Speech Sound Development

If you’ve ever watched a child learn to speak, you’ll know that they don’t suddenly open their mouths and say “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”.When children are first learning there are lots of words that are too tricky for them to say. So cat, might sound like ‘tat’ for a few months, and sticker might sound more like ‘dider’. Children develop speech sounds at different times in their development. We often divide these into early, middle and late sounds.

Early 8:

These sounds develop between 12 months and 3 years and include m, b, p, y, w, d and h. This is part of why children often learn to say ‘mum’ and ‘dad’ first, these sounds are some of the earliest to develop.

Middle 8:

These sounds develop between 3 years and 6 years and include t, ng, k, g, f, v, ch and j. As children learn these sounds, ‘tat’ starts to sound a lot more like ‘cat’.

Late 8:

These sounds develop between 5 years and 8 years of age and include r, s, z, voiced th, voiceless th, l, sh and zh (measure). As children learn these sounds, they start to be able to pronounce ‘sticker’ correctly and can say ‘three’ instead of ‘free’. It’s quite normal for a child to start school, still unable to say their ‘r’ or ‘th’ sounds.

If you’re concerned about your child’s ability to make the sounds required for speech, contact Newcastle Speech Pathology and book an appointment today.

Written by Bec,


Newcastle Speech Pathology