Speech sounds

Speech sounds are the sounds we use to produce words out loud. The right sounds must be produced in the right order so that others can recognise the word we say, therefore allowing them to understand our message. An example of a speech sound would be ‘sh’ at the start of sheep. Speech sounds do not always correlate to how words are spelt. Please see below for further information. 

Speech Sound Processes​

We have listed some of the things your child might do when they are talking and what age you might expect this. This is just a guide so if you are worried then please ring us.​

Process Name

Explanation and examples

Approximately gone by

Final Consonant Deletion

Missing the ending off a word e.g. saying “bag” as “ba

2;0 (DEAP). 3;3 (Caroline Bowen)


Making sounds that should be made at the back of the mouth (k or g) at the front of the mouth (t or d) e.g. saying “cat” as “tat”

3;6 (CB)


Saying long sounds like ‘s’ as shorter sounds like ‘t’ e.g. saying “sock” as “tock”

3;0 (CB)

Cluster Reduction

Missing out sounds that are supposed to be made together e.g. sp- p so saying “spider” as “pider

4;0 (CB)


Saying sounds like ‘r’ and ‘l’ as ‘w’ and ‘y’ e.g. saying “round” as “wound”

Interdental 's' Saying the ‘s’ sound as ‘th’ so you can see the tongue placed in between the teeth. E.g. saying “sun” as “thun” 4;6 (CB)


References- Bowen, C. (2011). Table 2: Phonological Processes. Retrieved from http://www.speech-language-therapy.com

Speech Sound Development

This is a guide to when we expect children to start saying different sounds. All children develop at different rates so if you are worried then please see our referral guide to check if you need to make a referral. 



5 years- 8 ½ years 


r, v, th (as in ‘that’), th (as in ‘think’) 


3 ½ years- 4 ½ years 



m, n, p, b, w, t, d, f, s, h, ng, k, g, l, s, z, v, ch, j 


3 years- 3 ½ years 


m, n, p, b, w, t, d, f, s, h, ng, k, g, l, s, z,v 


2 ½ years- 3 years 


m, n, p, b, w, t, d, f, s, h 


1 ½ years- 2 ½ years 


m, n, p, b, w, t, d 



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