Speech Therapy For School Aged Children

By school age, children should be able to speak clearly enough to be understood by everyone and be well on their way to developing the skills they will need to function at school and in their community. All school aged children should be able to say “S” correctly (i.e without a lisp). Generally speaking, the only sound that it is common for children in kindergarten to struggle with is “Th”.

It is extremely important that children can say all their sounds correctly by the time they start kindergarten so they do not get confused when learning phonics. Incorrect pronunciation can impact their reading development as well as their ability to be well understood and can undermine their ability to participate in the playground as well as the classroom.

School Aged Children having a speech therapy while playing

School Age Milestones

By 5 years of age your child should be able to:

  • Use sentences of about 6 words with correct grammar
  • Talk about events that are happening, have happened or might happen
  • Explain why something happens, such as “mum’s car stopped because the petrol ran out”
  • Explain the function of objects. For example, “this scrunchie keeps my hair away”
  • Say how they feel and tell you their ideas
  • Tell news in a logical sequence
  • Understand opposites such as high/low, wet/dry, big/little
  • Follow 3 directions in a row. For example, “Put your shoes on, get your lunch box and sit on the chair”
  • Say r, v and l correctly.

By 7 years of age your child should be able to say “th”

By 8 years of age your child should be able to:

  • understand and use abstract concepts
  • express themselves in writing using a variety of text types
  • use specific vocabulary (not “thingo”, “stuff”)

The above is by no means an exhaustive list but a general, useful guide.

Social Skills

Having good social skills is critical for long-term success in life, often more so than academic achievement. Many children struggle with social skills in the playground and classroom because of difficulties they have in understanding aspects of language. They may be performing well academically, but still struggle socially, because of these problems. Struggling socially often results in great unhappiness in the playground as well as at home.

An effective assessment of children’s repertoire of skills is a great way to establish if they need extra help in the area of social skills. An assessment will:

define their social and emotional competence
gauge their ability to problem solve.
Effective, targeted assistance can transform your child’s playground skills and build their confidence.

A teenage boy having a speech therapy with his speech therapist

When To Call For Help

Please give Eastside Speech a call if you are concerned about any aspect of your child’s speech or language or if they are struggling with their reading or socials skills. The important thing to remember is that intervening early is always preferable. A small delay in infants and early primary years can become more significant as time goes on.

If you are worried about any aspect of your child’s speech or understanding of what they hear, we recommend you discuss your child’s development with a teacher or carer, and if in doubt consult a speech pathologist at Eastside Speech to determine if your child is reaching the right developmental milestones.

In summary, call Eastside Speech Solutions on 02 9398 3020 and ask for your child to be assessed if you have any concerns.

Frequently Asked Speech Therapy Questions

For more information about Eastside Speech Solutions and how speech therapy can assist with speech and language difficulties: