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Speech sound disorders

Learning to talk is the single most complex set of skills that a child

can learn.  When we talk we have to:

  • think about the words we want to use.  We have to understand their meaning and how they relate to one another.

  • put the words into the right order in a sentence and add any grammatical elements like verb tenses.

  • find the right speech motor patterns to coordinate our breathing and our voice with the intricate and fast-paced movements of our tongue, lips and soft palate.

When we consider how complicated all of this is, it is no wonder that children sometimes struggle with speech sounds.

If your child has unclear speech, you may want to consult with the table below to decide if they are delayed or disordered with their speech sounds.






ages and stages of typical Speech sounds development.PNG


How to support a child with unclear speech:

  • If your child says a word unclearly, you can say the word back clearly.  For example they say 'tat'.  You would say 'yes, it's a cat.'

  • You do not need to ask your child to say the word again.  It is more important that they hear a good speech 'model'.  Their brains will store this model for future use.

  • If you have any concerns about your child's hearing, ask your GP or health visitor for a referral to audiology.

  • If you often cannot understand what your child is trying to say, contact a Speech and Language Therapist for advice.

A Speech and Language Therapist can help you and your child so that they do not lose confidence in their talking.  It is better to seek help early, whilst a child's brain is most adaptable.  There are many ways to help.


If your child comes to me for an assessment for their speech sounds, I will undertake a thorough assessment of their speech and language skills.  My assessment will help to determine the most effective and efficient ways to help your child, depending on whether they have an articulation disorder, phonological delay or disorder or a motor speech impairment.  My therapy process is dynamic and I will constantly evaluate the effectiveness of my approach.  I work with your child's interests in order to build trust and rapport, so that speech therapy is enjoyable and motivating.

If your child has speech sound difficulties, it will likely impact upon their literacy and learning.  It is important that they get help as soon as possible.  Ring me for a free phone chat for more information.

a father connecting with his daughter as they play in the garden.  Her borther watches whilst holding on to his father
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