I am Sally Barrable, a registered Speech Therapist working on the North Shore and I am pleased to partner with Ten Feet Tall to assist children with their speech development.
If you feel at all concerned about your child’s speech, the best course of action would be to undergo a speech assessment. This typically takes half an hour during which time the child’s speech is assessed during conversation as well as during a picture naming task. The speech therapist is able to evaluate the child’s speech and make recommendations based on this information. This can be carried out with the child on his or her own or with the parents present. Feedback would be given to the parents and possible goals for therapy discussed.
Should therapy be recommended, this usually takes place once a week at a regular time. Therapy typically runs as a half hour session and a home programme is given each week. Children are encouraged to practise their homework for short periods of time (5-10 minutes) on a daily basis. Regular practice at home between therapy sessions generally results in rapid progress with speech errors being resolved in a shorter amount of time. Length of therapy varies from child to child, depending on the types of speech errors a child presents with.
To find out more about my service and/or set up an appointment here.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my preschool child’s speech is showing normal development?
This is a handy formula used by some SLPs/SLTs as a guide to the expected conversational intelligibility (clarity) levels of preschoolers talking to unfamiliar listeners, or “strangers”.
AGE IN YEARS = % UNDERSTOOD BY STRANGERS
Child aged 1 year = 25% intelligible to strangers
Child aged 2 years = 50% intelligible to strangers
Child aged 3 years = 75% intelligible to strangers
Child aged 4 years = 100% intelligible to strangers
By four years of age, a child’s spontaneous speech should be clear to unfamiliar adults (strangers). This does not mean that speech is perfect by 4.0 years of age. There may still be some sounds that are mispronounced. It just means that speech should be easy to understand by this age. Read more here.
What are some typical sounds that my child may not be able to pronounce, as they get closer to starting school?
Some of the more common errors in a child’s speech include the following:
R sound – children often find this sound difficult e.g. “wabbit” for “rabbit”
The TH sound – this is often pronounced as an F sound e.g. “free” for “three”
The CH and J sounds can be difficult for some children e.g. “top” for “chop”; “dam for “jam”
The S sound is commonly mispronounced. This can be due to the tongue begin too far forward in the mouth, resulting in a TH sound e.g. “thun” for “sun”
For a detailed overview of the English consonant sounds and the age by which 75% of children should be able to say the sounds, please see the link here.