Speech Sound Development

August 13, 2009 at 9:28 pm Leave a comment

A common question I get as an SLP is about what is considered “normal” speech development.  Parents often ask, “Is my child’s speech ok?” or they have concerns about a “lisp” or a distorted /r/ sound in their three year old child.  Below is some information compiled from Shriberg’s “Order of Speech Sound Acquisition” that details approximate time periods that sounds develop.  This is intended to be a general guide for development to aid parents in determining if their child’s speech is developing appropriately or if they should consult an SLP for an evaluation.

Speech Sound Development

Children’s speech sounds develop from the time they utter their first babbles until mid-elementary school.  The following list provides parents with more specific information about what sounds should be developing at what age ranges.  When sounds are emerging, children’s speech production may include omissions, substitutions or inconsistent productions.  Parents can facilitate speech sound development by exposing children to emerging sounds in games and stories and naturally providing models when sound substitutions occur.

Early 8 Sounds

These sound have emerging development between the ages 1-3 with consistent production around age 3.

/m/  as in “mama”     /b/  as in “baby”       “y”  as in “you”      /n/  as in “no”

/w/   as in  “we”         /d/   as in  “daddy”     /p/ as in “pop”    /h/  as in  “hi”

Middle 8 Sounds

Emerging development between ages 3-6 ½ with consistent production around age 5½.

/t/  as in “two”       “ng”  as in “running”       /k/   as in “cup”       /g/   as in “go”

/f/  as in “fish”     /v/  as in “van”       “ch”  as in “chew”     “j”  as in   “jump”

Late 8 Sounds

Emerging development between ages 5-7 ½ with consistent production around age 7 ½

“sh”  as in  “sheep”          /s/   as in “see”           “th”  as in “think”          “th”  as in “that”

/r/ as in “red”          /z/   as in “zoo”          /l/  as in “like”          “zh”  as in “measure”

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Language Modeling Supporting Expressive Language Skills at Home

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