Childhood SpeechChildhood Communication 

A series of articles written exclusively for OVL by Jacqui Wright

Independent Speech and Language Therapist Jacqui Wright has over 22 years experience in South Africa, the U.S.A. and the UK. She is author of ‘Cracking the Literacy Puzzle’, RCSLT Bulletin, March 2006. Here Jacqui introduces her Childhood Communication Consultancy, based in Carlton, and in the next few editions she will further discuss childhood communication.

Childhood Communication Consultancy (CCC) specialises in assessing and treating children ages 0-19 years old. Various speech delays/disorders are assessed according to the normal speech sound and phonological processing developmental range, as well as language delays/disorders and communication disorders. These can be in combination with listening difficulties often associated with glue ear and consequent reading (fluency, reading comprehension and inferences), spelling and writing (creative writing and organisation) difficulties. Therapy is done in a unique way, mainly through play that is appropriate to the child’s level and learning style. This child centred approach develops confidence and self esteem, as well as being highly motivational and fun. A child’s strengths are the building blocks and their weaknesses are overcome or greatly improved in a positive way. Therapy may be individual or in groups for social communication i.e. Social use of language; Communicate and Play.

Children may have a specific problem or a cluster of difficulties. These include: Attention and Listening, Auditory Processing and Memory, ADD/ADHD, Dyslexia, Specific Language Impairment, Learning Difficulties, Developmental Speech and Language Delay, Dyspraxia, Stammering, Autism and Aspergers, Anxiety and Anger, Semantic-Pragmatic Difficulties, Word Finding Difficulties, and the Social Use of Language. Sometimes other underlying factors such as Sensory integration/processing difficulties, or Dyspraxia, may be affecting the child’s speech and communication. Joint clinics are run with a Paediatric Occupational Therapist specialised to diagnose and advise on these difficulties.

Normal Age Ranges for Speech Sound Development are:

  • By 3 years: m, p, b, w, h, n, ng, t, d, k, g, y
  • By 3.4-3.8 years: f
  • By 4 years: l
  • By 4.6-5 years: s, z, v, sh, ch, j in jaw, zh in measure
  • By 6 years: r
  • By 6.6-8.0 years: th

Common Phonological Processes:

  • Final Consonant Deletion: Boo for Book (occur up to 3.3yrs)
  • Fronting: Dod for Dog (to 3.6yrs)
  • Assimilation: Beb for Bed (to 3.9yrs)
  • Stopping: Toup for Soup (3-5yrs)
  • Cluster Reductions: Nake for Snake; Pay for Play (to 4.0yrs)
  • Gliding: w for r or l (to 5yrs)

Jacqui is an authorised provider of The Listening Program  and she also does Talk Tools. She considers all the underlying developmental sensory and motoric stages that underpin the development of speech, language, play, listening and communication skills in a child’s treatment programme; all these skills are essential for success with Literacy and in Education. At the Literacy level, she does the Visualising and Verbalising program by N.Bell, as weak concept imagery is linked to weak reading and comprehension skills.

In the next few editions of OVL Jacqui will further discuss Language development, Listening and Literacy and Social communication skills and Stammering.

Jacqui Wright
Chief Consultant, Childhood Communication Consultancy
BSc (Log) Hons: Speech Pathology / Audiology
[email protected]
Tel: 01234 782 365 Mob: 079 566 855 81