Will My Child Grow Out of his Unclear Speech?

Often friends and family will tell you, 

“Don’t worry about your child’s speech. They will grow out of it.” 

Will they? Yes, sometimes … but not always. Sometimes speech clarity can be the result of underlying problems that need to be addressed. When this is the case the sooner they are addressed the easier they are corrected.

Wellbeing and confidence

When your children struggle to make themselves understood, they can lose confidence in communicating. This can result in their becoming frustrated. 

Poor speech clarity may also mean that your child will not have the ability to engage in pre-reading activities such as rhyming words, or knowing sounds at the beginning of words.

How to notice if it’s a problem

While some speech clarity issues are the result of normal development, others are not. For example, sometimes children leave off the first sound in a word.  They say ‘um’ instead of ‘come ’, 'all’  instead of ‘ball and ‘ome’ in place of ‘home’ etc. 

This is not the way speech normally develops and could reveal underlying problems that need to be addressed, even from as early as 2 to 2 ½ years.

It may not be an immediate problem

Other speech clarity issues can be readily left until your child is 3 years. 

Maybe your child says ‘ball’ instead of ‘fall’, ‘dock’ instead of ‘sock’, ‘deep’ instead of ‘sheep’. This is called ‘stopping’, so instead of the child saying the long sound of s in sock they replace it with d and say dock.

Another common speech error is saying ‘tar’ instead of ‘car. This is called ‘fronting’ where a child makes a sound at the front of his mouth as in ‘t’ or ‘d’ instead of the sound being made at the back of the mouth as in ‘k’ or ‘g’

Also, one sound maybe dropped when there should be two sounds at the beginning of a word. For example, your child says ‘poon’ instead of ‘spoon’; ‘tar’ is place of ‘star’. They have dropped the ‘s’ sound in these words.

If you are concerned about your child’s speech development then it may be a good idea to talk to one of our speech language therapists - even if just to remove doubt.

Alison Owen
Director - Voice Culture
Communicate with confidence

p.s. When ever you’re ready to work on your speech, here’s how we can help…

1 Not sure if speech therapy is right for you?
Schedule a free 15 minute phone call to discuss your specific needs. Click here

2 Ready to book?
Use our online booking scheduler and book your initial assessment now. Click here