Middle kids


Sometimes children with language delays appear passive and unresponsive to what’s going on around them. Others have no problems starting conversations, but don’t respond appropriately to what their partner says and does. Still others have problems taking turns, keeping on topic and switching topics smoothly. In this age group you may notice your child having difficulty keeping up with the language demands of the classroom, or literacy and numeracy outcomes.

If anything below relates to concerns you see with your child or you have other questions, we are here to have a chat with you on the phone and talk through any next steps.

Here you can find the expected speech sounds for this age group.

We aim to help assess where your child is on their literacy journey and how we can move them to their next step.



Speech therapy can help kids learn to speak more clearly. This helps them feel more confident and less frustrated about speaking to others.

At this age, children may still have both articulation and phonological problems. We know from current research:

  • more boys than girls have speech sound disorders
  • speech sound disorders tend to run in families
  • children with speech sound disorders are more likely to have language disorders, and are at risk of spelling and reading problems at school
  • children with speech sound disorders are at a higher risk of bullying.

Here you can find the expected speech sounds for this age group.


Kids who have language issues can benefit socially, emotionally, and academically from speech therapy.

We are interested in the domains of using and understanding language across the contexts of everyday situations and for academic use. As parents or educators you may note these areas of difficulty:

1. Use

  • Immature and limited vocabulary (not age appropriate), overuses non-specific words or fillers (‘thing’, ‘stuff’ ‘uh, um’)
  • Limited use of complex sentences & poor use of conjunctions to elaborate on sentence structure (e.g., and, but, or, because)
  • Difficulty answering questions without rambling & finding words to tell a story/convey a messages
  • Uses poor grammar or misuses words in conversation such as irregular verb forms, with some mistakes in irregular past tense (e.g., “yesterday he broked the vase”)


2. Understanding

  • Difficulties to comprehend abstract terms (definitely, probably, and possibly, if) along with location (between and inside), temporal relations (after, before, later), or seasons in a year
  • Has difficulty with abstract definitions and conventional adult definitions
  • Poor understanding of emotional vocabulary to help describe their own state


3. Social Language

  • Social differences: might have difficulty understanding the perspective of others
  • Communication differences: might have difficulty understanding nonverbal (non-spoken) communication and literal vs . figurative language
  • Repetitive behaviours or obsessive interests: might have strong need for predictability or a passionate interest in one topic


We need this area of language in order to communicate with others appropriately.
Read more about how we approach social thinking skills.


For kids with reading issues such as dyslexia, speech therapy can help them hear and distinguish specific sounds in words — for example, the word bat breaks down into b, a, and t sounds. This can improve reading comprehension skills and encourage kids to read.

We describe this as ‘the ability to read and write.’ In order to be proficient in these areas we need, to acquire and know letter-sound relationships (C says ‘k’ or ‘s’) & high frequency words we should just know (come, school, what).

To use these areas we need to sound out words for both reading and spelling, and monitor when a word has been misread or spelt. Reading comprehension (or reading for meaning) is also an important aspect of literacy development, as comprehension is a vital part of all learning.

At this age we know that some students may have difficulty with reading, writing, and spelling including:

  • Confusing sounds (letters and vowels) and poor sound/letter identification abilities
  • Difficulty with early skills such as syllables, rhyme, blending (m-oo-n says moon) or segmenting (blue is b-l-ue)
  • Reading in monotone without pausing at punctuation marks (e.g., commas, periods, etc)
  • Difficulty comprehending what is read or remembering new vocabulary
  • General inefficiency in communication whether it be verbal or written
  • Resistance to writing and reading

We unpack these difficulties and goal areas here.

Life Skills

Executive functioning skills continue to develop through the teen years until early 20’s. By taking steps to address executive functioning issues while children are young, they can reach their full potential later in life.

Executive functioning issues can produce a wide range of symptoms. Depending on which skills your child struggles with the most, and

  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Disorganized thinking & story telling skills
  • Sequencing (verbally putting in order) presented stories, steps of a problem, order of recipes
  • Project/assignment completion
  • Interpretation of messages and stories containing abstract information
  • Making inferences and predictions
  • Misinterprets the meaning of abstract information
  • Forgetful during daily activities

Here you will find our knowledge page on life skills and what we can do.