All children learn to talk at their own pace. It is typical for young children to make errors with the sounds they use as they are beginning to learn the correct patterns in their language. Some children find it difficult to use the correct sounds in words, others find it difficult to plan the movements required to be able to say the sounds. Difficulties with speech sounds can make it difficult to understand what a child is saying and can also have an impact on reading and writing as they get older.
Children with difficulties with their speech sound development may:
- Only use a small range of sounds
- Miss sounds from the beginning or ends of words e.g. ‘at’ for cat, or ‘bo’ for boat
- Swap one sound for another e.g. ‘tup’ for cup
- Use incorrect vowel sounds e.g. ‘bad’ for bed
- Struggle to say longer words with a number of syllables e.g. helicopter, umbrella
- Be difficult to understand
Advice to support children’s speech sounds:
- Repeat the word back to the child correctly
- Respond to what the child says not how they have said it
- If you are unable to understand what your child is saying
- Ask them to show you
- Repeat back the part you did understand
- Develop their phonological awareness (sound) skills e.g. clapping syllables
If you are concerned about the development of your child’s speech sounds please get in touch for a free telephone consultation. Please also see additional information on speech sound development for further guidance about typical development and errors patterns.