Articulation Delays/Disorders in Preschoolers

Articulation is the way we produce speech sounds. Many preschoolers make speech errors, so it is important to consider the age range during which preschoolers develop each sound when determining if sound substitutions are age-appropriate. An Articulation Disorder involves difficulties producing sounds. Sounds may be substituted, omitted, added or deleted in an articulation disorder. For example, a preschooler who says “tup” for “cup” is substituting the sound “t” for the sound “k.” An articulation disorder can make it difficult for a preschooler to be understood by others and can impact social interactions, school participation and academics (i.e. reading, writing, phonological awareness skills). The preschooler’s speech could be unclear, slushy or sound mumbled.  The preschooler may have an articulation disorder if these sound errors continue past the expected age of mastery.

The following speech developmental chart provides the ages in which each sound is mastered.

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