about how the construction of syllables affects speech and it's so interesting to read more about the different patterns. Thank you for linking up to #ftmob :-)

  3. Well done to David and you're so right focusing on progress as the achievement rather than arbitrary age-specific milestones. Thanks for sharing about the learning process, too. My son speaks well but we're just in that world of him spotting phonics sounds and what letters words begin with and it is fascinating to see it all come together and develop, and progress is always a joy to see. Thanks for sharing with #WotW

  4. Our speech therapist used Miss S favourite thing to develop her speech skills (which happened to be bubbles) she has come a long way

  5. Well done David that's brilliant progress. Such a great breakdown of the development of speech for people to follow too.

  6. Ah what great progress he is making, that is so wonderful to hear. Thanks for linking up to #TheList x

  7. I love that Woody has helped move him on a stage. Adds to my belief that Disney is amazing lol. This is amazing progress, never give up that speech will come.

    Thanks for linking up with Small Steps Amazing Achievements :0)

  8. Well done David! Archie is very similar, only starting to use single syllables but progress is progress, he was silent for such a long time I'm so happy he's finally able to make some sounds #SpectrumSunday

  9. Oh, fab! Well done to him. I have come across lots of parents of autistic kids who have found Pixar films have helped with communication. I wonder why that is (the animation? characters? story lines??).

    This is particularly relevant for Bear right now who has always struggled with speech much more than Tyger did. For a long time he could only manage single vowel sounds but he's getting there, now.


  10. Well done David! That is great! Hayden has mastered 'hardest syllable shapes' but it is more putting sentences together now, I think Ellis has been a great encouragement for Hayden's speech progress. I don't feel like we will always have a pre verbal child now, which is very comforting to us as parents. Thank you for linking up to #spectrumsunday. I hope you join me again this week xx


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