What did they say?
“People are constantly asking my child to repeat herself, or looking at me to translate what was said. But my child isn’t a baby any more, shouldn’t she be speaking with clear sounds by now?”
If this sounds familiar to you then your child’s speech may be affected by misarticulations, which are sounds that have been changed from the original targets into something else, or left out completely.
As infants and toddlers learn to speak, some sounds are acquired earlier than others. The first sounds are often those made in the front of the mouth and nose, such as B, P, W, D and M (mama and dada were not chosen randomly!), followed by others such as the N (the “no no no” of those terrible twos), T, G, and F.
The airy sounds and sound combinations are heard a bit later (such as S, SH, CH, DGE). However, a child’s intelligibility (the capacity of others understanding what was said) is often significantly higher to a child’s own parents versus a stranger.
There may be other issues affecting a child’s ability to produce sounds correctly. If you are in doubt about your child’s speech sound development, a quick screening by a Speech-Language Pathologist can immediately tell you if any sounds are “stuck”, or if your child’s sounds are on track for his/her age.