Final Consonant Deletion


Chelsea Dries

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What is final consonant deletion?

Final Consonant Deletion is a process commonly used by children to simplify words by leaving off the end sound in words. For example, ‘fish’ may sound like ‘fi_’, or ‘house’ may sound like ‘hou_’.

It is appropriate for children to use this process until the age of 3 years and 3 months.

If your child continues to leave the end sounds off words after this age, try using these strategies to help them use their final sounds.

  • Make sure that your child understands what ‘at the end’ means by showing him/her pictures of things ‘at the end’ (e.g. a fishing rod with a fish on the end, a dog with a tail on the end).

  • Show your child how to say the word, and emphasise the sound at the end so your child can see how to make the sound.

  • If your child leaves the sound off the end of a word while you are practicing, remind him/her to “remember your sound at the end”, and show him/her how to say the word correctly.

  • Refer to ‘end sounds’ as ‘tail sounds’ using pictures of animals with tails. Introduce two pictures: one with a tail and one with the tail cropped out. When your child leaves off their end sound, point to the picture without a tail and say “oops, you forgot your tail!”.
Tail or no tail? Final consonant deletion visual

  • Show your child pictures of words with sounds at the end (e.g. ‘card’) paired with pictures that don’t have sounds on the end (e.g. ‘car’). We can provide picture pairs or word lists for you! Always present the paired pictures together, one after the other, and present the picture with the sound at the end after the one without the sound at the end.
final consonant deletion picture pairs

I think my child needs help with their speech - what should I do?

If you have questions about your child's speech or would like to have their speech assessed, get in touch! One of our friendly team will be happy to chat to you, answer your questions, and give you advice for your next steps.

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