In over ten years of practicing as a speech-language pathologist, I have never had a child display difficulty with the H sound. It’s not one of those sounds that is super difficult to produce for kids.
In fact, those who do generally have hearing impairment or velo-pharyngeal incompetence (caused by a cleft palate). If your child does have difficulty with this sound, here are a few tips to help you teach it.
/H/ is produced by constricting the vocal folds enough to impede (stop) airflow, but not enough to make a voiced sound. A way to have your child check this is to have them feel their throat. If their voice is “on,” they will feel a vibration on their neck. When their voice is “off,” like when they produce the /h/ sound, they won’t feel that vibration.
The mouth, tongue and lips are not involved when producing /h/, but usually take the shape of the vowel sound that follows the /h/. For example, think of the word “who.” Your lips automatically shape themselves for the “oo” sound that follows the /h/.
If your child does have difficulty with this sound, here are a few useful tips and tricks that may get them to understand how the /h/ is produced:
As far as speech development goes, this is one of the earliest sounds to develop. Most children begin using the /h/ sound around their first birthday, but don’t master it and start using it in words until their second birthday.
If by 2.5 your child isn’t producing /h/, I would voice your concern to his/her pediatrician to see if a referral to a speech pathologist is warranted.
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To practice making the H consonant here is the list of sections and words in them that you can practice with your child:
If your child has difficulties with other sounds, here are the articles that can help you with speech therapy and articulation activities ideas:
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