Speech sound production, or articulation, is the process of making sounds to form words.This is a complex process which involves the lips, tongue, teeth, jaws, palate, cheeks and the “voice box”. Correct articulation produces clear speech which is easily understood.Another name for clear speech is intelligibility.
Errors in speech sound production are known as articulation errors.Articulation errors are common in children when they first learn to speak.For some children this area of development comes very easily and naturally.Other children may develop their articulation skills at a slower pace.An example of this is a toddler who says “wabbit” for “rabbit.”Most children eventually outgrow such speech errors, which are a normal part of learning to produce new sounds.
When children are learning to speak, they may have several articulation errors in the form of substitutions, omissions, distortions or additions.These errors may make speech sound difficult to understand.Below are examples of the types of errors a child may have when speaking.
Substitution – replaces one sound for another (wed for red)
Omission – leaving out a sound in word (nake for snake)
Distortions- producing sounds in an unfamiliar manner ( thun for sun)
Additions – inserting an extra sound within a word (buhlack for black)
When should you worry about your child’s articulation development?
-Family and friends have a hard time understanding your child.
-Your child demonstrates frustration because you can’t understand his/her speech.
-Your child shows no sign of frustration when trying to communicate, but you do not understand his/her speech.
Below you will find a chart for general guidelines of sound mastery.
SPEECH SOUND ACQUISITION
90% OF CHILDREN HAVE MASTERED THESE SOUNDS BY THESE AGES
P, B, M, N, W, AND H3 YEARS
T, D, K, G, F, AND Y4 YEARS
V, NG, L6 YEARS
S, Z, J, TH, SH, AND CH7 YEARS
R 8 YEARS
ALL BLENDS9 YEARS