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Does DS have a slight speech impediment, or is this normal at 3?

(10 Posts)
ReshapeWhileDamp Sun 24-Jul-11 08:37:33

He was an early talker and is pretty articulate now (he's 3.5), though he speaks a lot slower than a lot of his contemporaries (which isn't worrying me, that's just him). What I'm getting a bit concerned about is that he doesn't seem to be able to pronounce certain sounds - 'l' and hard 'c' mostly. Any word with 'l' or 'll' in it is pronounced with the 'l' sound as a 'y' (very Spanish!). So 'Isabella' is 'Isabeya' and 'lion' is 'yion'. Hard 'c's are 'ch' or 't' sounds - so 'cat' is 'tchat' or 'tat'. It certainly doesn't make it hard to understand him (though I'm used to it) but at 3 and a half, is it still just juvenile speech, or should we be trying to correct it?

RitaMorgan Sun 24-Jul-11 08:45:53

Lots of children seem to do the t-for-c thing - I remember my brother asking for "tate" instead of "cake" as a child grin He did go to a speech therapist for a while though. Maybe ask the HV what she thinks? SALT waiting lists can be pretty lengthy so it might be worth getting his name down just in case it doesn't resolve itself.

pantaloons Sun 24-Jul-11 08:53:42

My DS was like this and was refered for speech therapy, but it had corrected itself by yhte time he got an appointment. When he started school it made me realise his speech was actually no different if not a little better than most of the boys in his class. Dd2 is now nearly 4 and she also struggles with some sounds - shoshages, shanwaches, TBH now i think it's cute and don't panic about it.

On the correction front, we just tended to reapeat the words back "oh yes, SAUSAGES." So they can hear the correct way, even though it's really tempting to perpetuate the cute way! smile

BluddyMoFo Sun 24-Jul-11 08:56:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BluddyMoFo Sun 24-Jul-11 09:15:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

holyShmoley Sun 24-Jul-11 09:21:44

if you look up phonological processes you will see what the normal 'mistakes' are and when they typically disapppear. Your DS sounds similar to our DD1 and she comea under the normal range.

KurriKurri Sun 24-Jul-11 10:48:49

I think at three he sounds as if he's making quite normal mistakes and will probably correct the problem himself soon enough. I wouldn't correct him, just model the correct pronunciation when you talk to him.

My DS had a similiar sounding problem (chrain for train, ships for chips etc,) he still had it at six and went for speech therapy -it was sorted out very quickly and easily smile

Firawla Sun 24-Jul-11 10:55:22

is it that he definitely can't say the sounds or its just a habit he has gone into? my 3 yr old has a habit of saying n for y like he says nes instead of yes, and he says nyou and nyour but if he's pushed, eg people don't understand him and he starts getting annoyed with them not getting it, then he will say it properly so it might be a case of retraining these kind of habits out of them?
if you have a childrens centre near you sometimes have speech and language therapists there who you can see at stay and play drop ins, so that would be probably a good place to start if you wanted to have a professional opinion cos you could get it quickly and easily without having to go through a long referal first

ReshapeWhileDamp Sun 24-Jul-11 23:01:02

Thanks, everyone! Sorry for not responding earlier. The last thing I want to do is make him feel self-conscious - earlier I was trying to get him to say 'llllion' not 'yion' and obviously he cottoned on pretty fast and refused to say it at all! I presumed at 3 this wasn't necessarily something to fret about, but thanks for the useful advice re. normal phonological range, and also for the posts about speech therapy if he doesn't grow out of it. smile

CocktailQueen Sun 24-Jul-11 23:13:56

Substituting y for l is very common so don't worry - eg lellow.

The other things you mention I am sure also come under the heading of normal for age (tho hard c should be an easy sound to make - but kids are all different!). He's only 3. Might be worth making an appt with a hv to make sure?

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