Speech Sounds

Does Your Child Have Trouble Producing Speech Sounds?

Developing speech sounds takes time, but some children may find producing correct sounds and forming words to be more difficult than others. This could be because they are experiencing difficulties with producing certain sounds like “th” or “s” (articulation challenges). Or, perhaps they don’t quite understand the ‘rules’ and processes of producing sounds in the English language (phonological processes).

A Growing Understanding works with children and their families to overcome challenges associated with speech sound disorders.

Our individualised therapy programs include ongoing parent support and education, and are specifically designed to:

  • Tap into your child’s interests, skills, and challenges to develop appropriate goals and help them grow their confidence.
  • Help children build their understanding of the ‘rules’ of the English language in a fun and engaging way.
  • Utilise evidence-based therapy to demonstrate and build an understanding of mouth and tongue placement when producing certain sounds.
  • Support parents and provide at-home activities that will help with the continuation of speech sound practice .
  • Celebrate your child’s success and encourage ongoing practice to achieve the best outcomes.

For your child to change their speech sound habits, they need to practice their target sound at least 120 times each practice. We understand that this sounds like a lot and that is why our qualified Speech Pathologists work directly with parents to ensure this practice is easy and fun. During therapy sessions, we will help you find ways to incorporate ‘therapy’ into every day situations and build your child’s skills at home.

Speech sounds refer to the distinctive sounds in our English language. We use our tongue, lips, teeth, jaw and vocal folds to produce speech sounds. Children can experience a range of difficulties that can affect the way they produce their speech sounds.

A child who is unable to produce the speech sounds expected for their age is said to have a speech sound disorder.

Access our Speech Sound Milestones Resource for more information.

If your child continues to have speech sound errors beyond the expected age of acquisition, this can have significant implications for communication, learning and socialisation.

Your child may have difficulty communicating their needs, wants and ideas clearly, making it difficult for them to form meaningful friendships, share in meaningful age-appropriate discussions with friends or participate in their learning environment.

Speech sound errors may affect your child’s literacy development (reading and writing) as they may have difficulty recognising and analysing sounds in words, also known as phonemic awareness. Furthermore, if speech sound difficulties are not addressed early, they can persist well into late childhood or even adulthood.

We work together with parents and families to give them the confidence and skills to complete meaningful, individualised home practice tasks with their child.

Parents will learn the speech sounds expected at different ages and learn the correct ways to produce these sounds. During your child’s therapy sessions, we will teach you how to provide relevant feedback to help your child improve their speech production. We also provide fun, achievable home practice tasks for your child to build on their skills in between sessions.

What to Look Out for with Speech Sounds:

  • Does your child sound clear when they talk?
  • Can people outside of the family understand your child?
  • Does your child substitute sounds in words?
  • Does your child drop sounds at the beginning, middle or end of a word?

Remember, every child develops at their own pace, but if you are concerned, talk to us today. Our friendly team of experienced speech pathologists are here to guide you through your concern and help you take the best next step.