Tank You, Mama!

image credit: Dyanna

“I want tum doldbish kakers!”

“Oh sure- you want some goldfish crackers!”

“Yeah, Tank you Mama!”

Does this sound like you and your child? Have you been thinking about your child’s speech clarity – or lack thereof? Is your child talking a lot, but you have a hard time understanding what your child is saying?

A parent is so excited when their child begins saying their first words. Then a parent is pleased when their child is beginning to use short phrases to communicate. However, sometimes a child may become frustrated because they are not being understood due to a delay in articulation skills or clarity of speech. Speech sounds develop at different ages. The following chart outlines ages for specific sound development:

Sources: Shipley, K. & McAfee, J. (1998). Assessment in Speech-Language Pathology: A Resource Manual (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Singular; http://www.memberstripod.com/Caroline_Bowen

During the early years of development, children are in the process of acquiring all their sounds and they may be difficult to understand. Generally, by age 2, your child should be understood 50% of the time, by age 3, 75% of the time and by age 4 75-100% of the time.

Here are some ways to help your child acquire speech sounds:


The rhythm and repetition of nursery rhymes and songs assist children with their awareness of sounds. Some examples of songs containing early developing sounds are: Itsy Bitsy Spider; Pat-a-Cake; Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star; and Old MacDonald


Exposing your child to speech sounds in books is a great way to encourage sound production. It gives your child a chance to hear correct production of sounds. Some examples of books to read include: Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt and Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown.

If you are concerned and would like to have your child’s clarity of speech evaluated- talk to your pediatrician and ask if a referral to a speech-language pathologist is appropriate at this time!

– Kristina Frimmel, M.A., CCC-SLP Supervisor, Pediatric Speech and Language Pathology Department Center for Childhood Speech and Language Disorders Beaumont Health Center



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