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Speech Milestones For Your Child

Updated: Mar 7

Sometimes it’s hard to know when to ask your pediatrician to refer your child for Speech Therapy. They have a lot of words, but they’re hard to understand. Sure, some of the things they say are adorable (think: I wuv you), but at what age should they correctly articulate their words?

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) reports that by the end of age 3, children should accurately be producing p, b, d, m, n, h, w, t, k, and g in words. Familiar people should be able to understand your child’s speech. By the end of age 4, children should be able to say y and v in words. They may still make mistakes with s, sh, ch, j, ng, z and l sounds. Most people should understand your child’s speech. By the end of age 6, children should be able to say r, zh (like treasure), and th. Children should be completely intelligible to unfamiliar listeners.

A child who does not produce these sounds by the expected age might have a speech sound disorder. It’s important to have their hearing checked as well, because hearing loss or frequent ear infections may make it more difficult for children to acquire sounds at a typical rate. If you are concerned about your child’s articulation and language, speak to your pediatrician about your options.

- Hannah Stevens, M.S., CCC-SLP

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