final consonant deletion

How To Practice Final Consonant Deletion

Posted on
June 28, 2023
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Discover what final consonant deletion is and our 3 recommended activities you can try at home to support the sounds at the end of words. If you have any questions, contact our qualified Speech and Language Therapists here.

What is the final consonant deletion?

Final consonant deletion is a typical speech pattern in children and happens when they don’t make the last consonant sound in a word. Children can use final consonant deletion as toddlers when they’re learning to produce more complex words or sounds and are then simplifying these words by leaving the last consonant sound off.

What age does final consonant deletion stop?

Final consonant deletion is a speech pattern that happens quite commonly in young children and tends to stop around 3 years and 3 months.

It’s important to remember that every child is different, and there will always be some children who make those final consonant sounds earlier or later than 3 years and 3 months. Make sure to take into account other aspects of the child’s development or speech. If they started talking later, they may stop final consonant deletion slightly later, or if they have reduced attention abilities they may process less speech and might also stop final consonant deletion later.

What is an example of a consonant deletion?

Final consonant deletion happens when a child leaves off the consonant sounds at the end of a word, and only happens in words that don’t end with a vowel sound. It’s important to remember that when you spell out a word and say a word, a single letter doesn’t always match to a single sound. I.e., “cough” has 5 letters when written, but only 3 sounds when spoken (k-u-f). The last consonant sound being deleted might not be only one letter. Below are some examples of typical words and also the word after a child uses final consonant deletion:

  • Cat for “ca”
  • School for “schoo”
  • Cup for “cu”
  • Dog for “do”
  • Ball for “ba”
  • Catch for “ca”
  • Toilet for “toile”
  • Fish for “fi”
  • Book for “boo”
  • Bed for “be”

final consonant deletion therapy ideas
Final consonant deletion therapy ideas

Is final consonant deletion a phonological process?

In speech therapy, final consonant deletion is seen as a typical phonological process. This means that it’s a speech pattern that happens quite commonly in young children and tends to stop around 3 years and 3 months.

What activities parents can try for final consonant deletion

Making more complex words and sounds can be a tricky job for young children. Making activities for your kids can help them to hear the differences in words with final consonant deletion and ones without and have fun doing it!

  • Have a toy of something long with different sections such as a snake, caterpillar or sausage. Separate a word they’re using final consonant deletion in into it’s separate sounds, so book would be b-u-k. Each sound goes with a different section of the toy to help them understand that a sound might be missing!
  • Have pictures or objects of pairs of words that only have one difference: the final consonant sound deleted and the final consonant sound present. Examples are bee and bean, car and calm or tree and treat. Start from single words, and then see if they can put the word without final consonant deletion into a phrase or sentence.
  • Take note of what words your child is using final consonant deletion on more and try and include them in a regular activity that they enjoy. This could be outdoor play, bath time or bed time. Emphasise the end of the words when you say them, but don’t overcorrect the child if they use final consonant deletion for the words as it can be frustrating for them!
Final consonant deletion references:

Bowen, C. (2015). Children's speech sound disorders, 2nd Edition. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

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