Speech and Language problems in Children /

Speech Sound development

01 What Do I Need To Know?


A helpful rule regarding the development of articulation is the Rule of Fourths:

  • The average 2-year-old child should be understood by strangers half the time (2/4)
  • The average 3-year-old child should be understood ¾ of the time
  • The average 4-year-old should be understood all the time (4/4).

Children may have difficulty with the pronunciation of certain sounds until they are 7 years of age, but 100% of speech should be understood by age 4 years. In normal speech development, the first eight consonant sounds that develop are m, b, y, n, w, d, p, and h. The last eight consonants are sh, th (as in thirty), s, z, th (as in the), zh sound typically spelled as s (as in pleasure), l, and r, which develop by age 7.


02 What Others Say

  • Speech pathology Australia

The sound of speech-the ages and stages of childrens speech

  • Kidshealth.org.nz

Speech sound development

  • Website of Caroline Bowen Speech pathologist


The information published here has been reviewed by Flourish Paediatrics and represents the available published literature at the time of review.
The information is not intended to take the place of medical advice.
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Last updated: 31/07/2013