Does My Child Have a Speech or Language Delay?

July 6, 2018

Here are some guidelines on typical speech and language development: 

 

Birth–3 Months

 

  • Startles at loud sounds.

  • Quiets or smiles when you talk.

  • Seems to recognize your voice. Quiets if crying. 

 

  • Makes cooing sounds.

  • Cries change for different needs.

  • Smiles at people.

 

4–6 Months

 

  • Moves her eyes in the direction of sounds.

  • Responds to changes in your tone of voice.

  • Notices toys that make sounds.

  • Pays attention to music.

 

  • Coos and babbles when playing alone or with you. 

  • Makes speech-like babbling sounds, like pa, ba, and mi.

  • Giggles and laughs.

  • Makes sounds when happy or upset.

 

7 Months–1 Year

 

  • Turns and looks in the direction of sounds.

  • Looks when you point.

  • Turns when you call her name.

  • Understands words for common items and people—words like cup, truck, juice, and daddy.

  • Starts to respond to simple words and phrases, like “No,” “Come here,” and “Want more?”

  • Plays games with you, like peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake.

  • Listens to songs and stories for a short time. 

 

  • Babbles long strings of sounds, like mimi upup babababa.

  • Uses sounds and gestures to get and keep attention.

  • Points to objects and shows them to others.

  • Uses gestures like waving bye, reaching for “up,” and shaking his head no.

  • Imitates different speech sounds.

  • Says 1 or 2 words, like hi, dog, dada, mama, or uh-oh. This will happen around his first birthday, but sounds may not be clear. 

 

1 - 2 Years

  • Points to a few body parts when you ask.

  • Follows 1-part directions, like "Roll the ball" or "Kiss the baby."

  • Responds to simple questions, like “Who’s that?” or “Where’s your shoe?”

  • Listens to simple stories, songs, and rhymes.

  • Points to pictures in a book when you name them.

 

  • Uses a lot of new words.

  • Uses p, b, m, h, and w in words.

  • Starts to name pictures in books.

  • Asks questions, like “What's that?”, “Who’s that?”, and “Where’s kitty?” 

  • Puts 2 words together, like "more apple," "no bed," and "mommy book."

 

2 - 3 Years

  • Understands opposites, like go–stop, big–little, and up–down.

  • Follows 2-part directions, like "Get the spoon and put it on the table."

  • Understands new words quickly.

 

  • Has a word for almost everything.

  • Talks about things that are not in the room.

  • Uses k, g, f, t, d, and n in words.

  • Uses words like in, on, and under. 

  • Uses two- or three- words to talk about and ask for things.

  • People who know your child can understand him.

  • Asks “Why?”

  • Puts 3 words together to talk about things. May repeat some words and sounds

 

3 - 4 Years

  • Responds when you call from another room.

  • Understands words for some colors, like red, blue, and green.

  • Understands words for some shapes, like circle and square.

  • Understands words for family, like brother, grandmother and aunt.

 

  • Answers simple who, what, and where questions.

  • Says rhyming words, like hat–cat.

  • Uses pronouns, like I, you, me, we, and they.

  • Uses some plural words, like toys, birds, and buses.

  • Most people understand what your child says.

  • Asks when and how questions.

  • Puts 4 words together. May make some mistakes, like “I goed to school.”

  • Talks about what happened during the day. Uses about 4 sentences at a time. 

 

4 - 5 Years

  • Understands words for order, like first, next, and last.

  • Understands words for time, like yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

  • Follows longer directions, like “Put your pajamas on, brush your teeth, and then pick out a book.”

  • Follows classroom directions, like “Draw a circle on your paper around something you eat.”

  • Hears and understands most of what she hears at home and in school.

 

  • Says all speech sounds in words. May make mistakes on sounds that are harder to say, like l, s, r, v, z, ch, sh, and th.

  • Responds to “What did you say?”

  • Talks without repeating sounds or words most of the time.

  • Names letters and numbers.

  • Uses sentences that have more than 1 action word, like jump, play, and get. May make some mistakes, like “Zach gots 2 video games, but I got one.”

  • Tells a short story.

  • Keeps a conversation going.

  • Talks in different ways, depending on the listener and place. Your child may use short sentences with younger children. He may talk louder outside than inside.

* https://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/01/

Photo by Thiago Cerqueira on Unsplash

 

 

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