When to seek advice
Speech sounds develop gradually from the first few months to around the age of 7 years, although most children will be able to use the full range of speech sounds by the age of 5 years. Some sounds are a little trickier to perfect especially the ‘th’ and ‘r’ sounds which may not be pronounced correctly until about 7 years of age.
Some children have difficulty making certain speech sounds which can make them difficult to understand even by familiar adults leading to frustration. It’s always a good idea to chat with your child’s nursery teacher and or a Speech and Language Therapist if you are unsure about their speech sound progress.
If your child is at Primary school (in their first year) seek advice if they are:
- Only using a few different sounds
- Swapping one sound for another sound eg: ‘tat’ for ‘cat’ or ‘dun’ for ‘sun’
- Missing the ends off words eg: ‘bu’ for ‘bus’
- Have difficulty with vowel sounds eg: ‘cate’ instead of ‘cat’ and ‘pot’ instead of ‘pat’
- Have difficulty with longer words eg: ‘umbrella’ and ‘washing machine’
Unresolved difficulties with speech sounds can lead to reading and writing difficulties so best to seek advice and help early.
Good sound skills are needed when learning to talk. They are also important for developing reading and spelling.
For more information go to www.talkingpoint.org.uk.