Speech Sound Development

A guide to typical speech sound development

Some speech sounds are usually developed earlier than others. This table can be used as a guide for typically developing children.

Children who have additional needs can be expected to develop sounds later. This should be taken into account before referral. Please speak to your named therapist for further advice.

Speech Sound90%of children will have acquired these sounds by the following ages
m n
p b
t d
w
3 years
h
y
f
4 years
s z
k g
ng
4 - 5 years
v
sh
ch j
I
6 years
R
zh
th
7 years
clusters
(e.g. sp / tr/cl)
8 years


Typical speech errors and when to refer


Some speech errors are commonly made by typically developing children. They will usually resolve without intervention as the child matures.

Some examples are listed in the table below along with when to refer if the error doesn’t resolve on its own. Remember children with additional needs may need longer.

 Example target wordExample productionConsider referrral from
Problems with most sounds--3 years
Missing off consonat sounds from the ends of wordssock
watch
so
wa
3 years
Using ‘t d’ sounds in place of ‘k g’car
frod
tar
frod
4 and a half
Using ‘t d’ sounds in place of ‘s z’sun
mouse
dun
mout
4 and a half
Using ‘p b’ sounds in place of ‘f v’leaf
traffic
leap
trabbic
4 and a half
Using ‘w y’ sounds in place of ‘I’leaf
jelly
yeaf
jewy
6 years
Immature ‘sh’shoe
fish
sue
fis
6 and a half
Immature ‘ch j’jelly
watch
delly
wats
6 and a half
Difficulty where two consonant sounds come togetherspider
crocodile
bider
fwocodile
7 and a half
Using ‘w’ sounds in place of ‘r’rainwain8 years

 

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Last updated: 17 December 2015

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