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Hi Leila, I’m a speech and language therapist, definitely not a phonics expert, but I may be able to offer some thoughts.
Does he have clear speech when talking to adults and peers?
Has he had a recent hearing test, or have his parents mentioned anything about glue ears or grommets?
Does he always miss the initial sound when blending or is it more often higher frequency sounds (s,t,I,p) or lower frequency (a,n)
I have put together an early years listening/ hearing screen, attached below, that could give you some indication of whether this is related to hearing or auditory memory.
You are very welcome to use and share with others.
If you have any other questions, let me know