Child Speech and Language
Speech and language development begins at birth. Some children develop these skills quickly, seemingly without effort, while others require more time. By 5 years of age, most children have acquired the basic elements of their native language. This refers to understanding and using oral language structures to convey feelings and ideas. They also demonstrate early literacy skills that form cornerstones for learning to read and write.
Likewise, speech sound development is a gradual process. It begins in infancy and continues through a child’s seventh or eighth year. By five years of age most children speak with very good intelligibility and are able to produce the majority of speech sounds, though not always correctly.
Parents play a key role in the development of their child’s speech and language skills. The ability to communicate effectively forms a strong foundation for social, emotional and educational success. Early identification of and intervention for communication difficulties provides the best opportunity for improvement.
Speech therapy can help to evaluate a child’s communication skills by developing a profile of strengths and weaknesses. This forms the basis for determining whether a delay is present, providing recommendations and developing strategies / therapy plan.
For more information, please see: www.sac-oac.ca/public/children
For information on milestones for your baby or toddler’s (i.e., 6 – 30 months of age) speech and language development, please visit the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services at the following link:
For information on milestones for your preschool child’s (ages 3 – 5 years) speech and language development, please visit the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services at the following link: