Age of Mastery

Traditional Articulation Disorders are when a child substitutes one sound for another, such as 'w' for 'l', makes distortions on sounds, such as with a lisp.

Phonological Processes:  When young children don't outgrow typical developing patterns, it's called a phonological processing disorder.  Here are a couple examples of phonological processes (all processes should be resolved by age 5):

 Stopping:  Such as when a child says "toup" for "soup" - exchanging the long /s/        sound  for a quick sound. 

Final consonant deletion:  The child leaves the final consonant off the end of words. 

Children with this type of speech disorder are at risk for early reading difficulties.  They often struggle with language in the areas of vocabulary, sentence structure, and grammar.  In turn, children who struggle with language disorders are at higher risk for struggling with academics or having a learning disability.  

Apraxia:  Apraxia is an articulation disorder caused by motor planning difficulty.  A child can also have apraxia of the limbs.  Children with apraxia often struggle with reading and writing.

Dysarthria: Articulation difficulty caused by weak muscles.  Dysarthria is common in children with Cerebral Palsy and Down Syndrome.  

How can I help my child at home?
(for traditional articulation disorders)
  • Have your child read aloud for 5 minutes of his assigned home reading time for school, concentrating specifically on his speech sound.
  • When driving in the car have your child look for signs and objects that start with the sound he is working on.  For example, "Starbucks" for /s/ or /st/ blends.
  • When your child is first learning a correct sound production, have your child stand in front of the mirror and repeat the sound in isolation, by itself, in a word, and then in a sentence, every five times.  Have your child work on the sound when making sentences and reading aloud.  This helps your child get the speech sound down in his everyday speech sooner.

By Age 3: P, M, H, W, B, N : by age 3

By Age 3 1/2: K and F

By Age 4: G and D

By Age 5: Y

By Age 6: L and V

By Age 8: R, S, Z , J, TH, and ZH as in "measure"

Lateral Lisp:  A lateral lisp is when air comes out the sides of the mouth instead of through the middle.  This type of lisp is a distortion and is not considered an age appropriate error at any age.

Frontal Lisp: This is where the tongue is carried forward for the /s/ and /z/ sounds between the teeth.  This could sound like a /th/.  This is developmentally appropriate until age 8.

Phonological Processes: All by age 5