Speech Sound Development

May 8, 2019

The month of May is Better Speech and Hearing Month. This is a time to increase awareness in our community regarding communication disorders. Over the next few weeks, the blog will feature information on the milestones of speech development.


Speech Sound Development

Your child will develop individual speech sounds gradually.  Its starts with vocalizations around 2 or 3 months and grows to babbling and cooing and stringing sounds and syllables together between 8-24 months. As your child grows, they will learn sounds and begin to form words around a year old. Articulation errors are to be expected as your child is learning and developing. If you are wondering whether your child’s language development is progressing appropriately, these guideline provided in the Assessment and Treatment of Articulation and Phonological Disorders in Children provides the following guidelines on the appropriate age to expect children to produce sounds correctly:


By age 3: h, w, m, n, b, p, f


By age 4: d, t, y (as in yes), k, g, ng


By age 6: l, j (as in jump), ch (as in chair), sh (as in shoe), v

            Errors with r, s, z, th (as in thing), th (as in father), and zh (as in garage) may persist


By age 8-9: Child matches the adult standard for the production of all consonant sounds


Ways you can encourage your child to speak more clearly:

  • Speak clearly

  • Pronounce words slowly and correctly for your child to hear and imitate

  • Repeat new words or sounds over and over; use them in conversation often

  • Let your child watch your face, lips, and tongue as you form sounds and words

  • Give cues or prompts such as “Try that name again”

  • Praise your child when sounds are correct, especially if the sounds were previously difficult for the child to articulate

Are you concerned your child may need speech therapy? A speech evaluation is recommended if…

  • Your child does not consistently produce speech sounds appropriate for his or her age

  • Strangers have difficulty understanding your child’s speech if he or she is 3 years or older

  • Your child’s teacher reports that other children make fun of your child’s speech

  • Your child shows frustration with his or her speech










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