ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Parent's Guide to Children's Speech

Updated on March 12, 2011

There are two areas of speech and language development that sometimes become areas of concern for parents. Speech sound development, sometimes referred to as articulation or phonological development, can have an impact on a child's ability to speak clearly. Speech sounds develop as your child grows. By age three, most children should be 75 percent intel­ligible to strangers. By age four, their speech should be 90 percent intelligible to strangers. Some sounds (t, v, I, th, j, z, and zh) do not develop until six or seven years of age.

To help your child speak more clearly, be a good speech model. Pronounce words clearly, slowly, and correctly. Use new words and sounds often in your conversation with your child so she has opportunities to hear them.

Speech dysfluency, or stuttering, is another area of con­cern for some parents. Between the ages of two and six, many children begin to repeat sounds, syllables, or whole words while they are speaking. This is considered a normal, nonfluent duplication of speech. An episode of dysfluency may last for several weeks or months and may disappear for a time only to reappear later.

Acceptance of your child's speech pattern by not calling attention to the repetitions is very important. Do not tell your child to slow down or take a breath. This is often difficult to do when you want to help your child get the words out, but it is very important to give her plenty of time to talk without being interrupted.

Be sure your child is getting enough rest and exercise and that she has an appropriate diet. Relieving any tensions at home can also help if your child is showing signs of dysfluency.

When do these dysfluencies change from typical develop­ment to an area of concern? True stuttering affects only one to four percent of all children. If you see your child develop "secondary characteristics," it may be time to consult a profes­sional. Secondary characteristics consist of such behaviors as twitching, facial grimaces, avoiding eye contact when talking, or leg and arm movements. These behaviors usually indicate that the child is aware of the dysfluency and is struggling to overcome the blocks in speech. If your child's speech dysflu­ency lasts for longer than eight weeks or you are concerned that it may progress to something more serious, contact a speech and language pathologist who has specific training in dysfluency therapy. A specialist in the field can tell you if it is something to concerned about or simply part of your child's normal developmental pattern.

Speech and language difficulties can often be remediated by a speech and language therapist. For most children, delays in these areas respond to a period of therapy and, in many cases, do not have an effect on overall development or perform­ance in school.


Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)