Concerned About Child Speech Sound Development? See if Your Child’s On Track
Most kids develop the ability to move and speak in a fairly predictable pattern. Although it’s true that child speech sound development can vary, we use “speech sound norms” based on the most common development patterns within a certain peer group to determine whether a child’s speech skills are on track.
(Note, the chart above is specifically for native English speakers. Children who are multi-lingual may develop some of these sounds at different ages than what’s shown here – but it’s still a good idea to consult with a Fort Myers speech therapist for kids if you have any concerns.)
Monitoring child speech sound development is important to ensure they’re reaching age-appropriate milestones. If they are not, early intervention speech therapy may be warranted.
Sometimes parents who note a speech sound or language delay with their kid are tempted to “wait and see” – partly because it can sometimes sound cute but partly to determine whether it actually pans out to be a problem. We don’t recommend this – and not just because this is our area of practice. The reason is that a “wait-and-see” approach can lead to compounding developmental issues, such as reading/literacy difficulty, social struggles, and behavior trouble. The sooner you seek treatment, the faster they can catch up to where they need to be.
The reason early intervention speech therapy for child speech sound development is highly effective is because the younger the child, the more flexible and adaptable their brains are. That makes it easier for them to learn and develop new speech patterns. Getting ahead of speech-language delays in the early stages is usually much easier than trying to chase up/correct patterns that have already become ingrained.
Our Fort Myers speech therapists for kids develop tailored strategies and exercises that meet each child’s specific needs, with the ultimate goal of gradually improving their speech sound development. We also provide parents with tools, tips, and tactics to carry over these lessons at home. These further reinforcements help kids more expeditiously master these key communication skills.
FOCUS offers pediatric speech therapy in Fort Myers and throughout Southwest Florida. Call (239) 313.5049 or Contact Us online.
Beyond Baby Talk, The Ultimate Guide to Language Development for Parents, By Kenn Apel, PhD, CCC-SLP, and Julie J. Masterson, PhD, CCC-SLP, Random House
More Blog Entries:
Why Occupational & Speech Therapists in Fort Myers Teach Kids Inferencing, Aug. 31, 2023, Fort Myers Speech Therapist Blog