Children may produce sounds incorrectly as they learn to talk – and this is okay!
Special thanks to Collaborative Corner and their help in providing this resource.
There are specific sounds that are meant to develop before others such as p, b, m, w, and f. On the other hand, there are sounds that develop a little later on such as s, l, r, and th.
According to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), most children have learned to say their sounds correctly by age four. If your child does not produce their sounds correctly by age four, they may have a speech sound disorder also known as an “articulation disorder” or “phonological disorder.”
Listed below are signs and symptoms for a speech sound disorder. If any of these pertain to your child, it may be time to obtain a referral from your pediatrician for a speech therapy evaluation or speak with your child’s teacher.
• Your child substitutes a sound for another (ex: tootie for cookie)
• Your child omits sounds, adds sounds, or changes sounds within words
• It is difficult for you, your family/friends, and unfamiliar communication partners to understand them
Click here to view a detailed chart of when most English-speaking children develop their sounds. It is typical for children who are learning more than one language to have speech sound errors.
How can a speech-language pathologist (SLP) help my child? The SLP will:
• Evaluate your child by listening to their speech in words and in conversation
• Perform an oral motor mechanism examination (i.e., assess the movement of the tongue, lips, and jaw)
• Ensure that a recent hearing evaluation has been performed by an audiologist
• Instruct them on how to produce correct sounds
• Teach them how to discriminate correct vs. incorrect sounds
• Practice sounds in words, phrases, sentences, and in conversation
If you feel that your child may be struggling to produce age appropriate speech sounds, please reach out to one of our licensed speech-language pathologists on our panel today! They will help guide you towards obtaining a speech therapy referral and evaluation for your child!
Kristen Bencomo, M.A., CCC-SLP
Co-Founder/Director of Development, Speech-Language Pathologist