Speech sound delay, also referred to as an articulation delay, is when a child is behind in the development of his or her speech sounds. It may be just one sound, or could be many sounds. Typically, the more sounds in error, the more unclear (unintelligible) a child will be.
While all children make errors in the way they pronounce particular sounds (for example: saying “boo” for “blue or “wed” for “red”), by a certain age they typically begin to notice the differences between their speech and others, and begin to naturally correct their sounds. However, some children do not tend to pick up on these differences and continue to make errors beyond an age that is considered developmental in nature. These children often benefit from receiving speech therapy which helps them develop awareness of their sound errors, and teaches them how to make the sounds correctly through a variety of shaping and cueing techniques.