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Simple Guide to Normal Speech Development - What Sounds Are Made at What Age

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Hi to all, We all worry about our young child's speech development, and when they are our first, and cleft-affected, we worry all the more. I got the following from Jessica's speech pathologist and thought I'd share some of it with you. Remember that speech is one of those things with a very large milestone. Some kids are early talkers and some are late talkers. It doesn't matter, as long as they talk. What we watch for are nasality and articulation errors. So, anyway, for what it's worth, here are the gross milestones for speech:

SOUND ACQUISITION: Generally, children should make the following sounds correctly by the ages indicated:


3-4 years m, b, n, t, d, k, g, w, h, and vowels

5-6 years sh, ch, l, l-blends

7 years v, j, th, s, z, r, s-blends, r-blends

Vocabulary and sentence development:


12-18 months first words

2 years 2-word sentences

3 years 3-4 word sentences; 400-900 word vocabulary

5 years 5-6 word sentences; 1500-2500 word vocabulary

Remember that every child is different and none of them actually go by the book. As long as you see consistent development you probably have nothing to worry about. If you have some concerns, talk to a speech pathologist, and you should have your child screened annually anyway. Don't get overly worried if your 2-yr-old says "Tarley" for "Charley" or "Dane" for "Jane".

Sometimes we get all worried when an articulation problem is not a problem at all, but a normal age-appropriate substitution.

Bottom line, as I've already said, is if you're concerned, see a speech pathologist for an evaluation. Every cleft-affected young child should see a pathologist at least once per year for screening.


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