My Resources - Speech and Langauge Therapy
Below, you will find some information and normative data for some common speech and language concerns.
Speech Sound Development- the age at which children correctly produce phonemes (sounds).
Templin Speech Sound Normative Data
Age at Which Children Produce Phonemes Correctly
90% of Children have mastered the sound by this age
θ (th, soft)
ð (th, hard)
Phonological Processes- are patterns of sound errors that typically developing children use to simplify speech as they are learning to talk. They do this because they don't have the ability to coordinate the lips, tongue, teeth, palate and jaw for clear speech.
Here are some common types of phonological processes.
Assimilation (Consonant Harmony)
One sound becomes the same or similar to another sound in the word
non-velar sound changes to a velar sound due to the presence of a neighboring velar sound
kack for tack
non-nasal sound changes to a nasal sound due to the presence of a neighboring nasal sound
money for funny
One sound is substituted for another sound in a systematic way
sound made in the back of the mouth (velar) is replaced with a sound made in the front of the mouth (e.g., alveolar)
tar for car; date for gate
fricative and/or affricate is replaced with a stop sound
tee for see; chop for shop
liquid (/r/, /l/) is replaced with a glide (/w/, /j/)
wabbit for rabbit
affricate is replaced with a fricative
shop for chop
Sound changes that affect the syllable structure of a word
consonant cluster is simplified into a single consonant
top for stop
Weak Syllable Deletion
unstressed or weak syllable in a word is deleted
nana for banana
Final Consonant Deletion
deletion of the final consonant of a word
bu for bus
Bauman-Waengler, J. A. (2012). Articulatory and phonological impairments. New York, NY: Pearson Higher Education.
Bernthal, J., Bankson, N. W., & Flipsen, P., Jr. (2013). Articulation and phonological disorders. New York, NY: Pearson Higher Education.
The following chart details when phonological processes are no longer considered age appropriate.
Elimination of Phonological Processes in Typical Development
Phonological processes are typically gone by these ages (in years ; months)
GONE BY APPROXIMATELY
pig = big
pig = pick
Final consonant deletion
comb = coe
car = tar
ship = sip
mine = mime
kittycat = tittytat
Weak syllable deletion
elephant = efant
potato = tato
banana = nana
spoon = poon
train = chain
clean = keen
Gliding of liquids
run = one
leg = weg
leg = yeg
fish = tish
soap = dope
very = berry
zoo = doo
shop = dop
jump = dump
chair = tare
Stopping voiceless 'th'
thing = ting
Stopping voiced 'th'
them = dem
Bowen, C. (1998). Developmental phonological disorders. A practical guide for families and teachers. Melbourne: ACER Press.
Grunwell, P. (1997). Natural phonology. In M. Ball & R. Kent (Eds.), The new phonologies: Developments in clinical linguistics. San Deigo, CA: Singular Publishing Group, Inc.
Stuttering and Fluency
Is Your Child Stuttering?
If your child has difficulty speaking and tends to hesitate on or repeat certain syllables, words, or phrases, he may have a stuttering problem. But he/she may simply be going through periods of normal dysfluency that most children experience as they learn to speak. This may help you understand the difference between stuttering and normal language development.
The normally dysfluent child occasionally repeats syllables or words once or twice, li-li-like this. Dysfluencies may also include interjections and the use of fillers such as "uh", "er", "um". There are no secondary behaviors (tension, facial contortions, twitching, etc)
Dysfluencies occur most often between the ages of one & one-half and five years. They tend to come and go. They are usually signs that a child is learning to use language in new ways. If dysfluencies disappear for several weeks, then return, the child may just be going through another stage of learning. 75-80% of preschoolers who “stutter” will eventually stop.
A child with milder stuttering repeats sounds more than twice, li-li-li-li-like this. Tension and struggle may be evident in the facial muscles, especially around the mouth.
The pitch of the voice may rise with repetitions, and occasionally the child will experience a "block" -- no airflow or voice for several seconds.
Dysfluencies may come and go but are now present more often than absent.
The child stutters on more than 10% of his/her speech, stutters with considerable effort and tension, or avoids stuttering by changing words and using extra sounds to get started. Dysfluencies tend to be present in most speaking situations now. There is frustration and avoidance of speech.
Blocks of speech are more common than repetitions (ha-ha-ha-happy) or prolongations (sssssave me a sssssseat). The child often gets stuck on words.
Use of the schwa vowel in repetititons (bu-bu-bu-bat instead of ba-ba-ba-bat).
Expressive and Receptive Language Development
Learning to Listen, and to Understand Language
Language learning starts at birth. Even new babies are aware of the sounds in the environment.
They listen to the speech of those close to them, and startle or cry if there is an unexpected noise. Loud noises wake them, and they become "still" in response to new sounds.
Astoundingly, between 0-3 months babies learn to turn to you when you speak, and smile when they hear your voice. In fact, they seem to recognise your familiar voice, and will quieten at the sound of it if they are crying. Tiny babies under three months will also stop their activity and attend closely to the sound of an unfamiliar voice. They will often respond to comforting tones whether the voice is familiar or not.
Then, some time between 4 to 6 months babies respond to the word "no". They are also responsive to changes in your tone of voice, and to sounds other than speech. For example, they can be fascinated by toys and other objects that make sounds, enjoy music and rhythm, and look in an interested or apprehensive way for the source of all sorts of new sounds such as the toaster, birdsong, the clip-clop of horses' hooves or the whirr of machines.
The 7 to 12 months timeframe is exciting and fun as the baby now obviously listens when spoken to, turns and looks at your face when called by name, and discovers the fun of games like: "round and round the garden", "peep-oh", "I see" and "pat-a-cake" (These simple games and finger plays have regional names and variants).
It is in this period that you realise that he or she recognises the names of familiar objects ("Daddy", "car", "eyes", "phone", "key") and begins to respond to requests ("Give it to Granny") and questions ("More juice?").
Now your child points to pictures in a book when you name them, and can point to a few body parts when asked (nose, eyes, tummy).
He or she can also follow simple commands ("Push the bus!", "Don't touch; it's hot!") and understand simple questions ("Where's the bunny?", "Who likes Miffy?", "What's in your purse?").
Your toddler now likes listening to simple stories and enjoys it when you sing songs or say rhymes. This is a stage in which he or she will want the same story, rhyme or game repeated many times.
By now your toddler will understand two stage commands ("Get your socks and put them in the basket") and understand contrasting concepts or meanings like hot / cold, stop / go, in / on and nice / yuccy. He or she notices sounds like the telephone or doorbell ringing and may point or become excited, get you to answer, or attempt to answer themselves.
Your three or four year old understands simple "Who?", "What?" and "Where?" questions, and can hear you when you call from another room. This is an age where hearing difficulties may become evident. If you are in doubt about your child's hearing, see a clinical audiologist.
Children in this age range enjoy stories and can answer simple questions about them. He or she hears and understands nearly everything that is said (within reason) at home or at pre-school or day care.
Your child's ability to hear properly all the time should not be in doubt. If you are in doubt about your child's hearing, see a clinical audiologist. If you are in doubt about language comprehension, see a speech-language pathologist / speech and language therapist.
Learning to Speak and Use Language
Newborn babies make sounds that let others know that they are experiencing pleasure or pain.
Your baby smiles at you when you come into view. He or she repeats the same sound a lot and "coos and goos" when content. Cries "differentiate". That means, the baby uses a different cry for different situations. For example, one cry says "I'm hungry" and another says "I have a pain".
Gurgling sounds or "vocal play" occur while you are playing with your baby or when they are occupying themselves happily.
Babbling really gets going in this age range, and your baby will sometimes sound as though he or she is "talking".
This "speech-like" babbling includes many sounds including the bilabial (two lip) sounds "p", "b", "w" and "m".
Your baby can tell you, using sounds or gestures that they want something, or want you to do something. He or she can make very "urgent" noises to spur you into action.
The sound of your baby's babbling changes. This is because it now includes more consonants, as well as long and short vowels. He or she uses speech or other sounds (i.e., other than crying) in order to get your attention and hold on to it. And your baby's first words (probably not spoken very clearly) have appeared! ("MaMa", "Doggie", "Night Night", "Bye Bye", "No")
Now your baby is accumulating more words as each month passes. He or she will even ask 2-word questions like "Where ball?" "What's that?" "More chippies?" "What that?", and combine two words in other ways to make the Stage 1 Sentence Types ("Birdie go", "No doggie", "More push"). Words are becoming clearer as more initial consonants are used.
Your two or three year old's vocabulary is exploding!
He or she seems to have a word for almost everything. Utterances are usually one, two or three words long and family members can usually understand them.
Your toddler may ask for, or draw your attention to something by naming it ("Elephant") or one of its attributes ("Big!") or by commenting ("Wow!").
Sentences are becoming longer as your child can combine four or more words. He or she talks about things that have happened away from home, and is interested in talking about pre-school, friends, outings and interesting experiences. Speech is usually fluent and clear and "other people" can understand what your child is saying most of the time. In fact, sometimes "other people" hear things you wish they had not!
Your child speaks clearly and fluently in an easy-to-listen-to voice.
He or she can construct long and detailed sentences ("We went to the zoo but we had to come home early because Sally wasn't feeling well"; "I want to have a horse of my own like Evan, and Daddy says when he wins the lottery he'll buy me one.").
He or she can tell a long, involved imaginative story sticking to the topic, and using "adult-like" grammar.
Most sounds are pronounced correctly, though he or she may be lisping as a four year old, or, at five, still have difficulty with "r", "v" and "th".
Your child can communicate easily with familiar adults and with other children.
Your child may tell fantastic, dramatic, inventive, "tall stories" (sometimes even scaring themselves!) and engage strangers in conversation when you are out together.
Bowen, C. (1998). Ages and Stages Summary: Language Development 0-5 years. Retrieved from http://www.speech-language-therapy.com