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Articulation is the production and clarity of how speech sounds are produced. These typically occur in a sequential process as outlined below.

Note: Each stage of development assumes that the preceding stages have been successfully achieved.

How to use this chart: Review the skills demonstrated by the child up to their current age. If you notice skills that have not been met below their current age contact Kid Sense Child Development on 1300 66 00 67.

 

 Age  Developmental milestones  Common errors Possible implications if milestones not achieved
 0-6 months
  • The baby makes cooing sounds (e.g. ‘oo’, ‘ee’, ‘ah’), turns towards sounds and gives eye contact when they hear an adult speaking or making sounds
  •  None
  • Can affect social interaction with parents
  • Can affect oral muscle tone (i.e. of the tongue, cheeks, lips)
6-12 months
  • At 6 months the baby starts
    to babble and repeat sounds (e.g. ‘mamama’)
  • None
  • Can affect social interaction with parents
  • Can affect oral muscle tone (i.e. of the tongue,
    cheeks, lips)
  • Can affect the child’s ability to sequence sounds together
 1-2 years
  • The child is able to say
    the following sounds in words- /p/, /b/, /m/, /n/, /t/, /d/
  • The child is able to say
    the following sounds in words – /p/, /b/, /m/, /n/, /t/, /d/
  • Voicing- This is where sounds made with no voice are replaced with voiced sounds (e.g. “car” becomes ‘gar’, “tea” becomes ‘dea’)
  • Stopping- This is where sounds made with a long airflow are replaced by sounds made with a stopped airflow (e.g. “sea” becomes ‘tea’, “shoe” becomes ‘to’)
  • Final consonant deletion- The ends of words are often missed out (e.g. “tap” = ‘ta’)
  • Velar Fronting- This is where sounds made with the tongue hitting the back of the mouth (e.g. /k/ and /g/) are replaced with sounds made at the front of the mouth (e.g. /t/ and /d/) so “car” becomes ‘tar’, “key” becomes ‘tea’
  • Palatal Fronting- This is where the tongue is moved forward in the mouth so the ‘sh’ sound becomes a /s/ sound
  • Weak Syllable Deletion- This is where non-stressed syllables are deleted from words (e.g. “elephant” becomes ‘ephant’)
  • Assimilation- The pronunciation of the whole word is influenced by the presence of a particular sound in the word (e.g. “dog” become ‘gog‘)
  • Consonant Cluster Reduction- This is where clusters of consonants in words are reduced by one or more consonants (e.g. ‘brick’ becomes ‘bick’, “clown” becomes ‘cown’)
  • De-affrication- This is where the affricate sounds ‘sh’, ‘ch’ and ‘j’ are replaced with fricative sounds (‘sh’, /s/, /z/ or ??’) or the /t/ or /d/ sound
  • Gliding- This is where the /l/ and the /r/ sounds are replaced with the /w/ or the ‘y’ sound
  • The voiceless ‘th’ sound (as in ‘thank you’) is replaced with a /f/ sound
  • The voiced ‘th’ sound (as in ‘with‘) is replaced with a /v/ sound
  • Frustration due to not being understood
  • Can affect fluency and clarity of speech
  • Difficulties being understood by others
 2-3 years
  • The child is able to say the following sounds in words- /p/, /b/, /m/, /n/, /t/, /d/
  • The child is able to say the following sounds in words – /p/, /b/, /m/, /n/, /t/, /d/
  • Voicing- This is where sounds made with no voice are replaced with voiced sounds (e.g. “car” becomes ‘gar’, “tea” becomes ‘dea’)
  • Stopping- This is where sounds made with a long airflow are replaced by sounds made with a stopped airflow (e.g. “sea” becomes ‘tea’, “shoe” becomes ‘to’)
  • Final consonant deletion- The ends of words are often missed out (e.g. “tap” = ‘ta’)
  • Velar Fronting- This is where sounds made with the tongue hitting the back of the mouth (e.g. /k/ and /g/) are replaced with sounds made at the front of the mouth (e.g. /t/ and /d/) so “car” becomes ‘tar’, “key” becomes ‘tea’
  • Palatal Fronting- This is where the tongue is moved forward in the mouth so the ‘sh’ sound becomes a /s/ sound
  • Weak Syllable Deletion- This is where non-stressed syllables are deleted from words (e.g. “elephant” becomes ‘ephant’)
  • Assimilation- The pronunciation of the whole word is influenced by the presence of a particular sound in the word (e.g. “dog” become ‘gog‘)
  • Consonant Cluster Reduction- This is where clusters of consonants in words are reduced by one or more consonants (e.g. ‘brick’ becomes ‘bick’, “clown” becomes ‘cown’)
  • De-affrication- This is where the affricate sounds ‘sh’, ‘ch’ and ‘j’ are replaced with fricative sounds (‘sh’, /s/, /z/ or ??’) or the /t/ or /d/ sound
  • Gliding- This is where the /l/ and the /r/ sounds are replaced with the /w/ or the ‘y’ sound
  • The voiceless ‘th’ sound (as in ‘thank you’) is replaced with a /f/ sound
  • The voiced ‘th’ sound (as in ‘with‘) is replaced with a /v/ sound

 

  • Frustration due to not being understood
  • Can affect fluency and clarity of speech
  • Difficulties being understood by others
3-4 years
  • The child is able to say the following sounds in words – /p/, /b/, /m/, /n/, /t/, /d/, /k/, /g/, /f/, /s/, /y/, /h/
  • Speech may be unclear to adults who don’t know the child well
  • Weak Syllable Deletion: This is where non-stressed syllables are deleted from words (e.g. “elephant” becomes ‘ephant’)
  • Assimilation- The pronunciation of the whole word is influenced by the presence of a particular sound in the word (e.g. “dog” become ‘gog’)
  • Consonant Cluster Reduction- This is where clusters of consonants in words are reduced by one or more consonants (e.g. “brick” becomes ‘bick’, “clown” becomes ‘cown’)
  • De-affrication- This is where the affricate sounds ‘sh’, ‘ch’ and ‘j’ are replaced with fricative sounds (‘sh’, /s/, /z/ or ??’) or the /t/ or /d/ sound
  • Gliding- This is where the /l/ and the /r/ sounds are replaced with the /w/ or the ‘y’ sound
  • The voiceless ‘th’ sound (as in ‘thank you’) is replaced with a /f/ sound
  • The voiced ‘th’ sound (as in ‘with’) is replaced with a /v/ sound
  • Difficulties with socialisation
  • Can affect fluency and clarity of speech
  • Difficulties being understood by others
  • Can affect expressive language development (e.g. leaving sounds off the end of words affecting verbal grammar)
4-5 years
  • The child is able to say
    the following sounds in words – /p/, /b/, /m/, /n/, /t/, /d/, /k/, /g/, /f/,
    /s/, /y/, /h/, ‘sh’, ‘ch’, ‘j’, /z/, /l/, /v/
  • De-affrication- This is where the affricate sounds ‘sh’, ‘ch’ and ‘j’ are replaced with fricative sounds (‘sh’, /s/, /z/ or ??’)
    or the /t/ or /d/ sound
  • Gliding- This is where the /l/ and the /r/ sounds are replaced with the /w/ or the ‘y’ sound
  • The voiceless ‘th’ sound (as in ‘thank you’) is replaced with a /f/ sound
  • The voiced ‘th’ sound (as in ‘with‘) is replaced with a /v/ sound
  • Difficulties with socialisation
  • Can affect fluency and clarity of speech
  • Difficulties being understood by others
  • Can affect expressive language development (e.g. leaving sounds off the end of words affecting verbal grammar)
5-6 years
  • Speech should be mostly
    clear and easy to understand, but some immaturities may still be noted(e.g. with ‘r’ and ‘th’ sounds)
  • Gliding- This is where the /l/ and the /r/ sounds are replaced with the /w/ or the ‘y’ sound.
  • The voiceless ‘th’ sound (as in ‘thank you’) is replaced with a /f/ sound
  • The voiced ‘th’ sound (as in ‘with‘) is replaced with a /v/ sound
  • Difficulties with socialisation
  • Can affect fluency and clarity of speech
  • Difficulties with spelling due to articulation errors
  • Difficulties with socialisation
  • Can affect expressive language development (e.g. leaving sounds off the end of words affecting verbal grammar)
6-7 years
  • No specific milestones
  • The voiceless ‘th’ sound (as in ‘thank you’) is replaced with a /f/ sound
  • The voiced ‘th’ sound (as in ‘with’) is replaced with a /v/ sound
  • Difficulties with socialisation
  • Difficulties with spelling due to articulation errors
  • Can affect expressive language development (e.g. leaving sounds off the end of words affecting verbal grammar)
7-8 years
  • The child is able to say all of the speech sounds in words with no noticeable errors
  •  None
  • Difficulties with socialisation
  • Difficulties with spelling due to articulation errors
  • Can affect expressive language development (e.g. leaving sounds off the end of words affecting verbal grammar)

 

This chart was designed to serve as a functional screening of developmental skills per age group.  It does not constitute an assessment nor reflect strictly standardised research.

The information in this chart was compiled over many years from a variety of sources. This information was then further shaped by years of clinical practice as well as therapeutic consultation with child care, kindergarten and school teachers in South Australia about the developmental skills necessary for children to meet the demands of these educational environments. In more recent years, it has been further modified by the need for children and their teachers to meet the functional Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) requirements that are not always congruent with standardised research.