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Putnam County R-I Schools

Elementary School


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Is Johnny "Dutchy"? Is Jane not talking yet?

When Can My Child Begin Receiving Speech & Language Services?

Hey parents! Did you know that children can begin receiving speech and language services through the school as young as 3 years of age FREE OF CHARGE? Of course, those children must meet the eligibility requirements set by the state, as do older students. However, it is my belief that the earlier a problem is diagnosed and treated, the better for the child—both for communication purposes as well as for later academic success.

I have to follow the criteria set by the State of Missouri in order to decide when a child should receive speech services. For example, by age 3, a child should be able to correctly say the “m” sound, “h” sound, “w” sound, “p” sound, and “b” sound. By age 3 years, 6 months, a child should be able to correctly say the “n” sound, “d” sound, “k” sound, and “f” sound when it's at the beginning of words. By age 4, a child should be able to correctly say the “t” sound and “g” sound. By age 5, they should be able to say the “y” sound, and by age 5 years, 6 months they should be able to say the “f” sound at the end of words, “v” sound, and “tw” and “kw” clusters. Certainly, there are many other sounds that may develop later, and I can share those with you if you have a concern. If your child is not able to say these sounds by the above ages, please let me know, and we can discuss your concerns and set up a speech and language screening if needed. If you have a concern for your child, please feel free to contact me at any time.

It is also important to pay attention to those around you, as we know our children best and can usually interpret what they are trying to say; however, if those around you are frequently asking you to interpret what your child has said, they might not be as easy to understand to others as they are to you. Helping children early on with sounds and words will help them socially as well as academically later on.

Thanks for the work you are doing at home! Please let us know if we can help you!

Kim Knight

Speech-Language Pathologist

(660) 947-3361 ext. 391