By Katharine F. Bedsole, M.S., CCC-SLP
Developing speech and language skills is a difficult task. It is natural for young
children to make mistakes in the process of learning to speak. Most children eventually
drop errors in their speech and develop normal speech patterns. Some children continue
to make errors beyond the age when other children have mastered those sounds.
It may be time to show concern if you observe one or more of the following:
- Family members or friends have a hard time understanding your child.
- A child
demonstrates frustration because you don’t understand his/her speech.
- Your child
shows no signs of frustration when trying to communicate, but you do not understand
This is the time to seek a professional’s opinion. Direct questions about your child’s
speech development to a local speech-language pathologist (SLP). To find an SLP
in your area, visit http://www.asha.org/findpro/
A certified SLP administers a standardized test comparing your child’s skills to
other children his/her age. These test results, in addition to other information,
determine whether your child requires speech therapy.
The chart below gives general guidelines of sound mastery. The guidelines allow
for the different developmental speech milestones that children experience.
90% of Children Have Mastered These Sounds...By Age
- p, d, m, w, h, n
- t, b, k, g
- f, v, y
- s, z, j, l, r, sh, ch, th, blends
- 2 years old
- 3 years old
- 4 to 5 years old
- 5 to 7 years old
Mawhinney, Linda and McTeague, Mary Scott. (2004) Early Language Development. Greenville:
Super Duper Publications.