Does your child struggle to say particular sounds? Do they say “fumb” for “thumb”? Say their ‘r’ sound like a ‘w’? Leave out a sound if it’s too hard to pronounce (i.e., ‘nana for ‘banana’)? Say their ‘s’ sounds with a lisp? As our Fort Myers speech therapists can explain, these are speech sound errors, which can be addressed with a type of speech therapy called articulation therapy.
We should start by saying that some articulation difficulty is 100% normal, and your child will grow out of it. The question will be how old they are and where they should be at developmentally for their age group.
- By 32 months, a child should be able to say the /p/, /h/, /b/, /m/, /n/ sounds.
- By 36 months, your child should be able to properly say the /f/, /w/, /b/, /g/, /d/ sounds and the “ng” sound.
- At 48 months, your child should be able to correctly say the /s/ sound.
Another element to consider is how well your child is generally understood by people other than you.
- By 2, your child should be about 65% intelligible (understood) to most listeners.
- By 3, your child should be about 80% intelligible to most listeners.
- By 4, your child should be very intelligible in connected speech. Sometimes people will describe it as, “talking like a little adult.”
Trouble with articulation is only considered a “disorder” when a sound that should have been acquired.