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When Should My Child Say...

Updated 09/12/2020

One of the first things most people ask me about is when children are supposed to start saying certain sounds. This is such a difficult thing to discuss and give one final answer. I would love to say that at age 5 your child should be able to say... and then name all of the sounds.

But the research does not always agree. Some of the discrepancies are due to how the researchers collected the information. Did the children repeat the words or did they say single words spontaneously or did they measure the sounds at more challenging levels like sentences or conversation? Then, even within typical speech sound development there is some variation, we call this the "average range." There are even differences between boys and girls in when they acquire sounds.

If you just want an idea of what sounds a child should say and when, here is the information that I use and consider when I'm looking at a child's speech sounds. This information is based on the standardized norms from a speech test called the Goldman Fristoe Test of Articulation 2nd Edition. According to their research, the following consonants and consonant clusters are produced by 85% of children by the following ages:

By age 2: b, d, h, m, n, p

By age 3: f, g, k, t, w

By age 4: kw

By age 5: j, l, s, y, sh, ch, bl, ng (at the end of words)

By age 6: r, v, br, fr, dr, gr, kr, tr, fl, gl, kl, pl, st

By age 7: z, voiced and unvoiced th, sp, sw, sl

Ok, there you have it! If you are wondering, should my 2 year old be saying "l"? No. Should my 5 year old be able to say "k"? Yes!

Now, you have a place to come when you are wondering!

If you have concerns about your child who is not saying some sounds that he should be saying in my next post we will talk about a speech evaluation or speech testing.

Also, feel free to email me if you have questions!

Talk to you soon!

-Lauren :)

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