The Sound We Found
Welcome to the landing page of The Sound We Found.
On this page, you will find all of the bonus resources that accompany the book, including:
About the authors
You can read more about Rhian, Lisa and Hélène here
Prevention is better than cure!
Babbling and experimenting with sounds is a typical developmental stage before babies form recognisable words. In some young children this stage may be delayed. Targeting speech sounds at the earliest possible opportunity promotes babbling and may help to encourage correct speech patterns and discourage speech errors.
As Speech and Language Therapists we are passionate about encouraging communication in children. Inspired by the many children and families that we have worked with, we wanted to create a book that families could share and enjoy, whilst modelling targeted speech sounds in order to encourage speech sound development.
‘The Sound We Found’ is a book aimed at young children. It is suitable for any child who enjoys bright pictures and a rhyming story and, in particular, children who may be experiencing a delay in speech sound development. Baby Bear’s daily routine provides an example of how adults can model sounds throughout the day and how sound play can be incorporated into almost any activity!
‘The Sound We Found’ is based on a therapy approach used by Speech and Language Therapists, called “input modelling”. This involves showing and repeating sounds through sound play. The child will hear and see the sounds without any pressure to repeat them. Through regular repetition by familiar adults of the same speech sounds, the child may begin to experiment with using the sounds of their own accord.
'The Sound We Found’ is the first in a planned series of books and includes the target sounds /p/, /f/, /t/ and /sh/. These sounds have been selected primarily because they are visual sounds, which the child will be able to see as they are produced. Not all of these sounds would typically develop early in a child’s speech, however, there is evidence to support the targeting of sounds before they are in a child’s speech sound system, and before they are mislearnt. These sounds can be modelled softly, which is particularly important in cases where a child may have glue ear, and may learn a distorted version of a sound if it is forced.
Through regular exposure to the story, together with modelling sounds throughout the day during playtime and the child’s daily routine, we hope to motivate parents and carers to aid the development of their child’s speech sounds; the more the child hears a sound, the more likely they are to use it.
In addition to speech sound development, The Sound We Found aims to promote the many benefits of families sharing books together and to foster a love of books in children from the outset. Reading can improve a child’s comprehension, listening, speaking, spelling, vocabulary and writing as well as general knowledge. It therefore enhances a child's educational achievement across the curriculum, as well as emotional, personal and social development. Reading can also assist with the development of the parent-child bond, promoting intimacy and well-being.
Click on the video links to show how to get the most out of sharing the book.
Dodd, B. (1979) Lip reading in infants: attention to speech presented in - and out- of synchrony. Cognitive Psychology. 11(4), 478-484
Harding, A & Bryan, A (2000). The use of multi-sensory input modelling to stimulate speech output processing. A teaching and demonstration video, Addenbrooke’s NHS Trust & East & North Herts NHS Trust.
Rhian Hoccom MSc, Reg. HCPC
Rhian qualified as a speech and language therapist following completion of her degree at Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2006. Retaining her interest in early year’s therapy, Rhian has developed a range of initiatives to empower caregivers with the knowledge and skills necessary to further speech development in the home, with a particular focus on making input modelling part of the daily routine. These initiatives include an early year’s rhyme time that focuses on babble and a series of books that focus on targeted sound development.
Rhian loves family life and looking after 3 boys, a husband and a tortoise. Her free time is taken up with chess, football and, of course, reading.
Lisa Farquhar BA, MSc, MRCSLT, Reg. HCPC
Lisa graduated with a degree in French and Spanish from Cardiff University, and then went on to study for a Masters’ Degree in Speech and Language Sciences at University College London, qualifying as a Speech and Language Therapist in 2002. Since that time, she has had the opportunity to work with a large variety of clients in several different settings including adults with acquired communication disorders and children with a range of speech and language difficulties. She now specialises in the field of cleft palate where her role includes assessment and therapy with children and sometimes adults, who often have complex speech difficulties. She is also involved in training and supporting Speech and Language Therapists in the local community and is in the process of writing a text book for other therapists related to encouraging generalisation of speech sounds.
When not in work, Lisa enjoys spending time with her family. With a husband and 2 active boys who enjoy outdoor activities, she has learnt to adopt an “if you can’t beat them join them” approach and spends time running, cycling, walking (and generally burning off energy). She also enjoys travelling and reading and relaxing at home.
Helene Somerville BSc, MRCLST, Reg. HCPC
Hélène is a highly specialist speech and language therapist with over 30 years’ experience across a range of practice areas. She trained at De Montfort University in Leicester, and has since worked with a number of multidisciplinary teams in health and education, as well as providing expert advice and training to staff in both fields.
Having spent the best part of a decade with the New Zealand Health Service, working in dysphagia, preschool special needs and cleft lip and palate, Hélène is now better known as cleft lip and palate specialist and has sat on the national committee for the Cleft Palate Centre of Excellence Network for several years.
Her special interests are in cleft palate, non – cleft velopharyngeal dysfunction, conductive hearing loss, articulation difficulties, speech sound disorders and early language She has also worked with a number of children’s centres providing additional support for pre-school children with a range of speech, language and communication needs and staff training in Makaton and visual support systems.
In her spare time, Hélène sings with the London Show Choir, but also keeps mind and body in shape at her local gym. Married with two daughters, one at university and one a junior doctor, she values living in the countryside where she can go out walking with her husband and the family dog Luna.
Reviews / Feedback
Amazon - Mum of 2: Love this book!
"My little boy loves reading this book. He loves that sounds are repeated, especially the sounds he can say. I found the video very useful - it shows you how to try out sounds with your child through the day."
RT, Speech and Language Therapist: Brilliant resource to help sound development
"Beautiful book with lovely illustrations! I work as a Speech and Language Therapist so I am always on the look out for a helpful resource. This book has been brilliant with the little ones I work with. They've really engaged in the story and enjoyed watching me make the sounds. The video is a helpful tool."
Amazon: My family love this book!
"I love this book and so do my 2 year old triplets. They were engaged from start to finish and spontaneously started copying sounds. Does exactly what it says on the tin. More books with more sounds please!"
Lead SLTs from Trent Cleft Palate Team
“We are very excited at Trent Cleft Network that we now have lots of copies of “The Sound we Found” to share with the families we work with. We love the book and think it will be great for families to encourage their babies and toddlers to play with sounds and discover all the different noises they can make with their mouths”
Sally Widdowson, specialist SLT.
“A. approves of the book - I just listened to him and dad reading it 4 times in a row with A. joining in and imitating the sounds beautifully with no specific encouragement from Dad. (and I hadn't even primed dad on how to share the book). Very successful I would say!”
“As an SLP in NYC currently providing in-person early intervention speech services during the pandemic, I am continually looking for new ways to engage my younger clients. Well, I found the perfect book. From engaging visuals to imitations of the sounds, this book, in my opinion, increases joint attention and overall expressive language. I have a little client who brings this book to her mother every night! Huge recommendation for therapists and parents whose children are receiving speech and language services”
Gina-Marie Principe, MS CCC-SLP P.C. @SpeechwithG
questions and answers
Q: Why are there only 4 sounds targeted in this book?
A: This book features the same 4 sounds to allow for repetition. Children need to hear sounds repeated many times before they begin to attempt them. The book is just the right length to hold the interest of a small child. Future books will target other sounds.
Q: Why is this book about Baby Bear and Mum?
A: This initial book features Baby Bear and Mum but that doesn’t mean that only Mum can share the book with a child. The video shows a prime example of this, with a big brother reading to his sibling. Future books will feature Dad and other family members, but the key thing is that the sounds are being heard and the child is looking at the person modelling them, whoever that may be.
Q: I have read this book to my child and they have not tried to make any of the sounds.
A: Continue to share this book with your child on a regular basis, and also model the sounds as often as possible through the day, as part of your daily routine (See the video for examples of this) – children need to hear the sounds repeated many times over before they begin to use them. The important thing is that as they are hearing the sounds, they are storing them in their sound system and will use them when they are ready to do so.
Notice: While this is an invaluable resource and research shows the benefit of early intervention, we would always advise a referral to speech and language therapy services where there are concerns regarding a child's communication skills. Potential referrals may be discussed with the family Health Visitor, GP or through contacting the local speech and language therapy service directly.
There are now two Welsh and two Spanish translations of The Sound We Found and The Sound We See. We are hopeful that baby bear will continue to support families and help early years children develop their speech and language skills. There are more potential translations on the horizon - how exciting! See below for some of the covers and quotes about the work.
Funded by the Welsh Government, these translations have been made available to all libraries across Wales, and continue to be used to support cleft centres and children's hospitals across the country.
Below, the Spanish versions are going to be used to support the poorest families of central and southern America.