One of the most commonly asked questions of a speech-language pathologist is “Are my child’s sound errors normal?”
If your child is unable to say certain sounds or cannot be understood by others, you may want to take them for a speech evaluation. A speech-language pathologist would be able to answer your questions and determine whether your child’s sound errors are developmental (appropriate errors based on the child’s age) or non-developmental (not age-appropriate and would need intervention). A speech-language pathologist would evaluate your child and use “speech sound norms” or “sound acquisition norms” to determine which errors are developmentally appropriate and which errors are not.
Results of a speech evaluation may help ease parent’s worries about their child’s intelligibility. Speech sound norms give useful information about which sounds are typically developed in the first 2-3 years, which ones are not developed until 4-5 years, and which ones may not be fully developed until 6-7 years. A commonly misproduced sound is /r/. When setting expectations for their child’s speech, it is important for parents to know that the /r/ sound is not typically mastered by most children until age 5 or 6. Although, some children may master the sound as early as 3 or 4.
Below is a link to a chart that is used by speech-language pathologists as a guideline to help determine which sound errors are appropriate and which are not. Please don’t hesitate to take your child to be evaluated if you have any concerns.
– Michelle Morgado, M.S. CCC-SLP
Information taken from: http://mommyspeechtherapy.com