When it comes to speech and language skills, every child develops at a different rate. That being said, there are some generally predictable milestones that each child achieves as they grow and learn. It usually takes about 8 years for a child to master all the speech sounds in the English language.
Although there are only 26 letters in the alphabet, there are 44 distinct sounds!
According to Heidi Hanks, M.S.CCC-SLP, founder of Little Bee Speech, and the terrific website Mommy Speech Therapy, one way to determine if your child’s speech is progressing at a normal rate is using what is called “speech sound norms.” According to Heidi, speech sound norms are tools that speech language pathologists (SLP’s) use to help guide them in determining which errors are developmentally appropriate and which errors are not. There are multiple speech sound norms that are currently being used by SLP’s all around the world.