Most children make some mistakes along the way as they’re learning to say new words. Every sound has a different range of ages of when a child should be saying a particular sound (articulation) , or sound patterns (phonology). An articulation/phonological delay occurs when mistakes occur past a certain age. Please see our Guidelines for Speech/Language Referral to help you determine if your child is would benefit from seeing one of our specialists.
What are some signs of an articulation/phonological delay?
- Sounds substituted, left off, added, or changed
- Syllables left off of words (i.e., “nana” for “banana”) past the expected age of development
- Others have a difficult time understanding your child
- Leaving off the ends of words (i.e., “to” for “top”) past the expected age of development
- Leaving off parts of words (i.e., “tar” for “star”) past the expected age of development
- Limited variety of speech sounds
Please note that not all sound substitutions and omissions are speech errors. Instead, they may be related to a particular accent or dialect. For example, native Japanese Speakers who speak English may be using a sound that sounds closer to an “r” than to an “l’. This is not a speech disorder, but rather a phonological feature of this dialect.