Over the last month, we’ve discussed many different aspects of language development, from a child’s early gurgling and sound play, up through early language. Today we’re going to focus on not what a child says, but how they say it.
Childhood mispronunciations are a common and often acceptable part of early speech development. Many of us have listened to a very young child talk about a “wabbit” instead of a “rabbit”, and simply thought How adorable! But at what point does a speech impediment change from being a part of typical speech development to a communicative concern? There’s no easy answer to that question. Each child develops speech sounds at their own rate, so it’s difficult to put a hard and fast rule on when they should be producing perfect speech. However, studies have shown that speech sounds are typically acquired in a specific order. Click the following link to access a chart of different speech sounds and their typical acquisition age range: http://www.talkingchild.com/speechchart.html
Remember, the age ranges in the chart are presented as a guideline, and there can still be deviations from this chart that are perfectly normal. However, if you find that your child is lagging behind on many of the sounds, or that people outside of your family have difficulty understanding your child’s speech, you may wish to have your child evaluated by a speech-language pathologist to rule out an articulation disorder. Early speech therapy can help a child to develop the sounds they need to communicate in a clear way that makes them easily understood.
Do you have concerns about your child’s speech or language development? If you feel you may benefit from the services of a speech-language pathologist, give us a call! At Speech Associates of New York, our team of professionally trained and certified speech-language pathologists provide in-home evaluations and therapy. Each of our professionals is trained in the assessment and treatment of a range of pediatric and adult speech, language and communication disorders. Call us today at (212)308-7725 and find out how we can help you communicate your best!