Parents and teachers should know the manner in which speech sounds develop. They should realize that certain sounds are not acquired by the child until relatively late--that there is a certain sequence to the development of speech-sound acquisition. Hence, it is inadvisable to work with a preschool child's lisp. Nature intended the child to develop the s, r, and I sounds much later than the preschool years.
Parents and teachers not only should be able to recognize the appearance of the functional causal factors when they begin to influence the speech of the child, but also should be alert to the opportunity presented by modern orthodontia and surgery in remedying organic conditions which in the past have defied all medical efforts. The remodeling of teeth, palate, and jaw is now so well developed in its methodology that very few children should have articulatory defects due to malformations of such structures. But the work must be done when the child is young. If parents and teachers could but realize how effective speech correction is when the child is young, and how laborious a few years later, they would never ignore the child's speech needs or postpone the appropriate treatment. Speech defects should be prevented, not cured.
1. Blanton M. G., and Blanton S., Speech Training for Children, New York, D. Appleton-Century Co., 1924. A description of the importance of speech conflicts in causing and perpetuating speech disorders and their personality sequellae. The school problem of the speech defective is also discussed, and exercises and games are given in the appendix.
2. Blanton S., "Speech Defects in Children," Mental Hygiene, October, 1921, Vol. 5, pages 820-827. A summary from four surveys of the prevalence of speech disorders; a brief description of the four main types of disorders-- delayed speech, oral inactivity, stuttering, and letter substitution; and a statement of the importance of mental hygiene in corrective work.