Speech Sounds

Supporting Speech Sound Development


All children learn to talk at their own pace. It is typical for young children to make errors with the sounds they use as they are beginning to learn the correct patterns in their language. As parents, it can be difficult to know when the errors your child makes stop being cute and they may actually need some support with their speech.

Some children find it difficult to use the correct sounds in words as they learn them in the wrong place, others find it difficult to say specific sounds or to plan the movements required to be able to say the sounds. Difficulties with speech sounds can make it difficult to understand what a child is saying and can also have an impact on reading and writing as they get older.

Children with speech sound difficulties may:



A child aged 3 years or above who is very difficult to understand is likely to benefit from consultation with a speech and language therapist. In general a child should be almost completely understood by unfamiliar listeners by 4 years. 

We offer assessment, advice and therapy for children with speech sound difficulties. If you are concerned about your child’s speech you should speak to a Speech and Language Therapist.


Repeat the word back the child correctly so they hear the correct model of the words.

For example, if the child says 'tat' the adult can say 'yes, it's a cat!'


Respond to what the child says, not how they say it. 

This allows them to have a successful interaction and helps develop confidence with speaking.


If you are unable to understand what your child has said , ask them to show you .

Repeat back the part you did understand so they know which bit has been successful.


Support your child to develop their phonological awareness skills such as clapping syllables, listening for rhymes and indentifying the sounds in words. 

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