Is Your Child Difficult to Understand? When is it time to seek professional advice?

Is Your Child Difficult to Understand? When is it time to seek professional advice?

Is Your Child Difficult to Understand? When is it time to seek professional advice?

Do you have difficulty understanding part or all of what your child says?  Do you know what your child is saying, but others find your child difficult to understand?  Do you frequently find yourself repeating or correcting what your child has said?  Are there certain sounds that your child makes incorrectly?  Are you wondering if any of this is typical for your child’s age?

If you have found yourself asking these questions, it may be time to seek professional advice from a speech/language pathologist.  The sounds of the English language are learned in a developmental order.  If your child is still having difficulty producing a sound beyond the developmental range, s/he may require speech and language services to improve the articulation error.

The developmental age ranges for the sounds of the English language are as follows:

  • 1 ½ – 2 years: m, n, p, b, t, d, and w
  • 2 – 2 ½ years: h
  • 2 ½ – 3 years: ing, k, and g
  • 3 – 3 ½ years: f, s, and y
  • 3 ½ – 4 years: ch and dz (as in judge)
  • 4 – 4 ½ years: v, z, sh, and l
  • 4 ½ – 7 years: th and r

While these age ranges provide a guideline for when sounds should be developing, some children will begin producing them at a slightly faster or slower rate.  If your child has not developed a sound or is producing it incorrectly for more than six months, it is time to seek professional assessment.   A speech/language pathologist may determine that your child is developmentally on track, or s/he may recommend speech therapy to improve the articulation errors.

Written by: Erin Roon, MA CCC-SLP

To schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation to discuss your child’s articulation difficulties, call (616) 698-0306 or email


Horizons Developmental Resource Center serves the following areas in and around Grand Rapids, Wyoming, Caledonia, Kentwood, Middleville, Lowell, Forest Hills, Hudsonville, Walker, Holland, Zeeland, Rockford, Byron Center, Allendale, Grandville, East Grand Rapids, Wayland, Jenison, Ada, Ionia, Newaygo, Grant, Sparta, Cedar Springs, Kent City, Hamilton, Hastings in the state of Michigan and all surrounding areas.  If you are not located in or around these cities, we still may be able to help you, please contact us here with your specific need.

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