As a parent, it can be hard to know what is "normal" as children develop their articulation, or pronunciation, skills. Some speech errors are considered appropriate as children develop, such as producing the letter /r/ as a /w/ (e.g., saying “woad” for “road”). This is considered a typical part of the language acquisition process. Speech errors should resolve by certain points in development. If your child is difficult for unfamiliar listeners to understand, it may be beneficial to consult a speech-language pathologist to see if speech therapy may be necessary.
Your child may benefit from speech therapy for articulation if they:
Have difficulty producing speech sounds that should be acquired at an early age.
Continue to produce speech errors past the expected age.
Have difficulty being understood by family, friends, or teachers.
Pediatric speech-language pathologists offer a comprehensive speech and language evaluation to assess whether a child’s speech errors are age-appropriate or if they may benefit from speech therapy to improve articulation.