• What You Should Know About Articulation Development

    Prepared by

    Lynn Liniakis and Fern Blackman

    Speech Development is a gradual process.  It begins in infancy and continues through a child’s seventh or eighth year.  Children develop speech abilities at different rates and ages.  Some children develop faster or slower than the average.

    The sound pattern of language that we call “speech” is made up of sounds that form words.  The development of speech requires:

    • The growth and motor control of the child’s lips, jaw, teeth, tongue, the hard palate, and the velum or soft palate.
    • The child’s ability to hear and distinguish speech sounds.
    • The child’s cognitive development, the growth of thinking skills.


    The following chart represents the ages by which speech sounds should be developed:


    3.5                        b                          p                          m                         w                    h

    4.5                        t                           d                          n                           k                  g                           j

    5.5                        f                           v

    6.5                        sh                        l                            th                         ch

    8.0                        r                           s                           z


    In conclusion, if your child is 5 years old and says fumb for thumb or if he or she is 6 years old and says wabbit for rabbit, then his/her speech is considered age appropriate.  If you do notice speech errors, please refer to the above chart to determine if they are developmental in nature.