Assimilation in a Two-Year-Old

By Pam Marshalla

Q: I am working with a 2 year old who is exhibiting labial, alveolar and velar assimilation. For example, gog for dog, pup for cup, pomb for comb, and bum for gum. He produces all of the phonemes correctly in isolation and in syllables. Receptive language skills are age appropriate. Where do I start to correct this? I’ve been with him for 6 weeks. I am discovering through my reading that assimilation usually resolves around 3 years of age. His is improving.

If he were coming in for his first evaluation today, I would counsel the parents that he is likely to outgrow these minor errors. But I would see him again in 6-8 weeks to make sure. If he were a client left over from earlier more severe problems, I would do the same because the chances are that he is on his way now. You should see enough signs of positive changes in 6-8 weeks that you will know. Continue to see him every 6-8 weeks until you are sure that you can let him go. Consider enrolling him in weekly therapy again if you are not seeing signs of improvement.

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