Speech Sounds

Speech Sound .. when should my child say the sounds?!

Children are not expected to master all phonemes (or sounds) as soon as they begin talking. All children have some errors as their speech develops.

Children should be able to say the following sounds at these ages:

  • 3yrs – h, b, m, n, ng, k, w, d, p
  • 3.5yrs – f
  • 4yrs – ch, sh, l
  • 4.5yrs – s, z, j
  • 5yrs – r
  • 6yrs+ – v, th


Between the ages of 2-5yrs we are on the listen out for the following errors:

  • Deleting the initial sounds in many of his words Eg, “ig” for pig or “ed” for Bed.
  • Deleting the ends of most of his words). For example, “beh” for bed or “pih” for pig
  • Your child is substituting “back sounds” (like k, g, h, ng) for sounds that are produced at the front of the mouth (like t, d, p, b, m, etc). For example, “kop” for top
  • Leave out unstressed syllables, e.g. “elphant” for “elephant”;
  • “Stop” sounds that should be long, e.g. “too” for “shoe”, or “dis” for “this”;
  • Repeat patterns, e.g. “wawa” for “water”;
  • Reverse the order of sounds, e.g. “pisghetti” for “spaghetti”; and
  • “Collapse” lots of different sounds into one sound, e.g. saying “d” instead of “b”, “t”, “g” and “k”.