Many children make predictable developmental sound substitutions as they are learning to talk. Articulation errors may involve substituting one sound for another (“tar” for car), omitting a sound in a word (“boo” for blue), or distorting a sound.
Here are general guidelines as to when speech sounds should appear:
2 M, H, N, W, ING, P, B
3 F, K, G, Y (yellow), D, T
4 CH, L, S, R, V, SH
5 J (judge), Z, TH
For good articulation, we need adequate:
- Respiration (abdominal air)
- Phonation (larynx / vocal cords)
- Resonation (mouth / nose)
- Jaw, lip, tongue and abdomen strength and stability
A speech therapist can help improve your child’s speech clarity. It is important for the therapist to understand why your child is having difficulty saying speech sounds. For example, is his jaw unstable? Does he not achieve adequate lip closure? When oral motor therapy is used along with traditional articulation techniques (e.g., practicing individual speech sounds), excellent results are often achieved.
Suckling on pacifiers, as well as bottles and sippy cups past age one should be avoided for good articulation, as long as nutrition is not compromised. Dentition may be affected from suckling, which can also affect articulation. Thumbsucking may also lead to poor speech clarity.
To learn more about articulation and oral motor therapy, please visit: sayandplayfamily
You may find the articulation podcast and the blog helpful.
Stephanie Sigal, M.A.CCC-SLP, provides speech evaluations and speech therapy for children with speech (articulation), language and oral motor difficulties. Sessions are conducted in the comfort of your Upper East Side Manhattan home. Please contact Stephanie at email@example.com.