Do you have concern that your child isn’t being understood by friends and family? Or are you wondering when your child should stop using baby language and begin speaking clearly? The following guide will help you establish if your child is on the right talking path and give you ideas of how to introduce new sounds to your child. Remember this information is intended as a general guide only, for specific questions about your child’s speech and language development contact a Speech Pathologist. Speech Booster 4 Kids is conveniently located in Pascoe Vale, Melbourne.
Individual speech sounds are the different sounds required for talking. The development of speech sounds (articulation development) can take a number of years to master. As your child learns to talk in her early years it is common to hear a number of sound errors in her speech. These errors typically resolve naturally as your child hears more words and attempts to produce more speech.
There are a number of typical errors you may hear in these first few years, such as; substitutions eg. cat – “tat” or dog - "dod" and omissions eg. sock – “so” or banana – “nana”. These errors can have an impact on how well your child is understood by a listener and this is referred to as the ‘intelligibility’ of your child’s speech. The following is a guide for how well unfamiliar listeners should understand your child through the ages of 2-4 years.
2;0 years of age – 50% intelligible (they should understand ½ of what your child is saying)
3;0 years of age – 75% intelligible (they should understand ¾ of what your child is saying)
4;0 years of age – 100% intelligible (they should understand all of what your child is saying)
Some sounds are easier to say than others and are typically the first sounds you hear your child say, such as; /m/,/n/,/t/,/d/,/p/,/k/,/g/. Other sounds such and “th” (three) and combinations of sounds such as “spr” (spray) are often not heard until your child is at school. A quick guide to see what sounds your child should be developing next is outlined below.
3 yrs: /h/ - hat, /zh/- treasure, /y/ - yes, /w/ - wait, /ng/ - ring, /m/ - mine, /n/ - no, /p/ - pat, /k/ - car, /t/ - hat, /b/ - bath, /g/ - girl, /d/ - dog, /f/ - fish
4yrs: /l/ - look, /sh/ - ship, /ch/ - chip, /j/ - jam, /s/ - sock, /z/ - zip
5yrs: /r/ - red
6yrs: /v/ - vacuum
8yrs: /th/ - this, think
If you feel your child is having difficulty saying some sounds here are a few tips on how to help your child to listen and say new sounds in a fun way throughout your day.
- When your child speaks, repeat what your child has said. Model and emphasise the correct pronunciation. (*You do not need to ask your child to repeat the word they said incorrectly as this may frustrate them. Simply hearing the word again with the correct sounds will help). Eg Child: so(ck) on mummy. Parent: Sock on. You need help putting your sock on. Daddy help. Sock on.
- Encourage new sounds through play. Follow your child’s lead with play and introduce new sounds. Eg. If your child is playing with cars, trucks & trains, join in the play and make fun sounds like; “toot toot”, “choo choo”, “woo hoo”, “woosh”, “zoom” as you move the toys around. If your child is playing with a tea set, join in the tea party and make sounds like “gu,gu,gu,” as you pour the tea into a cup or “yum,yum” as you eat a biscuit. Your child will be listening to you as you play together and may even try to copy some of these fun sounds.
- Read a story and make sounds for the characters. Eg. Where is Spot? Eric Hill. Make the sounds for the animals you find hiding while you are looking for Spot. For example: Grrr (Bear), ssss (snake).
- Sing songs and Nursery Rhymes. Remember to add in sounds and actions so your child can join in. You might like to try, “Old McDonald had a Farm” or “Miss Polly Had a Dolly”.
Remember: Keep your talking activities fun. If talking become stressful for you or your child please seek individual advice from a Speech Pathologist.
Thanks for reading Speech Booster 4 Kids Blog.
Contact a Speech Pathologist to discuss your child’s speech and language development if you feel your child’s talking is not following this pattern of acquisition, or you would simply like some reassurance that your child is on the right talking path.
Speech & Language Pathologist
Located in Pascoe Vale, Melbourne
( 0418 312 479