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Why can't my child speak clearly?

One of my roles as a Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) is to know when a child’s speech development is developmentally on track or delayed. If you're wondering 'what is normal toddler speech?' 'why can't mind child speak clearly?' 'what is normal speech for a child?' then read on and Speech Mum can help you!

Children generally learn and master different sounds at different ages. So, when a two year old makes a speech error, we then determine if that error is developmentally appropriate or not

SLTs are highly qualified and experienced in assessment and diagnosis of speech production, and there is A LOT more to it than you might think... but how can parents determine if there is a problem before coming to a speech therapist?


Speech Mum has created this 'speech sound development wheel' for you to use at home.

This can be used as a tick sheet for when you hear your child saying a sound, and then to compare with what is normal for their age range.

Please note that if you ask “Dr Google” you will find that various studies have shown that the the actual range of “normal” speech sound development does vary, which is why Speech Mum's speech sound wheel uses broad year groups: 1 and a half to 2 years, 2 and a half to 3 years, 3 to 4 years, 4 to 5 years and 5 to 7 years.

All speech sounds should be developed by 7 years of age.


Some points to consider:

Once you've ticked off your speech wheel, if you have concerns, then contact Speech Mum who will discuss your findings and help you to plan the next steps.

As I touched on above, there is A LOT more to assessing a child's speech than the speech wheel, and any SLT assessment would only use this as a guide for where to start.

If you haven't yet...take a look at my communication pyramid which demonstrates the wide range of skills that underpin clear speech production. Assessment by Speech Mum will always take all of these areas into account before jumping straight in to speech sound therapy.

If you're not sure where to start with the speech wheel, wondering if it is actually speech or another area of communication that you're concerned about, or have any other queries, then please contact me and I will be happy to try and point you in the right direction.

I hope you find this helpful, I would love any feedback.

Love from

Speech Mum

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