Articulation Therapy: Teaching “TH” & “DH” Sound

Articulation Therapy: Teaching “TH” & “DH” Sound

Articulation Therapy: Teaching “TH” & “DH” Sound

Pronouncing the /TH DH/ sounds can be a bit tricky for young children. And it is also a very commonly occurring sound in speech. If you are worried or concerned about your child’s pronunciation of the “TH” and “DH” sounds, this blog can help you with teaching these sounds to your child.

Why are the /TH, DH/ sounds difficult to learn, should I be concerned?

If your child has a history of frequent ear infections, these have been known to trigger speech and language development. Difficulty in producing the “TH, DH” sounds is classified as a speech sound disorder. Do not worry as this condition can be managed using various activities.

At what age does the /TH/ sound develop for kids?

The /TH/ sound is among the most difficult speech sounds for children to master, ranking alongside the /CH/, /R/, and /ZH/ speech sounds. Children usually develop the speech sounds “TH, DH” around 5-6 years of age, however, some of them can take longer to master these sounds.

Children's speech sounds

If your child still has difficulty with articulating words with the speech sounds /TH, DH/ after 6 years of age, it is advised to consult with a qualified speech-language pathologist. The speech-language pathologist will evaluate your child’s speech and language skills and help treat them based on your child’s requirements.

Are there different /TH/ sounds?

It’s important to recognize the different types of variations of the /TH/ sound that your child may have difficulty with. Your child may have difficulty in producing different /TH/ sounds. These depend on whether this is voiceless /TH/ such as “thank”, “thought” or voiced /DH/ such as “this”, “that”.

Activities to improve the /TH/ Sound

Practicing sounds with your child is a great way for them to learn the /TH, DH/ sounds. It’s important to be patient and understanding when teaching them these sounds. Also, it is important to make the practice fun and engaging for your child. Here are some activities to teach and encourage the /TH/ sound:

Practice the TH, DH Sound in Syllables

You can start off by using the /TH, DH/ sounds at the syllable level. Add simple vowels to the sounds such as “THA, THI, THO” etc.  You can add the vowels before or after the /TH, DH/ sounds. Start off with whichever syllable combinations are easy for your child to get.

Practice the TH, DH Sound in Words

Once your child gets the sounds at the syllable level, you can move to the word level activities. In the same way, you can start words beginning with the /TH, DH/ sounds. Later you can also use the sounds in the final and medial positions of the words. Start by making a list of 10-15 easy words. If your child is much younger, you can use pictures instead of word lists. You can play various games with these pictures. If your child says the word correctly, put it in the good job basket. If not, you can put it in the practice basket. You can also play games like memory games and bingo to keep it fun. Once your child is able to say these words with 70% accuracy or better, you can try putting them into a sentence.

Practice the TH, DH Sound in Sentences

You can start by using a carrier sentence such as “I can see the word ___” and have your child insert the words from the pictures or the list into the sentences one at a time. You can make your own sentences as well.

Practice the TH, DH Sound in Stories

After your child understands how to produce sentences, have your child practice the TH, DH sounds while retelling simple stories or while reading aloud. This will depend on the ability level of your child. Follow this till you have achieved mastery of the TH, DH sound in all positions of words i.e. the initial, medial and final.

Practice the TH, DH Sound in Conversation

Once your child is able to retell stories with good TH, DH production your child will find it easy to transition to conversations. You may still have to remind your child to use the correct TH, DH sounds time and again. However, most of the time you will notice that they are able to self-correct their sounds. Before you know it, you’ll forget they ever had a problem with TH, DH sounds. Good luck!

How can speech therapy and activities for the /TH, DH/ sound help my child with their language skills?

Every child is different, learns at a different pace, and may have unique challenges with pronouncing some words. As experts in speech-language pathology, our speech-language pathologists are trained to work with your child to make improvements and achieve speech goals together.

Get started today and schedule your session with us. We look forward to sharing with you how our services can benefit your child’s speech and language development.

If you wish to know more about Speech-Language Therapy, kindly contact us

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(1 Comment)

  • Aishwarya Ramani

    A very nice article on teaching Th and Dh sounds. New perspective indeed !

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