Richmond, Sydney   (02) 4555 1870 & Tuggerah, Central Coast  (02) 4307 7914
Lips, teeth, nose, palate, tongue, cheeks, lungs- what do all of these have in common? These are all body parts, of course! Not just any body parts though, they are what every person uses to speak. Development of pronunciation/ articulation/ speech sounds (they all mean the same thing!), is essential for toddlers. How are sounds produced? Sound comes from our lungs and throat, where our vocal folds are placed. We then shape the sound and make it clear with our lips, teeth, cheeks, palate and tongue. Before children start to talk, they start to make sounds and use these body parts for many activities, such as blowing raspberries, smiling, crying, babbling (ba-ba) and sucking. When you see your 9 month old baby, sticking their tongue out and blowing raspberries- this is a good thing as they are experimenting (although it is not socially acceptable!). When children start to talk at around 12 months of age, they are learning how to make sounds and produce clear words. As a toddler grows, their speech should change and become clearer. At:
  • 2 years of age: people should understand 50% of your child’s speech
  • 3 years of age: people should understand 75% of your child’s speech
  • 4 years of age: people should understand 100% of your child’s speech
The year before a child starts school is very important for speech development. There is a strong link between speech sounds and academic success. For example- in kindergarten, children have early words to learn to spell and read. If your child is not able to say specific sounds clearly, this may affect their spelling. The word is ‘cat’, they say ‘tat’. They sound out t-a-t, and they will write what they say. From 3 years of age, your child’s speech sounds should start becoming clearer. Have a look at the information page on our website, to find out exactly what sounds should develop as each age, and compare your child’s sounds.