Children's development is individual and occurs at many different rates. However, the following milestones are provided by the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) as guidelines, for your information. If your child has not met the following milestones, he/she may benefit from speech and language therapy.
By age 1 Enjoys games like Peek-A-Boo and Pat-A-Cake; Turns in the direction of sounds; Recognizes words for common objects like "cup," "shoe," "book" or "juice;" Begins to respond to requests such as "Come here" or "Want more?"; Babbles groups of sounds; Uses speech or non-crying sounds to get and keep attention; Uses gestures to communicate (waving, holding arms up to be picked up); Imitates different speech sounds; Has 1-2 words (e.g.: hi, dog, dada, mama) although sounds may not be clear
By age 2 Points to a few body parts when asked; Follows simple commands and answers simple questions (e.g.: "Throw the ball" or "Where's your shoe?"); Listens to simple stories; Points to pictures in a book when asked; Says new words every month; Puts 2 words together (e.g.: "more cookie," "no juice"); Uses many different consonant sounds at the beginning of words
By age 3 Understands differences in meaning (e.g.: "go/stop," "up/down"); Follows 2 step requests (e.g.: "Get the book and put it on the table"); Listens and enjoys hearing stories for longer periods of time; Has a word for almost everything; Uses 2 or 3 words to talk about and ask for things; Often asks for or directs attention to things by naming them; Speech is understood by familiar listeners most of the time
By age 4 Hears you call from another room; Answers simple "Who?", "What?", "Where?", and "Why?" questions; Talks about activities at school or at friends' homes; Uses many sentences that have 4 or more words; People outside of the family usually understand the child's speech
By age 5 Pays attention to a short story and answers questions about it; Hears and understands most of what is said at home and school; Uses sentences that give lots of detail (e.g.: "I like to read my books."); Tells stories that stick to a topic; Uses the same grammar as the rest of the family; Communicates easily with other children and adults; Says most sounds correctly
This and more information about normal and disordered communication can be found on the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association website, www.asha.org.
If you have concerns about any aspect of your child's communication skills, please contact us for an evaluation. If you are unsure whether your child needs an evaluation, feel free to contact us with your questions.