Basic Speech Development Ideas

  • Use good speech. Say words slowly and clearly making sure you say each sound in every word. Don’t use baby talk. Children naturally copy what they hear.
  • Make sure your child can see your face when you are talking. Children watch your lips and tongue to learn how to make sounds. Get down on their level. Be face to face.
  • Praise good talking. Especially if your child is learning how to make a sound.  Let them know that you are listening and are proud of them.
  • When your child says a word and “misses” a sound, say the word back to them in a very positive way placing emphasis on the sound that they had problems with. Read more on Modeling Back Speech Sounds.
  • Children sometimes need to slow down their speech to make it easier to understand. The easiest way to do this is for you to slow down your own speech. Take your time, and slow down.  If you need to try “counting” out the words on your fingers as you talk. Or try stretching out the vowel sounds a bit in each word – sort of like a bit of a southern accent. More on How to help kids Speak Slowly and Clearly.
  • Know what to expect. Most children are not capable of making all the speech sounds until they are 6 or 7 years old. This Speech Sound Development Chart gives you a guide for when the different sounds develop.  Follow and focus on what is expected for your child at their age. Honor and celebrate what your child is saying – how they say it is less important.

I hope these ideas help.

Let me know if you have any questions. You can email me at

Madison Garvi – SLPatHome