Does your child substitute sounds in words? Do they say ‘tup’ for ‘cup’ or ‘bish’ for ‘fish’? This is a normal stage of development and most children will replace sounds in words as their language develops. However, there are ages after which the replacement of these sounds is no longer appropriate.
Common speech sound processes
Your child should be assessed by a Speech Pathologist if they do any of the following (this list is a quick summary of three of the most common speech sound substitutions, however there are many more):
- After turning 3 years old, leaves off final sounds in words (‘bu’ for ‘bus’, ‘ca’ for ‘cat’)
- After turning 3 years of age, replaces long hissing sounds such as ‘s’ and ‘f’ with short stopped sounds such as ‘d’ (‘dun’ for ‘sun’) and ‘b’ (‘bish’ for ‘fish’)
- After 3.5 years of age, says a ‘k’ or ‘g’ sound as a ‘t’ or ‘d’ sound (‘ta’ for ‘car’ or ‘do’ for ‘go’)
There are many more speech sound substitutions so if your child is making any errors, call our Speech Pathologists to see if they are age appropriate.
Use of sounds
- At 2 years of age, children usually use most vowel sounds and a variety of consonants (p, b, t, d, k, g, m, n, w).
- By 5 years of age, children are usually able to use most speech sounds but may still have difficulties with ‘s’, ‘r’, ‘l’ and ‘th’.
Your child’s speech should become more intelligible (understood by an unfamiliar listener) as they get older. By 18 months, a child’s speech is usually 25% intelligible, by 2 years to 3 years of age a child is usually 50-75% intelligible and, by 3 years to 4 years of age, a child’s speech is usually 75-90% intelligible. By 4-5 years of age, a child’s speech is usually 90-100% intelligible.
If you have any concerns about your child’s speech sounds or intelligibility, please call our Speech Pathologists for a chat and to see if an appointment is needed.
– Lisa Mathers, Speech Pathologist at Sure Start Health