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Speech Milestones

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Developmental Speech Milestones:

By 18 months - Child produces 3 to 6 different consonant sounds with each child having a little different consonant inventory.

By 24 months – Initial Sounds - /p, b,m, t, n, d, h, k, g/ Final Sounds - /p, m, n/ Produces Most Vowel Sounds Correctly and at least 6-8 different consonant sounds.

By 28 months – Initial Sounds – /d, f/and /y/ Final Sounds - /s, d, k,f/ and “ng”

By 32 months– Initial Sounds - /w/ Final Sounds - /t, b, r/

By 36 months – Initial Sounds - /s/ Final Sounds - /l, g/ and “er” endings. Child uses at least 9-12 different consonant sounds.

By 40 months – Initial Sounds - /l, r/ Some consonant blends – bl, br, tr Final Sounds – /v/ and “sh”

By 44 months – Initial Sounds – “sh” and“ch” and Final Sound – “ch”

By 48 months – Initial – sp, st, kl

After 48 months– Initial - /z, v/ and “j”and th” Final - /z/ and “th” and “j” 

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RED FLAGS for Speech Disorders

Limited consonant sound use results in unintelligible speech and often indicates a motor speech disorder Apraxia or Phonological Disorder.

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Numerous Vowel Errors

Most children have mastered nearly all vowel sounds by age 2. Some errors are still acceptable are age 2, but by age 3, all vowels be mastered (with exception of /r/ vowels).

Wide spread Deletion of Initial Consonants

By 2 a child should use at least 3 to 4 different consonant sounds at the beginnings of words. By 3 a child should have a large repertoire of initial consonants.

Substitution of Back Consonants /k/ and /g/ or /h/ for a variety of Consonants

This is atypical phonological development and should be targeted even in very young children.

Deletion of Final Consonants after age 3

By 24 months in language delayed children some final consonant deletions are expected, but by 36 months, all children should be producing words with ending consonant sounds. Again there is variation in individual children, but for the most part, parents should understand close to all of what a child says by age 3, and strangers should understand all of what a child says by age 4, even if errors are still present.

For more information about speech disorders and how to treat them, check out these links.

American Speech, Language Hearing Association:

The Hanen Program:

Autism Community Store:

Handwriting Without Tears:

The Scerts Model:

The Floortime Foundation:

The National Stuttering Association:

Autism Institute:

The Autism Education Network:

The Autism Society of America:

Beyond Play:

SPD Network:

The Prompt Institute:

The Kaufman Speech Praxis Technique:

Picture Exchange Communication System:

Talk Tools Oral Motor Program:

Baby Signs® Program:

Zero To Three: