I agree with the other poster, those types of sounds are normal sounds to have trouble with. If possible, I would have him re-tested every 6 months (if the state will fund that). That way, if he does fall behind you will have caught it quickly and can correct it quickly.
I completely understand your frustration, my dd stuttered from 2 or 3yrs old until 4th grade. She did not get services until 2nd grade!!!! They kept on telling us that it fell within the acceptable range of speech patterns for her age group. Meanwhile, I kept on telling them it's genetic!!! I had speech therapy for stuttering all the way through elementary school (and was successfully treated) and my father still has a noticeable stutter at at 76 yrs old (he went to speech camp during the summers when he was a boy to try to correct it).
So even when we know deep down in our heart that there is a speech issue sometimes we just have to wait. Luckily for us my dd doesn't stutter any more and she wasn't traumatized at all due to her speech. I think younger elementary kids think that's just how someone talks don't realize that it is a speech issue. If anything my dd thrived in speech therapy at school b/c she loved the one-on-one attention.
Have you talked to your dr about your concerns? What does he/she say? Sometimes drs can refer to other private agencies.
I don't know what posessed me to look at this board- boredom I guess. I saw your speech topic and honestly, your 3 year old sounds just fine! My youngest is almost 16 and I have one grand each from my older girls. The 3 1/2 GS and almost every other kid that age has troubles with so many common sounds! When we can"t understand a word we will ask "show me" and he'll find whatever it is he's talking about and DD will work with that specific word. I have to tell you yesterday we stopped at a thrift store and DD told him if he behaved right he would get a SLURPEE afterward (7-11 on the corner) so he spent most of the time in the thrift store talking about HIS HERPEES. You should have seen some of the looks we got- it was pretty funny.
Seriously, if you know DS's hearing is fine, it dosen't sound particularly delayed. I'm curious if he goes to daycare with kids that primarily speak a different language? I've been told by more than one pre-school teacher that alot of the area spanish population's children "appear" to have speach delays that are nothing more than confusion because there's one language in school and another at home.
My now 14yo ds was a delayed talker and then either mixed sounds or dropped beginning consonants (so "fish" became "ish"). Ds did receive services through the county, but he barely qualified. I was told that a child has to be delayed a certain number of months in order to qualify for services.
That may be what's going on with your ds. Even tho' he exhibits a delay, it's not such a significant delay that services are needed at this point in time.
One of the big things my ds speech teacher had me do with ds was to practice repeating words over and over again, emphasizing the difficult sounds. If ds had a hard time saying "food," for instance, then I'd say something like "oh, you want some fffood? Ffffood is yummy! What kind of ffffood do you want? Some chicken ffffood? Some apple fffood? I'm getting some ffffood for my ds." Etc. The speech teacher pointed out that one of the reasons TV shows like Sesame Street are beneficial is because they repeat the same words over and over.
My ds now speaks just fine. Honestly, I'm not sure how much his speech therapy actually helped him and how much he just grew into his speech. He was still having speech difficulties at 4yo when we moved. I never got him into speech therapy in our new home, but his speech continued to improve anyway.
If you really wanted to pursue speech therapy, you could see if your insurance company would cover speech with a private company. Often the therapy company will let you know whether your insurance will cover an evaluation (you might need a referral from your pediatrician) and/or therapy.