We use our lips, teeth, tongue, palate, and voice to make speech sounds so that people can understand what we say.

Some children have difficulty making speech sounds, putting sounds together, hearing/perceiving speech, or thinking about speech. Some children have difficulty with one or two sounds. Others have difficulty with many consonants and vowels and are hard for others to understand.

At Active Speech Pathology, we help children every day who have speech difficulties. 

For most children, there is no known cause for their speech difficulties. For some children, known reasons include: hearing loss, cleft palate, or a family member has had speech difficulties.

Some terms used to describe different types of speech difficulties in children include:

  • speech sound disorders

  • phonological disorders

  • articulation disorders

  • childhood apraxia of speech

  • dysarthria

The short video below explains:

  1. What is speech?

  2. What sounds should a child know and when?

  3. How can I help?

What can you do to help?

There are ways that you can help children learn sounds. You can:

Model sounds in your own talking. Give examples of how sounds are used when you talk with children. They do not have to say the sounds after you.

Child: I see a tow!

Adult: Oh, you see the cow? It’s a big cow isn’t it!

Another example is when a child is leaving the end sound off a word and an adult modelling (showing) how to correct it:

Child: (pointing to nose) “My no”

Adult: “There’s your nose! Here’s my nose! Let’s try to put our end sound on nose”.

Praise children if they try to say the word after you.  It is okay if they do not copy you.

Avoid practising mistakes. Avoid asking children for repeated attempts at saying words if they are having trouble – they may become frustrated and make it more difficult to learn the correct sound.

If your child is difficult to understand then consider coming in for an assessment of their speech sound development. We can give you a clear idea of how they are tracking and whether therapy is a good idea. We can also answer your questions if you’d like to get in touch by phone 3103 0776 or email hello@activespeechpathology.com.au.