In our second part of this series on Speech Pathology Australia fact sheets, we focus on children aged 5 years plus.
School aged children: 5+ years
When children commence school, their speech should be easily understood by everyone.
What can most children do at this age?
• Be able to say all the sounds well and be starting to recognise that spoken sounds can be matched to written letters
• Hear and make rhyming words, hear and count syllables/beats in words, and make sentences with words that start with the same sound (e.g., big brown bear). Children can tell you what the first sound is in their name and what the letter is called and can break up the sounds in a small word (e.g., “c-a-t”)
What do many children still find difficult?
Children might still have trouble with “th” sounds (e.g., thumb, this) until 8-9 years, and might have difficulty saying sounds such as “s” and “z” when their front teeth fall out
Children can produce clusters of sounds together, but may still have trouble with individual sounds (e.g., such as /r/ and /l/) in consonant clusters (e.g., “scwatch” for scratch) or in longer words (e.g., hippopotamus, pumpkin)
What can parents do to help?
To help children develop pre-literacy skills, parents can read to children, sing songs and play rhyming games, or games such as “I spy” which encourage children to think about sounds and letters.
In our next blog post we'll bring you the final series of the Speech Pathology Australia Facts sheets which focuses on Communication Impairment.
If you have any questions or would like more information please contact me on 0408 711 706.