Speech or articulation refers to the way that your child pronounces their sounds. It plays a vital role in your child’s development as they can become easily frustrated if they are not being understood. Literature shows that children with articulation problems often later have reading and/or spelling difficulties, so early intervention is of key importance.
At North Shore Speech Therapy, we will thoroughly assess your child’s speech sound development and give you advice on how to manage any speech difficulties. If therapy is needed, we keep it fun and rewarding. Most young children are excited for their sessions and gain confidence with their success each week.
By the day your child turns 3 years old, people outside of the family should easily be able to understand him/her. Parents may not be the best judges of their child’s speech, because as parents, you know what your child wants to say before they even know they are going to say it. Instead it’s best to ask someone outside the family whether or not your child is easy to understand.
Speech difficulties can be identified earlier than age 3 years. For example, if you have a child who is less than 1 year who is not babbling much. Or, at age 2 years, if your child does not have many sounds in their repertoire. This can be discussed with one of our expert speech pathologists.
An articulation delay is likely if:
• Others cannot understand your child (By 3 years of age, your child should be easily understood by other people)
• There is difficulty with coordinating speech
• Parts of words are omitted e.g. the endings of words ‘sun’ → ‘su’
• They are having difficulty saying sounds expected for their age
The table below outlines the typical development of speech sounds. By these ages, 75% of children should be able to say these speech sounds.
Bowen, C. (1998). Developmental phonological disorders. A practical guide for families and teachers. Melbourne: ACER Press.