Sound development in children

I thought the information below was very helpful.  Especially in reference to the acquisition of clusters:


The following information cited from:



Recommended Acquisition (Mastery 90% of Population) of Sound Classes  (ages 3 to 8)

(Based on Smit, Hand, Freilinger, Bernthal, & Bird, 1990; Sander, 1972; McLeod, van Doorm & Reid, 2001))


The following information is the ages at which 90% of children have productive use of  the sounds in words.


Nasals                                                                                                Emergence

/m/   3:0 /n/ 3:6 female; 3:0 male                                              before 2:0

/ ŋ/   7:0-9:0                                                                                    2:0




/p, b/   3:0                                                                                        before 2:0

/t/   4:0 female; 3:6 male                                                               2:0

/d/   3:0 female; 3:6 male                                                              2:0

/k/   3:6                                                                                            2:0

/g/   3:6 female; 4:0 male                                                              2:0



Fricatives and Affricates

/h, w/   3:0                                                                                    before 2:0

/f,/   3:6                                                                                         2:5

/v/   5:6                                                                                         4:0

/ θ/  6:0 female; 8:0 male                                                         4:5

/ ð/  4:6 female; 7:0 male                                                         5:0

/s, z/  7:0-9:0* (*Distortions)                                                  3:0, 3:5

/ ʃ, tʃ, dʒ/  6:0 female; 7:0 male                                               3:5



Glides and Liquids

/j/    4:0 female; 5:0 male                                                           4:0

/l/  5:0 female; 6:0 male                                                             3:0

/r/  8:0                                                                                           3:0


Clusters­Word Initial

/tw, kw/  4:0 female; 5:6 male                                                  3:6

/pl, bl, kl, gl, fl/  5:6 female; 6:0 male                                       4:0- 5-6

/sp, st, sk, sl/  7:0-9:0                                                                4:0-5:0

/sm, sn, sw/   7:0-9:0                                                                4:6-5:6

/skw, spl, spr, str, skr/7:0-9:0                                                 4:6-8:0

/ θr/  9:0                                                                                      7:0

About Kim

My name is Kim Marino and I have been practicing as a licensed speech and language pathologist since 1993. I work on Long Island providing diagnostic evaluations and services to children from birth to age 21. My experience is vast and am proud to say that I work with children that may present with articulation and phonological concerns, oral motor feeding concerns, Down Syndrome feeding, cognitive rehabilitation, auditory processing delays, receptive language delays, cleft palate feeding and sound development and expressive language delays. Most importantly, I am the mother of four amazing children and am happily married to my childhood sweetheart. I feel blessed to have my four children and so lucky to share this journey in life with my husband. I always had it somewhere in my head that I wanted to develop a blog or a website of some sort so that I could provide families with an additional that parents could help their little ones become a better communicator. And as I was developing this blog....I realized that I also needed to share the stories about my life and my children....and the funny things along the way that help to keep me smiling. Whether you are a working mother or not...finding balance between home, children and life can be a challenge....I hope that my blog helps to bring a smile to your face..and also some tools to help you help your little or big one. I hope you enjoy! Kim
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2 Responses to Sound development in children

  1. Christine says:

    I like the reference. Helps keep track of language development for Cara! :0) Any sugestions for reverse swallow? She is soo doing it!

    • Kim says:

      hey there…hope you guys are well! Do you know if there are any myo-functional speech pathologists near you…that would be a great start…there are specific exercises..but she is little…so I am not sure…as that specifically is not my forte and I would not want to give you the wrong information. If there is a center near you that addresses the reverse swallow…I think it would be smart to make an appt. How is she doing with the straws..and where are you on the chewing hierarchy? xo Kim

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