Speech Impediment or Normal Development?

Updated: Jul 31, 2021

As children learn to speak, they don’t learn all the sounds at once. Speech sounds follow a specific pathway of development in which certain sounds are mastered before others, with some differences between individual children. You might be worried about your child’s progress, but remember not to compare their speech to yours. Although it may seem imperfect, it takes a long time for children to develop clear, adult-like speech. Your speech therapist can help you evaluate whether your child is on the right track or has a speech impediment.

Speech Sound Development Charts

The following charts come can be found in the Resources menu of our website under the title, “Speech Development by Age”. They tell you the age ranges for development of each speech sound. The horizontal bars tell you the appropriate timeline for a child to learn a particular sound. These two charts have come from different studies, so they differ slightly in some cases but are very similar and can both be considered valid.