R, L, S—When Should I Be Concerned About My Child’s Speech Production?
posted by: Mile High Mamas
“Mama, can you gib me my yittle twain?” Billy said to his mom. Mom knew just what he was asking for (his little train, of course) and she thought his speech was adorable. Many parents are delighted when their children begin to talk with intent and on a more frequent basis. However, when should you, as a parent, stop thinking these speech sound errors are cute and start to be concerned?
Children acquire speech sounds in specific orders. Children, who are under the age of 12 months, should be experimenting with their voices.
Children under 12 months of age will—
1. Coo and goo—these are sounds made at the back of the mouth.
2. Babble with multiple sounds—children will then start to make strings of sounds including /m/, /p/, and /b/ and the vowel sound /a/. (mama, papa, baba)
3. Babble with short and long bursts of sounds—children will begin to use sounds in bursts along with new vowel sounds (papa bibi upupupup).
4. Acquire 1-2 words they will consistently use around the time of the 12 month mark. These may be simple words like, “mama,” “dada,” “up.”
Children between 12 and 36 months will start to develop speech sounds and language at a faster pace. For example, by the age of 24 months, children should use approximately 50 words on a consistent basis; however speech sound errors may be present. Speech sound errors in words are typical of children less than 36 months of age.
In the chart below, each solid bar indicates when children generally MASTER the specified sounds. This chart depicts a range of development and should only be used as a general guide.
Guest blogger Nicole Everhart, MS, CCC-SLP is a Speech Language Pathologist at Pediatric Speech Therapy Associates in
Centennial, CO. She is a Hanen certified therapist and believes in parent education and family-centered therapy. She specializes in speech sound errors and language development in children from birth-age 12. Phone: (720) 542-8737 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.