When should I be concerned about my 3 1/2 year old's speech?


Ethan can not say f's, s's, l's, ph sounds…..

Sophie= wopee
snake= nake
Lilly= wiwwy
fish= ith

I try to practice with him, but he doesn't understand the sounds I make or my lip movements. I remember having to take speech class in elementary school because I couldn't say…

If you are unsure it wouldn’t hurt to bring him to a speech therapist to have him evaluated. They would give you the best advice and not to mention some great tools to work with him on any of his weak spots. I went to one for my son around two because I was a little worried about his development. Turns out everything was fine but she gave some great tips. In fact once I started using some of the tips she gave me I noticed some big improvements.

With that said my son is 4 and he still mispronounce some words on occasion. My cousin’s daughter is 3 1/2 and she does the same thing. My cousins daughter refers to Elmo as “Melmo”. My son refers to maybe as “Saybe”, those as “dose”, rock as “wock” or l’oiseau (bird) as “gwaseau”. Once he hears the word said correctly a few times he tries a little harder to pronounce it properly. Sometimes I find really breaking it down helps him. Like for example “Ssssss” “nake”. I over pronounce which usually gives him the right idea. With my kids and the kids around me at that age it seems very normal. =)

At three, I wouldn’t be really concerned quite yet. His speech will eventually develop over time. My son is also three and has trouble pronouncing some things. If you are concerned about it, take him to be evaluated at speech therapist. They can give you a much better idea if his speech is something to be concerned about. My 5 year old nephew was having some speech delays, so they just started taking him to speech therapy about 6 months ago. It’s been a big help for him and they already notice his speech getting better. If you’re a bit concerned, maybe that’s something to consider 😉

If it concerns you, ask the pediatrician about it at his next annual physical. They have experience with lots of kids and know what is normal and not. If the doc is concerned he can recommend a speech therapist. Kids who do not speak well at this age usually have it figured out by the time they are 6 years old.

It’s probably just age-related. But you should look to see if you can get your child evaluated by your local school system. You may be able to take advantage of preschool and services programs that would be available to you as a local resident. Often times, its just something that kids will grow out of, but at the same time, if you can get a free year of preschool out of it, all the better!

Do not be worried its just your child is a bit behind. I did not speak properly until I was 4 1/2 and when I started I never stopped. Lol. My parents thought I had something wrong with my tongue but the doc said I was fine.

All of those sounds are fairly common to come later in my experience. Some of mine didn’t have them mastered until over 4. My son was over 5, but it did come. Just keep saying it back to him correctly, so he does keep trying.

But if you are really concerned, just go get him screened at your local Child Development Center. The screenings are free and they will put your mind at ease.

THis is a good age when they can get help from a language and Speech therapist…. a child pyschologist could also help…..They develop learning programmes that can aid expression and learnig that develops language and play so that they can interact with others

at that age, you should be slightly concerned. don’t be too worried, as everyone develops at their own pace.. so i suggest that you weight it out and maybe talk to his pre-school teacher (if he has one) what she thinks. otherwise, you can see a specialist.. i know of many kids who had to take speech for a short time, and they really improved!

do you have a public preschool – ie will he be going to school for the four year old program? if not I assume he will go to public school kindergarten when he is five? if so they will address it there………you can go out on your own and hire a speech pathologist………but no harm is going to come from waiting until he goes to school where they will work all this out for you.

No one will be concerned about this until kindergarten and first grade. seriously, it’s a non issue. My DD couldn’t say “R” until age 4 and still isn’t 100% clear with it but no one is concerned now.

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