Have you ever wondered if your child’s speech is developing appropriately? Are they sometimes hard to understand or make sound errors when they speak.

Speaking involves moving your teeth, lips, jaw, and tongue into different positions and shapes and at an incredibly fast rate. It is a complex skill and sometimes things can go wrong. Some children can struggle with, hearing the sounds, understanding what sounds to use and when, making the sounds or stringing the sounds together to make words. Or a combination of these.

You may hear the term speech sound disorder to describe these children. This is an umbrella term used to describe many different categories of sound difficulties or delays including hearing loss, cleft palate, apraxia, dysarthria, articulation disorder or phonological disorder. A speech pathologist can help you determine which of these might apply to your child.

  • A speech sound delay is when your child has difficulty producing the correct sound in words or in the correct way, by an expected age.
  • A speech sound disorder is when your child is making unexpected sounds or is unable to use certain sounds at all.
Did you know?
  • Around 2-3 years of age speech sounds are rapidly developing. By 3 years old your child should be understood about 68% of the time, even by strangers and are making a wide range of sounds like ‘f’, ‘t’, ‘k’ and ‘p’. This is the age when we can start seeing some speech sound delays.
  • By age 4 your child should be understood about 85% of the time (they are starting to sound more like adults) and are learning more complex sounds like ‘l’, ‘sh’ and ‘ch’.

If you are concerned about your child’s sound development, contact a speech pathologist for more information. A speech pathologist can help you assess and if needed treat your child with speech sound production errors.

This article was written by Speech Pathologist, Sydney Cyr