Speech Therapy

Speech Articulation in Young Children

Young children are known to perceive their sound pronunciation upon interactions with their speech role models (could be mother, father, nanny or teacher). Speech articulation in young children is the development of legible sounds, which usually is learnt in the first eight years of their growth.

Speech Articulation in Young Children: Speech therapists believe that articulation in young children does not usually happen until the age of three. Until that age, children are known to make a few errors with respect to their articulation. They are prone to frustration upon making those errors and even would try to substitute their errors.

  • By the time children reach their third year, therapists expect them to know and use a minimum of 200 words.
  • Also, children can use phrases of 3-5 words length which can be easily understood and deciphered most of the time (80 percent chances of understanding what the children are saying).
  • Upon reaching their fourth year, children attain their 100 percent intelligence growth, though there would be instances of speech articulation errors.

Children’s First Sounds: Children do not pick up sounds at random, but rather there is a sequence to it with which they develop their first sounds and articulation. Let us look at the sequence of sound development.

  • The first sounds that children are usually known to produce are the “b, p, m, w” sounds due to their easy visibility on the lips. These are called bilabial sounds.
  • “d, n, t” sounds are also likely to be learnt early and these sounds are known as lingu-alveolar sounds.
  • By the time children reach their 8th year, they are known to master all sounds and their speech articulation is fully developed.
  • There might be a few children who still would be developing their “r and s” sounds at the age of eight, but would slowly pick them up too.

There is no need to press the panic button, if your child does not develop the difficult sounds of “r and s” at the age of two.

Speech Articulation Phases: The sound production of a child generally develops in the following way:

  • 3-4 years: Bilabial sounds along with vowels.
  • 5-6 years: Lingu-Alveolar sounds along with g, k, f, y, ng sounds.
  • 7-8 years: r, s, ch, sh, th, sh, v, z sounds.

Speech articulation in young children is a natural and progressive process during the first eight years of a child. If you are concerned about your child’s speech development, you can see a licensed speech therapist who could assist in your child’s articulation.

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