Thursday, January 19, 2012

Speech and Language: Speech Pronunciation Problems in Children

My son has recently started speech therapy with "Toronto Preschool Speech and Language Services". I decided to get him on the waiting list for this program last summer. His intelligence and vocabulary at that time were both excellent (I have mommy bragging rights!), and his father and I never had any worries about that. It was simply that he has difficulty pronouncing quite a few consonants.

I wasn't even sure if getting him assessed was something I should do. Many family members and friends thought I was just being an over-concerned parent. "Give it time", they said; "everything's fine". However, by the beginning of the summer, it was evident that Noah himself was becoming increasingly frustrated by his daycare friends' inability to understand him. When this happened, Noah would repeat the word or phrase, increasing his volume until he was shouting at his friends, exasperated, trying to get his point across. Luckily I can usually 'decode' him, so I was able to communicate for him to his friends. At this point though, I decided to let an expert decide whether he needed help or not. I figured it couldn't hurt, whereas not getting him the help could exacerbate or prolong the issue.

I told my doctor about it during my son's next check-up, and she gave me the number for the Toronto Preschool Speech and Language Services. This is a free service, but I was informed the waiting list was long, and an initial assessment usually did not happen until 6 months after one got onto the list.

Luckily, my son got an appointment within four months, due to a cancellation. After the assessment, the speech therapist told me that yes, he should be getting help for his pronunciation problems. She said it would be great to help him with his pronunciation before he starts kindergarten next fall. I had to agree.

She gave me a sheet that charts out the ages when children are typically able to utter specific sounds. This is the main reason I write this post; to share this information with other parents. Just to officially give credit, the following information was provided by the "Toronto Preschool Speech and Language Services", and their information was adapted from "Helping Kids Discover and Develop Language" (afs).

1.5 years - 3 years
  • p (as in "pear")
  • m (as in "more")
  • h (as in "home")
  • n (as in "no")

1.5 - 3.5 years
  • w (as in "wall')

1.5 - 4 years
  • b (as in "bath")

2 - 4 years
  • k (as in "kitten")
  • g (as in "go")
  • d (as in doll)

2 - 6 years
  • t (as in "toy")
  • ng (as in "sing")

2.5 - 4 years
  • f (as in "fan")
  • y (as in "yello")

3 - 6.5 years
  • s (as in "see")

3 - 7.5 years
  • r (as in "ring")
  • l (as in "look")

3.5 - 7 years
  • ch (as in "chair")
  • sh (as in "shoe")

3.5 - 8 years
  • z (as in "zebra")

4 - 7 years
  • j (as in "jump")

3 - 8 years
  • v (as in "violin")

4.5 - 7 years
  • th (as in "thumb")

5 - 8 years
  • th (as in "other")

6 -8.5 years
  • zh (as in measure)

#speechproblemskids #speechdevelopment

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