Speech Sounds

Speech sounds are so important for children as they develop. Being easily understood by others can increase confidence and self-esteem.

Speech sounds are equally important when it comes to school readiness as children with a speech sound disorder are more at risk of literacy difficulties.

Makes sense doesn’t it? if they can’t say it, how can they read it!


Early Start Speech Pathology Speech Sounds

By age 5, children should be 100% clear and easily understood by someone that doesn’t know them.

Speech sounds are the individual sounds we all use to make words. It’s a complicated process that starts happening from birth when babies are tuning into the sounds around them and practicing with their babbling. Speech sounds are a combination of sending the correct message from the brain to the mouth, tongue and mouth muscles, along with the coordination of breath, level of volume as well as the message we want to say!

Speech sounds develop in a really typical way. Children that develop a speech sound disorder are behind in their speech sound development or maybe producing speech sound patterns that should have been resolved.

Age at which sound is developed
Sounds that they will have developed
2 years
3 years
b, d, g, n, f, y, t, k, m, ng, h, w
4 years
v, z, s, sh, ch, j, l
5 years
th (voiced) “this”, zh “measure”, r
6 years
th (voiceless) “thumb”

Early Start Speech Pathologists in Newcastle are highly trained and experienced in all evidence-based techniques and practices for speech sound disorders. Early Start therapists use techniques such as cued articulation, minimal and maximal pairs, cycles approaches and Prompt techniques. We see the range of children that may have a mild speech sound disorder to a more severe speech sound disorder, such as Childhood Apraxia of Speech.


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Red Flags for a Potential Speech Sound Disorder

If your child is demonstrating or has experienced any of the below and you are concerned, call now to discuss how we may be able to help.

Often the advice from your doctor can be to wait and see- but this is not the case for speech sound disorders in children, as there are very clear ages that sounds should be developed.

  • No or limited babbling as a baby
  • Not turning head to speakers or other noises
  • Startles when someone is near- as if they didn’t hear them coming
  • Chronic or constant ear infections, colds, glue ear, otitis media (all ages)
  • Poor sleeper and/or snorer, we recommend ENT referral to check the impact of their tonsils and adenoids
  • Only speaking in vowels
  • The parent is the interpreter for the child 4+ years
  • Tongue and Lip tie in 99% of cases are NOT a red flag for potential speech development.