Welcome back to another school year! I am excited to start another year as a Speech Pathologist in the public schools. One of the first few things that a Speech Pathologist will often give teachers or parents is a table that lists general speech sound development. This allows them to get a general idea of their student or child’s speech development and refer to the Speech Pathologist should they have any concerns. Based on the Goldman Fristoe, Test of Articulation 2003, these are the ages that a child is expected to master certain sounds:
Age 3: p, b, m, w, h, n
Age 4: t, d, k, g, y, f
Age 6: v, sh, zh, l, th (voiced), ng
Age 7: s, z, r, the (voiceless), ch, j, wh, and blends dz
In California, preschool and kindergarten students qualify for public school therapy if they are 6 months delayed. For grade school children, usually they need to be one year delayed to qualify for public school therapy. With this said, there are also other factors that a therapist will consider when qualifying or disqualifying a student for speech therapy. Other factors include: other disabilities presented with articulation, whether the child is an English language learner, and whether there have been informal strategies taken to address this need within the child’s natural context. Your Speech Pathologist can give you specific information for your child’s school site and environment.