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5 Keys to SPEAKING UP by Amber Villella, MA CCC-SLP

5 Keys to SPEAKING UP by Amber Villella, MA CCC-SLP


5 Keys to SPEAKING Up!


Age Appropriateness

There is a range of “typical” for speech sound and expressive language for children.

While it may seem like other children are more or less expressive, it is important you try not to compare your child to siblings or other children. Each child develops speech sounds and expressive language at different rates. If you feel your child is not developing speech sounds and expressive language skills appropriately it’s probably time to talk to your pediatrician and/or schedule a speech and language evaluation.

Visit for a chart on the age of customary consonant production chart and for a speech and language milestone chart.


You can help your child with speech sounds by modeling the correct way to make a sound and provide cues. Have them look at your face or providing hand signals. Using consistent hand signals while speaking will help to elicit speech sounds.

Be Descriptive

Help your child develop expressive language skills by modeling words, phrases, and sentences that are associated with items and actions in their daily lives. Use a variety of nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. Increase the length and descriptiveness of what you are saying.


Get your child involved with children their same age or a little older so they have peer models of the way kids are using sounds and words to communicate to others. Join play groups, sign up for organized activities, or just head to the park.

Be patient

Finally, your child is learning a lot about speech sounds and expressive language throughout their childhood. If your child seems to be having trouble forming a sound they are working on or trouble combining words to form phrases/sentences, don’t rush or interrupt them. Give them a minute to think about it.

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