Speaking very clearly, say “Listen carefully. Show me the _________,” filling in the blank with a word from the list below. (For fun, you can sometimes let the child quiz you by naming a picture for you to find.) The words are printed here in similar-sounding pairs, but you should jump around, not asking for the two members of a pair in succession. Ask only for words that you’re sure are in the child’s vocabulary, and don’t do this when the child has a bad cold or ear infection.

If the child makes more than a few errors, repeat the exercise several weeks later. If performance is not any better, this could indicate a difficulty in hearing or speech perception, and a more thorough evaluation of these skills could be conducted by a professional speech pathologist. Many colleges and universities have clinics where children can be tested, with the cost based on ability to pay. Also, pediatricians can usually provide the names of private speech pathologists in the local area.


Show me the:

socks—fox

mouth—mouse

tea—key

cone—comb

pear—bear

clown—crown

fan—van

tie—pie

watch—wash

tower—towel

girls—curls

ring—wing



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