Articulation development

The following is a good guideline as to when most children have aquired various English speech sounds. Each number represents an age. Within each number are the sounds that most children this age can say and use consistently. For example, by age 5, most children can make the /f/ sound. By age 7-8, most children can make the /r/ sound.

If you feel that your child is significantly behind in learning his/her sounds, contact your doctor, Early Intervention, or school’s Speech Pathologist for an evaluation.

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  1. Okay, since I’m rusty on my linguistics, can you remind us of the sound-equivalents of the phonetic symbols you have in your diagram? I remember a couple of them, but not all… ~Jen

  2. Thank you! My daughter is 4 and I was wondering when she should be able to say ‘f’, you’ve put my mind at rest.

    Very useful!

  3. My son is 3 and he has a hard time saying Magenta (the girl dog off of Blue’s Clues. It comes out like Magea.

  4. OH MY GOODNESS!! I am THRILLED to find your blog. We have a 3 year old daughter that we adopted from China 9 months ago. Just this month she has begun to stutter. I spoke with a speech pathologist and they told me it was developmental, but if it didn’t pass within a couple of months to get back with them. In the meantime, I want to help her as much as I can with her speech. That is why I am SOOOOO glad to find your site!!! Thanks so much for it!! I look forward to reading it all!!
    Buffi Young

  5. My son had us worried about his “f”‘s. He said sish (fish), cossee (coffee), sine (fine), and sorget it all the time. It was so cute, and he eventually grew out of it.

  6. Hmmph. I had no idea. I’ve actually bookmarked this post because I KNOW I’ll want to remember this.

  7. Great post! You are such an excellent resource…and I thank you!

  8. I am saving this . . . gosh are you just full of info I actually NEED and USE . . .

  9. Oh you are the best! I’ve actually been wondering about this with one of my daughters! Thanks for posting this! I actually come her for my daughter who I adopted but this post screams for my youngest bio daughter.

  10. this is where Monkette’s problems lie. She has a great vocabulary but I frequently have to translate for her because her articulation is lacking.

  11. Oh, I love this. Thank you , thank you. Or fank woo fank woo. 🙂

  12. I have a question. My 5 and a half year old son ( a twin, whose sister speaks much better) writes relatively well and creates imaginative and long sentence on paper but is having trouble with meaningful sentences. He can’t seem to relay his thought verbally. It almost feels like he has too many words in his mind and he just can’t formulate a coherent clear and grammatically correct chain. We encourage him to speak anyway he can. He did start speaking later then his twin sister and we originally thought this issue was due to both the twin situation and the fact that we are a bilingual home but his issue is the same in both languages now. He understands everything but his speech is sporadic. What’s wrong? What kind of specialist will help?

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