Speech Difficulties

A child’s speech and language development typically follows a predictable pattern. Therefore you know what to expect for your child and when to hit certain speech and language milestones. A speech sound disorder is when a child continues to make speech sound errors unexpected for his age. Every sound has a different range of ages on when a child is expected to use the sound correctly. Speech sound disorders include problems with articulation (producing sounds) and phonological processes (sound patterns).


Signs of a speech disorder:

  • distorted sounds
  • sounds are replaced, omitted or added
  • difficult for others to understand what the child is saying
  • child continues to use immature sounding words as he grows older, for example, “rabbit” → “wabbit”


Speech Development

By 12 months:

babbling emerges with sounds like “b, p, m” to explore different sound combinations

  • vocalise when excited or displeased
  • shout for attention
  • vocalise while playing

By 36 months:

  • uses “k, g, t, d, h, y, w, n” sounds

By 4 ½ years:

  • uses “s, z, f, l, j, sh, ch” sounds

By 8 ½ years:

  • uses “r, v, th” sounds and sound clusters, for example, “bl, sw”


Speech assessment and treatment

A Speech-language therapist will evaluate your child’s speech before providing treatment to improve the production of targeted sound or to reduce errors in production of sound pattern.


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