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Updated Speech Sound Development Norms Alert!

Speech-language pathologists' clinical decision making and consideration of eligibility for services rely on quality evidence, including information about consonant acquisition (developmental norms). A 2020 article review study described the typical age and pattern of acquisition of English consonants by children in the United States.

The research looked at fifteen studies (six articles and nine assessments) reporting consonant acquisition of 18,907 children acquiring English in the United States. Most consonants were acquired by 5;0 (years;months). The consonants /b, n, m, p, h, w, d/ were acquired by 2;0–2;11; /ɡ, k, f, t, ŋ, j/ were acquired by 3;0–3;11; /v, ʤ, s, ʧ, l, ʃ, z/ were acquired by 4;0–4;11; /ɹ, ð, ʒ/ were acquired by 5;0–5;11; and /θ/ was acquired by 6;0–6;11 (ordered by mean age of acquisition, 90% criterion).

The chart below shows the average age of acquisition of speech sounds in american english.

Blog written by: Mazal Karan, MS, SLP-CF


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