Children learn how to say sounds by listening to the adults around them speak. The same way they learn language. Sounds are typically acquired in a certain order with some sounds being learned early (like "p" and "b") and some are learned later (like "th" and "r").
When children are very young, it's also normal for them to change around the sounds in words, for example, they may say "wat" instead of "rat" and "tum" for "thumb." Yet, as they get older, their pronunciation of should be more accurate.
Sometimes kids don't simply outgrow this way of speaking or they don't learn how to say every sound correctly. These children may have a speech sound delay or disorder and might need some extra help.
Speech Sound Developmental Chart
Speech sounds development in children has been studied and speech therapists use this information to determine if a child is producing sounds adequately for their age. This evidence based chart can be used to determine if your child is producing the sounds they should be for their age.
To get help with diagnosis or treatment, or to schedule a free consultation with a speech therapist, please contact me at Speech Therapy that Works.