Children with Unclear Speech

Is your child’s speech difficult to understand?

Some children find it difficult to develop the full range of speech sounds needed to speak clearly. I can assess your child’s speech sounds and provide the therapy needed.

Is your child having difficulty learning to read?

If your child’s speech was unclear when they were younger, they may not be able to manipulate sounds well enough to decode for reading. I can assess this ability and give advice for home and school.

Together we can Free their Speech

Speech Sound Development

Children are not born being able to use the sounds needed for speech.

These develop over time from babbling, to words.

They start with vowels, then short sounds made near the front of the mouth (b, m etc), then longer sounds (f, s) and some sounds (like th) don’t generally appear until a child is 6 or 7.

Until a sound has emerged the child needs to substitute another in it’s place. We can generally predict which sounds will be used in substitution, so often c and k are later developing sounds, so a child might say “tat” instead of “cat”.

Children who continue to substitute sounds after the age where they have generally emerged can be difficult to understand and may need therapy.

I can see children from 3 years old for speech work.

Below is a great illustration of the complexity of coordinating your lips, jaw, tongue, voice and palate for speech:

You can find lots of brilliant information about speech sound development on the Talking Point website here.

My Speech Sounds Pinterest board has loads of information too.

What happens at an appointment?

Appointments are available in my comfy clinic in Stoke Gifford, or at the Wells Road Osteopaths Clinic in South Bristol

First appointment

Your child’s first appointment usually lasts for an hour. At this appointment we will discuss your child’s developmental, medical and language history.

I will observe and may formally assess your child’s language and/or speech abilities. If they have a speech delay we can formulate a plan together.


Therapy appointments last half an hour and generally consists of weekly therapy in clinic with daily practice at home.

In therapy we practice particular sounds and words using those sounds in games.

The aim is to get as many repetitions as possible in a session.

NHS Liaison

I am happy to work in conjunction with any NHS Speech and Language Therapist that is working with your child and will need permission from you for this. We would decide between us how to work together. Sometimes this may mean the NHS therapist might take the lead, sometimes they may concentrate on school and I may work with you at home.

Happy Customer – Unclear Speech

“Just over a year ago I took my 3 year old little boy to see Susannah, he could only say a couple of words.
Today he is now talking in sentences!
Never thought we would see the day we would have to ask him to “be quiet & let someone else talk”!!
I cannot recommend Susannah enough! She has been absolutely brilliant, encouraging and supportive to A (& myself!) With Susannah’s help, advice & practise at home we have been amazed how much A’s speech has developed!
Thank you Susannah so much, not only have you helped Alfie but we have also gained a friend xx”
T 2017