Speech Therapy Voiced th

Speech Therapy Voiced th: The voiced /ð/ is a fricative stream of air sound. The tongue tip has gentle contact with the upper front teeth which creates a narrow channel and con-fined space for the air-stream to flow through.

The compression of this narrow space creates a friction as the voiced air-stream flows through the restricted area. The jaw is lowered marginally to provide for the correct tongue positioning.

Speech Therapy Voiced th - Sound Errors

A common sound substitution for the /ð/ is the voiced stop /d/. So this becomes dis. The /ð/ sound is a later developing sound. Many children with typically developing speech and language don’t produce a correct /ð/ sound until 7-8 years of age and so should not be considered a sound error for children under 5-6 years of age.

Speech Sound Structures - /ð/ Sound

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Speech Therapy Voiced th - Sound Stimulation

Demonstrate the characteristics of correct /ð/ production to your child. 

  • Demonstrate to your child what a typical /ð/ looks and sounds like by moving your tongue to allow the tip to poke between your teeth. 
  • Tell the child to copy your model and to note that the jaw is slightly opened and forward to accommodate the tongue position.
  • Instruct your child to allow the air-stream to flow through the narrow space between the raised tongue and the upper teeth.

/ð/ Sound stimulation

Work through the following procedures with your child. 

  1. The /ð/ sound is made by slightly lowering the jaw and contacting the upper teeth with the tongue. 
  2. The contact between tongue and teeth creates a constriction through which the air-stream is directed.  
  3. The tongue should be flat on /ð/ production. The /ð/ sound is a fricative stream of air sound and is voiced.
  4. The vocal folds vibrate.

Speech Therapy Voiced th - Sculpting from other Speech Sounds

Many speech sounds can be sculpted using other speech sounds as a starting point.  This involves altering or adjusting speech sounds so that they approach the target sound in nature. This works by the clinician modeling a sound that the child is able to produce. The clinician then makes slight, progressive adjustments to the sound until the target sound is generated. 

Sound sculpting from the /d/ sound

Instruct your child to initially hold tongue position for the /d/ sound. The child then slowly and progressively moves the tongue forward under the top teeth while maintaining the air-stream. 

Sound sculpting from the /v/ sound

Instruct your child to produce the /v/ sound while being conscious where the tongue is positioned during /v/ production (it should be just behind the teeth not touching any structures). The child then slowly and progressively moves the tongue forward to essentially rupture the /v/ sound. The tongue should be poking through the front teeth, which redirects the air-stream and produces a clear voiced /ð/ sound.

Updated 07/08/2020